Women seen as lacking natural 'brilliance' may explain underrepresentation in academia

Jamie Saxon, News at Princeton, Jan 19, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

As a philosopher, I find it flattering that people think that my field of study demands innate brilliance. The problem is, I don't believe there is such a thing as innate brilliance. Anyone could be as brilliant as I am thought to be, though there are some preconditions: they have to have good pre- and post-natal nutrition, as I did, they have to receive early childhood education, as I did, they have to live in an environment where academic success is valued and expected, as I did, and they have to have the resources to promote self-study, as I did. These are usually (but not always) the consequences of privilege. The same people also tend to be taller and to live longer. That's why there is this perception that they are somehow superior. But this perception is false. Often, people with these advantages do not live up to their potential. And often, people without these advantages find other advantages. Via Academica. See also The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.

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