According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, “sometimes when Chronicle reporters….call sources for a story, experts who are women will say they can’t provide comments because the subject is a bit outside their expertise. The same isn’t always true of male experts.”
Hmm…. Could there be some unwarranted male-bashing going on here? Well, University Life decided to investigate the Chronicle’s claim. We picked three topics, and for each one we solicited the opinions of a female professor and a male professor. The results:
TOPIC #1: The Controversy over Current U. S. Immigration Policy
Valerie Plurtz-Wizzen, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Princeton University. Author of U. S. Immigration Policy since 1900: Causes and Consequences (Harvard University Press, 2017).
Response: “I’d love to comment, but there’s a Mexican family of four that crossed the Nogales border into Arizona last week that I haven’t interviewed, and I wouldn’t want my remarks to be based on incomplete data. I’ll have to decline. I’m so sorry.”
Clarence Kusker, Professor of Civil Engineering, Drexel University.
Response: “Sure, I’d be happy to answer your questions. Fire away!”
TOPIC #2: Transgender Identity and Sexual Politics
Gretchen Stilton-Brie, Professor of Endocrinology, Developmental Psychology, and Sociology, UCLA Medical Center. Editor of The Transgender Handbook (Oxford University Press, 2018). Recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant.
Response: “Thanks so much for the invitation, but my expertise does not extend to transgender dynamics in the protozoan community. I realize that you are not asking me to comment on transgender dynamics in the protozoan community, but you never know how single-celled eukaryotes might turn out to be relevant to this discussion. I’d prefer to hold off saying anything until we know more.”
Dalton Wrendl, Professor of Finance, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Response: “Sure, I’d be happy to answer your questions. Fire away.”
TOPIC #3: The Future of Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace
Samantha Quintepino, Professor of Cognitive Science and Director of the UC-Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab. Developed the first computer program to translate post-modernist English prose into English (2008).
Response: “Oh my gosh, AI is evolving in so many different directions these days! It would really be premature, and irresponsible, for me to speculate right now.”
Dalton Wrendl, Jr., Assistant Professor of Lacrosse, Duke University.
Response: “Robots are going to absolutely RULE the workplace, dude! You can quote me on that!”
Okay, maybe the Chronicle is on to something.