Friday, June 5, 2020

Message to Organic Chemists

Dear Scripps Community,

It is self-evident that these are unprecedented times. Compounding the stress we are all feeling, the Organic Chemistry community received a startling blow with an Essay recently published (and then rapidly taken down) in Angew. Chemie, one of our premier journals.  This topic we feel is appropriate for us to address.

First, the Essay offers opinions that are not even relevant to the field of synthesis – odd given its title: “Organic synthesis—Where now?” is thirty years old. A reflection on the current state of affairs,”. How such a treatise, published in a top scientific journal, would include what is essentially an ill-informed social commentary, without any citations or evidence to back up egregious claims, is puzzling to us. The author feels compelled to express sorrow over the lack of rigor in the primary chemistry literature (reproducibility, melting points, combustion analysis) yet feels none of this rigor should apply to the social commentary offered in the guise of a scientific essay. We are scientists, we publish facts and documented evidence. The unsubstantiated comments in this essay have no place in a scientific journal, even in an Essay format. We are troubled that a prestigious Journal like Angew. Chemie would somehow permit such an essay to pass the rigors of peer- and editorial-review. 

Second, the comments about diversity and inclusion (in green below) are at best ill-informed or ignorant, at worst malicious: 

“In the last two decades many groups and/or individuals have been designated with “preferential status”. This in spite of the fact that the percentage of women and minorities in academia and pharmaceutical indutry (sic) has greatly increased.”

Recent essays about women in Med Chem, Process Chem, and academic careers (refs. 1-3) show clearly the discrepancies that still exist as women move up the ladder. One of us (D.B.) has experienced such hurdles personally. Extensive scientific studies in the social science literature also show such notions to be factually inaccurate (ref 4). This “despite the fact” comment clearly ignores these ongoing challenges.

“It follows that, in a social equilibrium, preferrential (sic) treatment of one group leads to disadvantages for another.”

The author of this essay fails to grasp the irony of the above statement. In fact, he himself has been in a group receiving preferential treatment all throughout of his scientific career – it appears that he never thought to speak out about that, though. 

Third, and even more insidiously, we mention a point made by Jake Yeston of Science who said “There’s been some attention towards the lazy unsupported critique of diversity in Prof. Hudlicky’s essay, but less directed at this portion:”

 “The training and mentoring of new generations of professionals must be attended to by proper relationships of “masters and apprentices” without dilution of standards….there must be “an unconditional submission of the apprentice to his/her master.” This applies not only in the sciences but also in art, music, and martial arts.”

The language here is disturbing for several reasons. The word “Master” has a subliminal message that goes beyond scientific mentoring relationships. The invocation of martial arts is also starkly out of place because chemistry is not simply discipline but also involves innovation, discovery, and imagination. But most of all, this quote appears to support an unhealthy work ethic that has in the past pervaded organic chemistry research but that is thankfully much less prevalent today, as younger faculty aim to achieve, and help their research groups achieve, a better work-life balance. It is this macho perception of synthetic chemistry that continues to be a barrier to inclusivity.  Thus, “Master-apprentice” is not the way to think about relationships in a modern laboratory setting. We all learn from mentors, but it should be a holistic, interactive, nurturing relationship. In our own experience, by treating students as independent collaborators rather than apprentices, they grow to become brilliant scientists that think outside of the box and end up teaching us more than we could teach them.  Instead of unconditionally submitting to a “master”, in the modern era of organic chemistry it is the norm to encourage our collaborators to challenge assertions, engage in debate, and work together as a team to achieve a common goal.

We work in organic chemistry research because we are passionate about the science and the positive impact it can have on society. We need to ensure that we can direct this passion towards mentoring our students and postdocs to become the best scientists they can be. We value each and every student and postdoc, individually, for their own special strengths and their own humanity. Although some may think incidents like the publication of this Essay only serve to set us back when we need to move forward, it’s also important that the vestiges of such backwards thinking be brought to light and called out. It is no secret that organic chemistry, synthesis in particular, has a storied history of being a male-dominated, ruthless arena where the celebration of cult personalities and enriching one’s ego often took priority over enriching the science and mentoring students. Many chemists in previous generations did not subscribe to that approach and we contend that the current generation has all but eradicated it. 

At Scripps our groups are proud of the diverse representation which has always been an enabling strength in our research programs. It is a documented fact that vibrant, creative, and wildly imaginative science takes place when people from diverse backgrounds and cultures collaborate to solve important scientific problems.  Doing this in an environment where students and postdocs feel supported as equal collaborators is part of the secret sauce that makes Scripps such a special place to do research. 

We are here to listen and provide support at any time, if anyone would like to reach out to us. Please stay safe, well, sane, and passionate about chemistry during these challenging times! 

Donna Blackmond and Phil Baran

References

1.     Huryn, D.; Bolognesi, M. L.; Young, W. B. Medicinal Chemistry: Where Are All the Women? ACS Med. Chem. Lett20178, 900−902.
2.     Ruck, R.T.; Faul, M.M. Gender Diversity in Process Chemistry,  OPRD, 201923, 109-113.
3.     Sanford, M.S.; Chiu, P.; Kozlowski, M.C. Celebrating Women in Organic Chemistry. Org. Lett. 202022, 1227-1230.
4.  Thanks to Prof. Tehshik Yoon for this compilation of resources: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1268968586065915905.html

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  2. Thank you, Donna and Phil, for this measured, appropriately-rigorous, well-cited rebuttal of this nonsense. I have to believe that responses like this have the potential to be transformative, able to convert the misguided into allies. It is my sincere hope that Prof. Hudlicky applies the same intellectual rigor for which he has advocated so persistently in the arena of organic synthesis to his own opinions, and retracts his own statements. This would ultimately be a far more impactful outcome than ACIE's attempted "disappearing" of an article which is clearly still available to all (including, unfortunately, those who will no doubt use it to support their own misguided beliefs and actions).

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  3. I completely agree with and support this statement - thanks for posting it.

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  4. His statements are nonsensical, and seems to be from the Jim Crow era. However, one point he mentioned i.e. of mandated diversity is important, that many in academic field of ours think that diversity has to be mandated, something like the first law of thermodynamics, which is prevailing without any check/validity. I believe in diversity through equal opportunity in selection and providing equal social environment on campuses. Thus, it would have been great if that point of mandated diversity was addressed, instead of attacking him based on his privilege/preferential treatment. Most young people like me support diversity but blatant support is equally harmful.

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    1. Indeed, that seems to be the idea of the paper or at least it is my take from it.

      Even if the paper is complete BS, it sparked a vigorous discussion and maybe it or other commentaries such as this one actually help improve the situation

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  5. I am a medicinal chemist from a Mexico and I agree with this statement. Thanks to both professors to be our voice.

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  6. The title:'Synthesis where now?' followed by the incongruent content is simply mind-boggling. The old timers look at the mid-60s to the early 80s of synthetic organic chemistry as the Golden Age and lament its passing. However, blaming policy regarding the perceived way certain groups are now treated is a fascist perspective.

    I never read a monumental total synthesis from that era without reflecting on the pain, and possible abuse, not to mention the intelligent driven individuals left to die in the desert on the way through. Perhaps an unsustainable perspective on work-life is what really happened to synthetic organic chemistry.

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  7. Thanks for your well-reasoned and passionate response. You are absolutely right.

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  8. Hudlicky is intellectually brave as always. Of course there are discrepancies but what he is sensitive to his hiring shitty candidates because they are diverse. It happens more then ever and I'm sure will be amplified in the near future. Everyone is worse off for this practice.

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  9. Where can I get a copy of this article?

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    1. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yE_j7xoefegDWLwbdeFr2Sgqyl9Wnmt2/view

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  10. I think you all overreacted to the essay, which is originally just an opinion article. Please, consider the fact that the guy has been long time in science, and he was formed at a different time, while he also observed the development of the organic chemistry for as long as you've been alive. Do old people have at all any rights to say something to the young generations? Please, ask yourself this question. Even if we're all heading towards the future, this is not an excuse to not listen to the voice of elders, especially in the fields like education and science

    If not the retraction, I would never read his article. Though, I read it and I cannot comprehend why is there so much noise around it. The guy said nothing wrong. Even in the paragraphs you cite, if you read them carefully, you will see that there is nothing wrong written there. For example, he said that some groups were designated with preferred status, but he never said which ones. He said that people should attend diversity workshops. What’s wrong here? His vision of the master-apprentice practise is also not wrong, as long as you respect the academic freedom, which guaranties a right to teach in any way the teacher thinks is right. As follows from his essays, the author is concerned with the universities and the funding bodies intruding into the academic freedom.

    You all seriously overreacted and read in this essay, more than written in it. I believe, you should seriously analyze, why. The engagement of the science into the internal political discourses of some (even the most influential) countries is a dangerous practice, and it puts at a risk the integrity of worldwide scientific community and scientific research. I found your commentary on this page far more dangerous than the original publication. The fact that the journal decided to delete the article off the internet after criticism simply means that we have a censorship in opinion expression, and you seem to have no problems with that. At least, this follows from the tone of your statements like "have no place in scientific journals". Who are you to decide what kind of opinions should have place in journals?

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    1. Very apt comments (!)

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    2. Exactly. Equality of opportunity and meritocracy is fundamentally important. As is debate. This kind of censorship and "how dare you have that opinion" behavior used to be confined to the Humanities, or behind the Iron Curtain. Now, it is metastasizing.

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    3. The excuse that "he was formed at a different time" is incredibly pathetic. When you consider that scientific research and the scientific community is about the development of new research and rigorous reviews to identify outdated ideas and improve on them, his failure to apply the same concept to his own ethical views is unacceptable. As a community, we are always striving to do better in our research but we will not grow if we do not strive to better ourselves.

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  11. Hudlicky writes "there must be “an unconditional submission of the apprentice to his/her master.” This applies not only in the sciences but also in art, music, and martial arts.”

    As a chemistry professor teaching undergraduates for almost 30 years and someone who studied and taught aikido (a Japanese martial art) for over 30 years, I am amazed that Hudlicky seems so unaware of the numerous problems and abuses that have been documented through the "total submission" model he advocates for. That someone would advocate such a model in 2020 leaves me at a loss for words.

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    1. Yet, this model has been practised for centuries in may fields of craftsmanship and education, and the fact that some misused it does not mean it is inherently wrong.
      Education is always based on trust. And trust means risk.

      Look, marriage is also a trust based institution. Many face abuse and violence issues in marriage. Still people get married, and some manage to be happy in their marriage. Strange, isn't it?

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    2. Correct, possible misuse of something does not equate with that something being wrong. But something being clearly wrong equates with that something being wrong; treating "apprentices" as sub-standard humans is certainly wrong and is the discussion that is being had.

      "Education is always based on trust." Absolutely true, which is why it is a shame when academics abuse their power over subordinates who are forced to go along willfully or face career-altering consequences. (aka, if you don't do [something unfair or outrageous], you might not get the recommendation letter you would like")

      Furthermore, your illustration of marriage actually makes the opposite point that you were surely looking for. People generally "manage to be happy in their marriage" when they are not being treated as an "apprentice" or asked for "unconditional submission...to his/her master." Marriage is a give and take and stomping all over your spouse is the fastest way to not have one. We can all agree that an abusive marriage is a horrible thing, so why would it be any different in a academic setting?

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  12. Phil and Donna - thank you for an outstanding rebuttal and calling attention to this archaic, good old boy sexist crap. Like Donna (and many other women chemists I know) I suffered through this type of nonsense (and worse) at various times on my way up. What shocks me is that the journal even gave it a second look much less published it - very sad. The only way to change the culture is to make sure we do our best to get rid of these types of attitudes and teach our students the right way to do science!

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  13. Thank you for this thoughtful response.

    However, Professor Baran in particular, I urge you to self-reflect on how you personally have contributed to this culture and lack of diversity in organic synthesis. All it takes is one look at your Group Members and Alumni page to see that the students in your group have been overwhelmingly male. Should you accept students that are "sub-par" to raise your "diversity numbers"? Absolutely not. But there are countless qualified female organic chemists who you could recruit to your group if you wanted to.

    I personally interviewed at Scripps and was admitted to the graduate program in organic chemistry less than 10 years ago. During my visit, I was laughed at by a current graduate student there when I was here for the organic chemistry visitation weekend. He said I must have been there for biology since I was a woman. I was also told by a female faculty member at TSRI that there was rampant discrimination in the department and I should go somewhere else for my degree.
    I ended up getting my PhD at a top 10 school and have a job at a well-known pharmaceutical company. I was perfectly qualified to attend Scripps and before my visit weekend, I wanted to study there. But I couldn't after these experiences.

    You stated, "At Scripps our groups are proud of the diverse representation which has always been an enabling strength in our research programs." Granted, I did not study there, but I see little evidence that this is true, at least in terms of gender and representation of Black and Brown individuals in organic synthesis.

    Phil - you are a leader in this field. What are you going to personally to make your group and department more welcoming to women and people of color? What are you going to do to encourage more women to stay in the field? What are you going to do to stand up to the misogynistic culture in organic chemistry? People respect you. They will listen to you. This is a great first step, but I am urging you to do more. I will be cheering you on. :)

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    1. Great comment, thanks so much for posting it. With regards to diversity in our lab we have had great diversity regarding the remarkable number of cultures and countries of our collaborators. That is also a valuable form of diversity. Most of the time, half or more of the lab originates from countries other than the US and thats what we think of too when mentioning the above quote regarding diversity (geographic). With regards to women in our lab, we have had many amazing female scientists in our lab and I encourage you to see a post on OpenFlask by one of those students from 7+ years ago (http://openflask.blogspot.com/2013/03/happy-international-womens-day.html). I think our lab is a welcoming place for everyone and urge anyone to reach out to current students to verify that.

      I'm sorry you the poor recruiting experience you had when you came out to Scripps. Our loss for sure and that data is great feedback because I want to understand how we can ensure such scenarios don't happen again so we don't lose talented female scientists.

      With regards to action items, Donna is the chair of our department and, under her leadership, we are all spearheading efforts to hire more diverse faculty for the Chemistry department. In our own lab we have zero tolerance for misogynistic environments and will continue to create an atmosphere that is empowering and inclusive for scientists of all genders and backgrounds.

      But more can be done, that is for sure. Thanks for your candid comment it will hopefully stimulate more change for the better in our lab and the community as a whole. If the Angew Essay has accomplished anything good it is a reopening of the conversation and forcing everyone to take a hard look and brainstorm how they can do better and develop real meaningful action items to make positive progress. I will certainly be doing that.

      Suggestions for action items are welcome!

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    2. I invite you to reread your response and reflect on it as a whole.

      I'm pretty disappointed that you try to cite geographical diversity to address valid critiques about diversity within the Baran lab. I encourage you to rethink responses which shift the conversation. I also encourage you to reread your reply about female scientists. Do you really think citing a blog post from 7+ years ago is adequate here?

      As some action items, I first encourage you to do some background reading and have that be the focus of a group meeting. Here's an introductory piece which will help you start: https://www.rsc.org/globalassets/02-about-us/our-strategy/inclusion-diversity/cm-044-17_a4-diversity-landscape-of-the-chemical-sciences-report_web-2.pdf

      There are plenty of reading lists out there, so I am eager to see what your group comes up with.

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  14. And if you're squeamish, please look away now – the former Blackmond Group (sic (!), 8 white males + a single female member) https://www.scripps.edu/blackmond/photos.html

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    1. Are you suggesing that the next person to be hired must strictly be a female?

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    2. I invite you to reread this blog post, your and other comments and reflect on them as a whole

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  15. Angewandte entered into a contract and then broke the contract. Too bad for them. This essay was not an article and should never have been accepted as such, but it was. Hudlicky's opinions are outdated but pervasive in the community. I am an old man, and have lived through the testosterone-ridden world of synthetic organic chemistry. It is vicious to all, as far as I am concerned, unless you fit the "mold." Baran fits, incidentally. What I have seen in my life was pretty disgusting in the context of people now considered great, not all of whom are dead. The opinions held by Hudlicky need to be expressed, if only to deal with them face to face. The actions of Angewandte reek of censorship, something that can never be tolerated from the right or the left. Freedom is a pain in the ass, so is justice. They require constant kicking and screaming to keep the former and establish the latter. Unless someone is promoting murder or destruction, their right to speak must be defended, and then opposed as necessary. The essay was highly irrational. The response to it has been mostly irrational. Two editors need to be fired. The paper needs to be published. The rebuttals, with better citations, can and should be made. Angewandte and/or the German Chemical Society needs to take the steps to needed to rebuild trust and lead the way to a better world. Some of the folks who resigned their positions should have stayed to help in this process. Rather that have a shitfit, the community should act rationally to address the problems that exist.

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  16. Hudlicky is not necessarily spot on with all of his points.
    But this blog post is one of the most hypocritical things I have read for a while.

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    1. Completely Agree! This is from Phil Baran? I laughed so hard when I read this post. It is quite laughable. I love the comments that Phil should reread his responses and she urges him to self-reflect whether he has personally contributed to this culture. Someone told me that the ACS Division denied his requested symposium a year or two years ago because the invited speakers are all males.

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  17. Thank you Prof. Blackmond and Prof. Baran for discussing this matter. I believe such respected and revered scientists should make their voices heard, most especially during those times.

    However I must say I am a little bit disappointed by this message. I would have expected a debate or an exchange of opinions instead of this direct attack and an hypocritical indignation against angew. Chem. and/or Prof Hudlicky. Proof is, if this essay was as disrespectful as you said and had no place in the scientific community, why send a link to access it as soon as someone asks? You want it retracted and yet you encourage people to read it? That seems odd...

    Don't get me wrong, as you do, I also disagree with some of the contents within this essay. Mostly because of the way they are expressed. But the way you both reacted, as well as the editorial board of Angewandte by resigning, sends the wrong message.

    Playing the indignated card is too easy. This article could have been the starting point of changing mentalities. Instead of that, the article is deleted, some people resigned, and now let's wait for this to calm down and disappear. And nothing will change...

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    1. I am also very disappointed to hear that the 16 editorial board members resigned. They are well-respected scientists and people will listen to them. I rather have them worked together with Angew Chem to fix the problems.

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  18. Will you be addressing the other points made in the article? It seems that by focusing so heavily on the diversity issue while other ones mentioned seem more relevant to the state of organic synthesis, you're confirming what Hudlicky wrote about it completely

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  19. This is a great start, can we now begin to address the gender disparity in the research groups of the indignant former Angewandte International Advisory Board? Last I checked Frances Arnold is hovering around 15% female, Hartwig 25%, MacMillan 18%, Jacobsen 31%..... by contrast Thomas Hudlicky 54%

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    1. Spot on. Practice what you preach. Put your money where your mouth is. Etc...

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  20. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but this is what things look like to me:

    One person writes an article where it is suggested that people should be hired based on merit.
    As a result of his hiring practices, he has a very diverse group in terms of gender and ethnicity, or at least it seems so based on his lab photo.

    The two authors of this essay are outraged by the original author's opinions. Presumably they think hiring people for diversity is essential. Looking at their groups, there seems to be a significant lack of diversity.

    I can't help but think that something is off-kilter here.

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  21. I don't think you can criticize him for making unsubstantiated comments, and then imply women are discriminated against in academia which he benefited from with no evidence. What he's saying is obvious. It;s not ill-informed to advocate for treating candidates equally. This response is reactionary, completely un-self-aware and hypocritical.

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  22. To paraphrase the signs being carried and displayed during these trying times: "Tom Hudlicky's Life Matters!"

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  23. You claim Tom's views are ill-informed and lack any scientific basis, despite posting a largely emotional based and reactionary response which draws illogical conclusions from his remarks. His statements regarding the hiring process does not in any way dispute that there are struggles faced by women in scientific academia, there clearly is a disproportionate gap in the amount of tenured female academics vs. the proportion at undergraduate level. It is obvious there are circumstances in which women may be discriminated against, although the notion that the gap in representation is solely due to discrimination has no scientific basis. It is clear that here what Tom is trying to draw attention to is how do we measure the success of equality, which is a perfectly reasonable idea to question. As scientists, should we not question the methodology about how we measure the successes of what we are trying to achieve? Simply trying to achieve proportional distribution between sex across the field of chemistry that many seem to advocate for is questionable and does not account for both the biological and environmental differences between sex. There is a strong scientific case that these differences can lead to different choices and thus explain differences in representations across fields, as well as pay gap.[1-2] Even in the Nordic countries where they have gone even further than any other western societies to try and eliminate disproportionate representations of sex in fields, we see that while they minimise the differences in sex that result from environmental factors, the biological differences are maximised.[3-4] Thus, we see that men and women, do not naturally sort themselves proportionally amongst fields. It is clear that if we do not account for these other variables, then we may in fact may be causing harm in the process of striving for equity. Tom is advocating that we measure fairness between sex through equality of opportunity, and not equality of outcomes. In a bid to rid the disproportion, if one group is given preferential treatment in order to fill quotas, we may in some cases not be hiring on merit and thus putting others at a disadvantage. There are actually studies show that this is the case, in STEM specifically and in other industries.[5] In this study it is shown that women in STEM are now favoured 2:1 on tenure track, and as Tom pointed out himself, the number of women are growing. We see this outside of STEM too, for example, Google not too long ago had a push to ensure women were paid the same as men for the same type of work, in a subsequent review they found that they were actually paying men less for the same type of work. We are seeing this push for equal representation in fields across numerous sectors, and it appears in this rush we are forgetting how to measure equality. We even see this in the Canadian government, Trudeau announced that he would choose half of his cabinet to be females, which while it sounds great, it misses out the important facts previously addressed and in the cited literature. In fact he selected this 50% female cabinet from a pool of MPs that was comprised of only 25% women, thus statistically it is not likely he hired the best people for the job on merit. Clearly Tom hires on merit and does not hold any of the views that many of you believe he does, just look at the diversity of his own group. [1/3] references given in [3/3].

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    Replies
    1. [Continued] On another note, as someone mentioned above me you imply women are discriminated against in academia while he benefited from his "privilege". You have assumed he has been privileged in his career with no regard for any of the struggles he has faced during his life, purely on the fact he is a white male. Is ascribing a description of a group, to a group, based on the fact that the group is homogenous (with no founding might I add), not prejudice? In addition to this, the attack on the language choice of "master" and "apprentice" is purely a way to paint his character in bad light and thus take value away from his arguments. Clearly, master refers to the supervisor and apprentice the student, the word master simply signifies that the supervisor is a master of his craft who has a duty to train his apprentice in the field.

      I am simply shocked at the fact so many 'scientists' have taken a lot of what he has said out of context, and chucked labels at Tom for questioning how we measure equality. Unfortunately, we are see this culture of extreme political correctness and jumping to conclusions all too much in academia these days. It genuinely makes my heart sink that a man who clearly has had a large impact on the field through his research has been attacked in this manor, and his article removed. We can not have a conversation about how we measure equality without fear of being jumped on and effectively censored. The public look to our science to inform government policy and generate new ideas for new technology and thus should remain balanced and unbiased, as a PhD student myself I fear for the future of academia due to the politicisation of science and its growing Orwellian culture, its a shame to see this culture now extend to one of the most prestigious journals in Chemistry. I really hope, some of those involved in this incident go and actively look at literature and ideas that challenge their own, such as the ones below, for the sake of the future.

      References:

      [1] The Gender-Equality Paradox in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797617741719
      [2]The role of personality in individual differences in yearly earnings https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.09.038
      [3] https://science.sciencemag.org/content/362/6412/eaas9899
      [4] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ijop.12529
      [5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4418903/

      Delete
    2. Very thoughtful analysis, thanks. Perhaps if the above were contained in the essay with references and the proper caveats were pointed out it would have been received better by the community. The Essay as published was rather sloppy, open to alternative interpretations (the figure showing diversity as being a negative influence can't really be interpreted in any positive light no matter how you spin it), and should have used the same rigor the author insists on for experimental chemistry. It also made no sense given the title which was supposed to be a reflection on a review written in 1990 on the state of the field of organic synthesis.

      A key point here is, as a response to the original Seebach essay, it was a disaster. How this got past peer review is mind boggling. Please look up the original Seebach document. This is what a well thought out and referenced opinion piece can look like: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.199013201

      We note that there are many writing in defense of Hudlicky (see comments: https://cen.acs.org/research-integrity/ethics/Essay-criticizing-efforts-increase-diversity-in-organic-synthesis-deleted-after-backlash-from-chemists/98/web/2020/06) that are missing this basic point.

      Delete
    3. "...that are missing this basic point."

      Do you mean that those writing in Hudlicky's defense miss the point that the article he authored was not a very good one?

      I think many realize it is not a good essay, and others simply don't care because it is not particularly relevant. I can't recall seeing anyone claiming it was a great one.

      How much bad 'scientific' writing is published every month? A lot. Some of it in good journals. I think most scientists have got over that. In fact, most scientists have published a bad essay or two in their time, if they have been around for a while.

      I would argue that the quality of the essay is a very minor point here, and diverting attention to it is not intellectually honest.

      Delete
    4. *yawns* there's absolutely no reason to give out references at the end of your post if you never discussed them throughout your reply. When making claims, back them up with evidence and reference that evidence when you're making specific points. If you're disappointed that there was so much backlash, you clearly miss the fundamental basis of critical thinking which is expected out of tenured academics.

      Delete
  24. Another intrigued message in the subject: “Equity and Inclusion in the Chemical Sciences Requires Actions not Just Words” from Melanie S. Sanford, Associate Editor, Journal of the American Chemical Society, https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.0c06482 Herein, one can read: “At this stage, words and condemnation are not enough. Actions are needed. <…> Actively promote and advocate for women”
    And if you're squeamish, please look at the Sanford Group: 16 males + 3 female members) https://sites.lsa.umich.edu/msanford-lab/

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