Washington University’s physics department made an offer to Maria Piarulli.
Over the course of the past month, a member of our physics department has taken to the columns of Student Life to opine on the place of diversity and women in physics. His polemic engendered quite the furor, and, in such light, we recognized the need to make clear to the Washington University community and beyond our explicit goals for rectifying the department’s lack of diversity.
I provided references for my statements about the reliability of published, peer-reviewed studies in my submission to Student Life, but Student Life chose not to print them. Here they are:
How dare Professor Jonathan Katz minimize the very real experiences of my nonwhite or nonmale colleagues who have braved incredible obstacles and curmudgeonly old professors—Katz most certainly included—to come to and thrive at Washington University.
Studies have shown that Jonathan Katz may, in fact, be a steaming pile of trash.
The College of Arts & Sciences released an open letter reaffirming its commitment to policies of diversity and inclusion Thursday, placing special emphasis on applying these policies to the physics department—which currently has received criticism no tenured or tenured-track female professors.
I don’t have much of a place commenting on the status of discrimination in the physics department as a student in another department, so I’m not going to do that with this piece.
“Studies have shown” without bibliographic details has no weight as evidence; Jen McLish does this twice in her article.
We may never know why there are so few women in the physics department. It’s one of life’s great unanswerable questions, like “what is the meaning of life?” and “how does Professor Katz still have a job?”
My wife was a student (undergraduate and graduate) and research staff member of the physics department for about a decade and did not find it an “uncomfortable place for women.”