It’s hard to keep track of the supporting arguments these days, yet the overall policy proposal is always the same. From Nature:
EDITORIAL 06 JUNE 2018
Improving the participation of under-represented groups is not just fairer — it could produce better research.
Lab groups, departments, universities and national funders should encourage participation in science from as many sectors of the population as possible. It’s the right thing to do — both morally and to help build a sustainable future for research that truly represents society.
A more representative workforce is more likely to pursue questions and problems that go beyond the narrow slice of humanity that much of science (biomedical science in particular) is currently set up to serve. Widening the focus is essential if publicly funded research is to protect and preserve its mandate to work to improve society. For example, a high proportion of the research that comes out of the Western world uses tissue and blood from white individuals to screen drugs and therapies for a diverse population. Yet it is well known that people from different ethnic groups can have different susceptibility to some diseases.
And yet Carl Zimmer’s new book on heredity She Has Her Mother’s Laugh, explains that genetic variation is so trifling — a mere 15%! — that we should just ignore race.
Which is it?