Conservatives often complain about the bias of universities and they are right. This bias is not only real, but detrimental to the discovery of truth, the purpose of the university system. To see how bad the bias is, let us look back to a 2007 survey by a Harvard and George Mason professor on how staff at universities identify politically. In only three of the seven general groups surveyed conservatives broke twenty percent and they did not break thirty percent in any group. This bias is worst in the social science and humanities, exactly where this bias could cause the most damage. Below the table shows the breakdown in different fields of research. Highlighted are the social sciences and humanities. When you focus in on the most important ones (economics, political science, history and criminal justice) the bias becomes clear. In only two of these fields did the percentage of professors identifying as Republican cross ten percent and only economics got near thirty percent (no surprise since taking more economics classes makes you more likely to be republican).
But is this really bad? Can it not just be a result of smarter people tending to be liberals? No. Take this one example. A 2012 study looking into political diversity in social and personality psychology found that the “more liberal respondents were, the more they said they would discriminate.” Furthermore, there is no evidence to say that Republicans are less qualified than Democrats to be in academia. Looking at the most elite American institutions, as rated by the University of Pennsylvania, is is clear that much of the list consists of right-leaning institutes. But is the bias bad? Yes, it is. If nothing else, it creates bubbles between right-wing academics and left-wing academics. These are the people who are working on answers to the world’s problems and to find truth. It is easy to discover wrong answers when there is no one to challenge you.