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Medium – The truth has got its boots on: what the evidence says about Mr. Damore’s Google memo

I’m saying, sir, that a lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on. — Terry Pratchett, The Truth

The truth has got its boots on: what the evidence says about Mr. Damore’s Google memo by Erin Giglio, PhD student and MeFite at UT Austin working on singing mice (Scotinomys). August 19, 2017.
“Introduction – So there’s this memo that’s been bouncing around the internet from a Mr. James Damore over at Google, in which he outlines his manifesto against diversity interventions. This gentleman apparently chose to post this piece, which is insulting on a variety of levels and framed in the language of biology and behavior, to the company-wide listserv, where it predictably incited inflamed and angry responses. Many folks much more eloquent and succinct have already explained why Mr. Damore’s action was not acceptable, and I suggest you go and read them all. But I want to go into a little more detail about an aspect of his piece that hasn’t yet been covered in great depth: the actual biology he references so enthusiastically and confidently. Well. It hasn’t been covered in depth with respect to this memo, anyway, at the time at which I am beginning to write this. We’ll get to that. Unfortunately gender is, as with many things in life, more complicated than it seems at first blush. Since Mr. Damore has enthusiastically co-opted biology and science generally to make his claims, I wanted to see how they stand up in the context of the actual evidence. Let’s take a moment to introduce myself and lay out some explanation for the tacks I intend to take. After all, you’re not my colleagues. If you don’t care about that, though, feel free to skip it entirely and get straight to the biological analysis. If this is all looking too wordy for you, you should feel free to skip down here to the bit where I just list a lot of other good but considerably shorter think pieces which cover other aspects of this memo in solid detail. If you’re looking for a specific piece of the whole, there is a helpful Table of Contents right here. (And an editor’s note: I’ve fixed the linking on the footnotes so that clicking on any citation should now pull you right down to the footnote in question, and clicking on the number next to it should bring you right back.)…”

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