But why would you, why should you, care if an engineer is a racial or ethnic minority? Why does it matter if the scientist working on a cancer cure is Hispanic, deaf, or a lesbian?
All this race-based activity by a government agency raises two fundamental questions not addressed in the Chronicle article: Why is it necessary, and Why is it legal?
It is certainly necessary for the NIH not to discriminate against minorities, but why is it necessary to discriminate in favor of them? The only justification for race-based preferential treatment that has survived Supreme Court review is "diversity," i.e., that whites, Asians, and others must be exposed to the "difference" embodied by blacks and Hispanics in order to get a good education. But how, as I have asked here and here, will having a few more black mathematicians or engineers "enrich research and scholarship"? To whom will they provide exactly what "diversity"? Despite the NIH having a new officer in charge of "scientific-work-force diversity," these programs, like so many "diversity" efforts, have nothing at all to do with diversity and everything to do with simply targeting blacks for preferential treatment to get their numbers up.