E. W. Tekwa
Hakai Postdoctoral Fellow
University of British Columbia
Meritocracy, Affirmative Action, and the American Dream
Academia does not represent the greater population but it is unknown what this implies for academia’s fairness and productivity. Existing measures of representation do not capture socioeconomic histories, and an intractable web of biological and social factors coupling representation and academic outcomes leaves us with ideologies. We can move both obstacles by modelling the biological and social processes across most conceivable conditions, including those that produce high-merit lineages, and predict how openly accessible measures of surname representation vary with fairness and academic productivity. Harvard and US population data coupled to model provide multiple lines of evidence that meritocracy is impossible without representation, that US academia is far from meritocracy, and that individual-based affirmative action almost certainly benefits society and individual justice.