Truly nothing is off the table in politics today. Nonetheless, Ed Sector’s Carey plows on and has a new chart that you can trust getting at the difference between the desire to choose a career in science and the ability to do so. Over at TPM Matthew Yglesias wonders whether the “nerd” factor might be at play here, too. It’s a legitimate point because there is some evidence about the effect of various stereotypes. The President raised the nerd issue the other day in NM saying that science was important not just something for the “nerd patrol.” But, it wasn’t the first time, he also played the nerd card in 2002 to devastating effect. But, seriously, if you read his remarks, in both cases he was trying, granted in his own unique way, to make a good point. From ’02:
Or you hear students saying, don’t take the tough courses, it will make you a nerd. You’re missing out if that’s the way you think. See, you’re missing an opportunity. It’s an opportunity lost. It is not in your self-interest that you think for such low standards. And I want the parents of this state and across the country to understand that the minimum isn’t acceptable for your children.