From George Will’s recent column on gender politics: “At Bryn Mawr, 4 percent of 2010 graduates majored in chemistry, 2 percent in computer science. At Smith, half of 1 percent were physics majors; 1.4 percent majored in computer science. In 2009 at Barnard, one third of 1 percent majored in physics and astronomy.”
But does he cherry pick the data? What is the percentage of physics majors at Bryn Mawr (it is apparently about 3%)? Chemistry majors at Smith? Chemistry and computer science at Barnard? Should these numbers be surprising for liberal arts schools? And what do they actually tell us (and do they tell us what Will thinks they tell us)?