Recently, a new organization has sprung up, the Association for Mathematical Research. If you were to just browse the web pages, nothing seems immediately amiss. Indeed, how can one argue against its mission to “support mathematical research and scholarship”? I sure can’t. Then again, it seems to overlap with the American Math Society (AMS) mission to “further the interests of mathematical research and scholarship”. Indeed, many view AMR as a blatant negative response towards efforts by AMS and others aimed at making mathematics more diverse and inclusive. I want to provide pointers to what I consider to be red flags.
- Two of the three AMR Officers have publicly expressed views
that are antithetical to increasing diversity and promoting inclusion in mathematics (*)
- Rob Kirby of UC Berkeley claims sexism does not exist in mathematics
- Abigail Thompson of UC Davis equates diversity statements to McCarthy era loyalty oaths
- Not surpsingly, the AMR Board of Directors is not very diverse.
I speak not of gender or race here but of even lower hanging fruit.
Out of 11 boards members…
- 11 (100%) are affiliated with universities in North America
- 10 (91%) are affiliated with universities in the US
- 5 (45%) are affiliated with universities in California
- 2 (18%) have the same last name
- 11 (100%) are from academia (but this is just the applied mathematician in me complaining)
- Likewise, out of 3 officers…
- 3 (100%) are topologists
- 3 (100%) are affiliated with University of California
- 2 (67%) are from UC Davis
- The AMR is already accepting donations, but it has no charter or bylaws in evidence on its website.
- The AMR has no statements regarding its intentions with respect to diversity and inclusion.
(*) I have not linked to the AMR wesbite, but it is easy to find or see the PDF of the page listing the offiers and board members. Nor have I linked to the statements by Kirby or Thompson because I do not want to link to views that are so contradictory to my own. These views and the reactions to them are not hard to find. Kirby’s can be found on his website, and Thompson’s piece appeared in AMS Notices.
I think it is easy to read the mission statement of the AMR and find nothing offensive. But I look at the people involved and what is missing in the mission statement and guiding principles, and I’m deeply concerned. For the sake of the field of mathematics, please do not encourage this organization in any way. Do not link to their web site, do not join, do not follow their Twitter feed, etc.
As of the date of this posting, AMR is still in the organization phase. Things may change in the future, and I will try to update this post as they evolve.