..or alternatively is there hard evidence that they don't ?
This is a claim made by several at Heterodox Academy and one that resurfaces regularly in conservative media. This paper has been widely cited as evidence that there is, but it only measured willingness to discriminate against rather than actual discrimination, besides it only looked at one particular field (social psychology). I did not find any evidence other than an accumulation of anedoctal evidence that non-leftwing people face discrimination in academia.
- Note that I said "non-leftwing" rather than "non-liberal" because I want to extend the question beyond the US alone (even though it's where the issue is the hottest). Note also that I said "non-leftwing" rather than "rightwing" to take into account people with controversial views that do not fit nicely on a left-right spectrum (e.g. genetic engineering)
- That liberal/left-wing people are a majority in academia, particularily in the humanities, has been established several times but mere numerical representation alone is not evidence of discrimination since it could be due to self-selection or, more provcatively, non-liberal/leftwing people being too dumb/stupid to be in academia.
- To not make the claim too broad I limited the question to discrimination (stuff like hiring decisions, paper publication, etc...) between academicians and put aside professor-on-student or student-on-student discrimination.