Of late, many award-issuing organizations run by leftists have been instituting blatant quotas regarding race, ethnicity, sex, and sexual orientation in order to get around the notion of merit and to reward unqualified people instead. For example, in violation of U.S. law, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars each year, recently instituted hard identity quotas that films must meet in order to even be considered for the Best Picture award.
However, one prominent institution has decided to boldly stand out from the crowd and hold that merit will still rule the day when it issues awards—The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel Prizes in chemistry, physics, and economics. Goran Hansson, head of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, in an interview with the Agence France-Presse declared: “We have decided we will not have quotas for gender or ethnicity. We want every laureate to be accepted… because they made the most important discovery, and not because of gender or ethnicity.” Later in the interview he reiterated his committee’s commitment to merit: “In the end, we will give the prize to those who are found the most worthy, those who have made the most important contributions.”
Hansson stated that the committee had discussed establishing quotas for women but in the end decided against it because such action would denigrate the value of a Nobel Prize. Indeed, had the Committee decided to implement quotas based on sex, “it would be, we fear, considered that those laureates got the prize because they are women, not because they are the best.”
Importantly, Hanssen added that applying solely a standard of merit “is in line with the spirit of Alfred Nobel’s last will.” In his will Nobel created the prestigious awards named after him and set merit as the standard for winning them.
We should applaud the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Goran Hanssen for standing strong against the pull of radical leftists who are trying to make identity trump merit. Let us hope that his move will encourage other institutions around the world to likewise commit to enshrining achievement as the only standard to be used when judging people and organizations.