Well, I have already made my opinion on statistics as a discipline well known, so I will leave that alone for now. I will start by saying that some of the questions asked were very misleading and probably designed to show what these researchers wanted them to. In order to establish a clear pattern of discrimination against conservatives, which this paper does not (it only mentions hypothetical scenarios that are not all that representative of real life situations such as the hiring a liberal vs a conservative), they would also need to establish that the people being polled would not treat liberally biased research and researchers the same way, which was not done, they just assumed that to be the case(page 6), which is bad science.
For instance, if I were asked if I would unfavorably review a paper or a grant application with a ?politically conservative perspective" (page 5), I would emphatically say yes. I would also say yes if you replace “conservative” with “liberal,” as would any honest scientist. The fact that that question was not also asked in the study raises some serious doubts about the validity of this paper. In any scientific article, the study should be designed independent of the personal opinions of the researcher and any sign of bias can and should result in the dismissal of the research. The fourth question is meaningless since questions about political leanings are not part of the hiring process in real life, so the opinions expressed are meaningless and the fourth question is as well since the study already established that most conservatives keep their views to themselves, which they should just like liberals, so it is unlikely that that situation would occur in real life. On page 6, the authors tries to address these issues with their research, but their reasoning for not doing these things amounts to nothing and does not stand up at all. In fact, one sentence in their section on this is “Liberals are much more negative toward work with a conservative perspective.” which was not tested in this study and is pure biased conjecture.
All this study really established is that liberals prefer to be around liberals, and that there are not a lot of conservatives in this field, which was already known. I wonder if the respondents who identified as conservative chose that, all else being equal, they would prefer to hire a conservative. Overall, this was a useless study that did not show any actual discrimination within a given field and may have even been conducted dishonestly.