Science “studies” helping bring down science

April 12, 2022 • 10:00 am

Those of us who want our science free of ideology can only stand by helplessly as we watch physics, chemistry, and biology crumble from within as the termites of Wokeism nibble away. I once thought that scientists, whom I presumed would be less concerned than humanities professors with ideological pollution (after all, we do have some objective facts to argue about), would be largely immune to Wokeism.

I was wrong, of course. It turns out that scientists are human beings after all, and with that goes the desire for the approbation of one’s peers and of society.  And you don’t get that if you’re deemed a racist. You can even be criticized from holding yourself away from the fray, preferring to do science than engage in social engineering. (Remember, Kendi-an doctrine says that if you’re not an actively working anti-racist, you’re a racist.)

There’s no clearer sign of science’s ideological pollution than the institution of required DEI statements for getting an academic job or getting promoted, along with the elimination of standardized tests for students going into graduate study in STEM. The DEI statements violate “viewpoint neutrality” and turn science into a form of social engineering, with the engineering supposed to go in a preferred direction. But as Stanley Fish said (a book title): “Save the World on Your Own Time.”

And everybody knows, though few dare to say it, that what’s happening is the erosion of the meritocratic aspects of science, replacing them with standards of social justice determined by a small group of “progressive” people on the Left. Further, the less that merit is considered and used as a fundamental tenet of science, the slower science will progress. But I suppose the proponents of injecting Wokeism into science would say “merit is an outdated criterion; what we really need is equity.” Perhaps, but the effort is all directed at calling present science riddled with “structural racism.” And that’s not true.

But I digress. What I didn’t realize until I revisited this article—the centerpiece of a short post by Lawrence Krauss on his Substack site—is that science is being undermined not just by woke scientists, but by those in “science studies,” like the authors of the paper at hand. I had read it a while back, and intended to post on it, but decided that I can’t spend all my time calling out ludicrous Woke articles. Well, I’m glad Krauss did mention this one. First, read his short post by clicking on the screenshot below:

One of Krauss’s colleagues sent him the paper. He reproduces the title and abstract, and I will, too, but my screenshot links to the paper, which has a free pdf you can download here. Krauss notes that the paper comes from The Physics Review, but it’s actually from Physical Review Physics Education Research. It’s not a physics journal per se, but a journal about physics education.

Voilà:

First author Amy Robertson is a physicist whose job is apparently curricular development and testing; as her page at Seattle Pacific University notes,

Dr. Robertson is PI of the federally funded grant, “Collaborative Research: University Student Conceptual Resources for Understanding Physics.” This project seeks to identify student resources for understanding forces and mechanical waves in the context of introductory physics instruction and to develop and test curricular materials that build on student resources. She is co-PI of two additional grants, one that studies elementary teacher learning about energy, and one that identifies best-practices for creating inclusive physics learning environments.

Your tax dollars at work.

Hairston’s c.v. shows him to be engaged in many things—mostly in the equity business—but not in physics research:

A noted speaker, consultant, researcher, minister, and lecturer, Tali’s capacity for multi-sector work is most realized in the variety of organizations and projects that seek his involvement. His expertise is in the work of organizational culture, equity-inclusive learning, and the intersections of public policy and community development. As a researcher, Hairston is contracted to do university physics and equity research work under several National Science Foundation grants. He travels nationally and internationally advising community development and social change work.

And I cannot emphasize enough how bad the paper is. Have a butcher’s. First, read the abstract above, and then have a look here.

The first paragraph sets the tone:

Critical Race Theory names that racism and white supremacy are endemic to all aspects of U.S. society, from employment to schooling to the law [1–7]. We see the outcomes of this in, for example, differential incarceration rates, rates of infection and death in the era of COVID, and police brutality. We also see the outcomes of this in physics.

And in the short incident analyzed at great length in this paper. The entire paper is, in fact, a lengthy and tendentious exegesis of six minutes of observing a presentation by three physics students, seen as “a case of whiteness”:

In this paper, we analyze a case of whiteness as social organization from an introductory physics course at a large public institution in the Western United States. We use the analytic markers from Sec. II to illustrate how whiteness shows up in this context, and we identify and discuss a number of mechanisms of control that co-produce whiteness in the six-minute episode of classroom interaction. We draw on tools of interaction analysis [59], including discourse, gesture, and gaze analysis, to unpack how whiteness is being constituted locally or interactionally. Our hope is that illustrating whiteness as social organization can contribute to readers’ awareness of and vision for disrupting and transforming this social organization in their own contexts [56,60] and support other researchers who want to do similar analyses.

Gaze analysis!

Three pseudonymous students, who self-identify as white (Gail), Hispanic (Paris), and Middle Eastern (Drake), are given a task to work together to present a physics problem to a class:

In this episode, Paris, Drake, and Gail have been tasked with constructing an answer to a series of questions about heat capacity. In particular, they have been asked to construct an energy interaction diagram (see Fig. 2) for measuring the heat capacity of a big bucket of water. They are then asked to use their energy interaction diagram and the definition of heat capacity to develop an algebraic relationship relating the change in thermal energy to the change in temperature and the heat capacity.

In the episode, Paris, Drake, and Gail work together as a small group in an introductory physics course at a large public institution in the Western U.S. The course draws extensively on physics-education research-based methods, and course meetings often alternate between small- and whole-group discussion, with students collaboratively constructing answers to questions .  in their groups and then sharing out to the whole class. Whiteboards feature prominently in the course; what is represented on the group’s whiteboard is often what gets oriented to in the large-group share-out.

There’s a footnote:

4 Middle Eastern is considered white according to U.S. federally mandated race categories [71], but middle Eastern people in the U.S. are subjected to and oppressed by white supremacy and Islamophobia [72]

Then the students interact, and it seems that Drake makes himself (and is seen by the teacher) as the center of attention. This is the six-minute “centering of whiteness”:

We argue that it is whiteness as social organization that makes Paris, Gail, Drake, and Iris’ behavior sensible. Within whiteness as social organization, there is a center that has been ascribed transcendent value; all else is, in effect, marginal. In this context, it makes sense that the EID, standing in for correctness and/or physics, will capture the attention of the actors, and it also makes sense that the person closest to it (by consensus or by force) would also receive the most attention. Activity that is not seen as productive toward these ends would also be seen as less valuable, highlighting ways in which whiteness and capitalism intersect. Whiteness makes “normal” this interactional unfolding, prompting questions like, “What else could have been done?” Importantly, here, whiteness masks that: there are many ways (not just Drake’s or even the prescribed, endorsed way) to construct the EID, many representations for the energy dynamics of this scenario, many ways to understand the heating of water (including those outside of traditional physics), etc. The point is not that Drake’s EID has no value; the point is that the space has been organized such that the EID and those closest to it have value at the exclusion of all else.

When I reread the paper (it’s been a long time), I thought to myself, “No, they’re not going to use whiteboards as an example of white supremacy!” But they did (my emphasis

3. Whiteboards

Entangled with the above is the use of whiteboards as a primary pedagogical tool. Though whiteboards have been shown to have a number of affordances when they are used as a collaborative tool that all members have access to [88], in this episode, they also play a role in reconstituting whiteness as social organization. In particular, whiteboards display written information for public consumption; they draw attention to themselves and in this case support the centering of an abstract representation and the person standing next to it, presenting. They collaborate with white organizational culture [89], where ideas and experiences gain value (become more central) when written down.’

I wonder what the authors would have said had the presentation been on a blackboard.

And the obligatory conclusion to the paper, flaunting virtue and mentioning the obligatory “harm” that can be caused by the observed six-minute interaction. And believe me, there are many sources of harm:

As we dream, and as we wait for whiteness as social organization to be dismantled, we can work to reduce harm in the spaces we move and work. Harm reduction, as a framework, acknowledges that white supremacy, patriarchy, classism, fatmisia, transmisia, ableism, xenophobia, and myriad other systems of oppression infuse space and structures and are a part of our socialization. Paired with real-time repair, harm reduction provides support and accountability in the midst of this reality, inviting us to be humans in process and in community and offering space and support to see and respond to harm [100]. Harm reduction, then, lives in the interstitial space between not yet, without giving up on what could be.

But Drake isn’t white: he identifies as “Middle Eastern”! It’s Gail who “presents as white.”  In fact, the whole six-minute scenario, analyzed in tedious Critical Theory detail over pages and pages, is simply a post facto confirmation of the authors’ CRT biases. It is not a piece of science, for there is no hypothesis to be tested. There are only confirmation of the authors’ biases.  It is tendentious, tedious, and offensive. In fact, the authors even include long statement of their “positionalities” showing their ideologies and backgrounds—and, perhaps unwittingly, devaluing any objectivity to the paper. I’ve put the entire positionality statement below the fold, but here’s the first bit of Robertson’s “positionality”:

Authors’ positionalities.—Robertson is a chronically ill and disabled, physics-Ph.D.-holding, thin wealthy white woman. Her analysis and writing were shaped by these identities, including her “insider” status in physics: because of her socialization in the discipline, she is able to name and make sense of physics values, representations, and practices.

Can’t we judge the “research”—although this isn’t research, but post facto justification—from the description of the work alone? Do we need the authors to give us their bona fides at length in the paper?

But enough. This is the second time I’ve gone through the paper, and it’s even worse than the first time. Note that although one author has physics training, this is not a physics paper but a physics study paper. Yet it’s in a physics-related journal, and could influence others who teach physics. It’s this kind of nonsense that explains why science itself, nibbled around the edges by termites, is going downhill.

Here’s a bit of what Krauss says:

That this got published in a peer-reviewed physics journal is what makes this so surprising.  It means there is something fundamentally wrong with the system, and it isn’t systemic racism.  It is sheer stupidity combined with lethargy.

The natural tendency of academics, and scientists in particular, is to ignore this kind of nonsense and focus on their own work.   But once the bar gets this low, and the flood waters are rising, you can be certain a lot of nasty effluence will be flowing out as well.    And with the pressing need for better physics education at all levels (that is, better ways to actually teach physics), this garbage filling up journals and taking away precious research resources means that there is less room for the good stuff.

The standards of a field are determined by the practitioners in the field.  That means it is about time that physicists started doing something about it.

Well, besides the fact that this is not a physics journal but a physics education journal, Krauss is right. He doesn’t pull any punches, and I agree that this kind of craziness leads to the displacement of good stuff— including ideology-free physics teaching.

But this doesn’t just displace the good stuff, it replaces the good stuff, turning regular physics into social engineering. And it’s not just in physics: we have plenty of examples in chemistry and biology. I’ve written about some of these, but don’t want to overload this website with this kind of stuff. Still, if you’re not in the sciences yourself, you do need to know what’s going on.

Click “read more” to see the authors’ “positionalities”:

From the paper:

Authors’ positionalities.—Robertson is a chronically ill and disabled, physics-Ph.D.-holding, thin wealthy white woman. Her analysis and writing were shaped by these identities, including her “insider” status in physics: because of her socialization in the discipline, she is able to name and make sense of physics values, representations, and practices.

For most of Robertson’s life, whiteness (including whiteness as social organization) has been invisible to her; this invisibility is rooted in part in the hegemony of whiteness and in Robertson’s position of power within white-dominant culture [36,51]. Her efforts to “make whiteness visible” in the writing of this paper, then, reflect her position as a learner and as a white person; in writing this paper, she is sharing her in-progress learning, as someone who is waking up to the world as it is, with gratitude for the support of Friends, Scholars, and Activists of Color. Her position as a learner about whiteness has been deeply informed by her own marginalization and oppression as a chronically ill person. Because she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at the very young age of 2, she has no memories of the world that are not painfully marked by ableism. Though ableism and white supremacy are different, systems of oppression overlap and share mechanisms of control and dominance (Fig. 1); ableism and racism are both “normalizing processes that are interconnected and collusive” [65] (e.g., the discourses used to marginalize People of Color often rely on ableist narrations). In reading work by Scholars and Activists of Color, Robertson has felt resonances that have helped her to name and identify ableist harm and oppression in her own life, at both institutional and interpersonal levels. In turn, she understands racialized harm and oppression from her (chronically ill) standpoint. Further, she stands with Freire [66], Lorde [67], and others in asserting that whiteness and white supremacy harm us all (as does ableism), and that our liberation is bound up in one another’s. Robertson sees this paper as one piece of her effort to join the collective struggle for liberation from white supremacy.

Hairston is an African American male and lifelong learner, researcher, and educator of equity-inclusive frameworks. Educationally, Hairston was shaped by his diverse urban upbringing in a religious community. Experientially, he was greatly influenced by his work in community development in the global south. Hairston identifies with the larger historical narrative of pre-enslavement and precolonial African rootedness. For this project Hairston brings forward equity in education that is not centered in white normativity.

As one impacted by white identity in education both personally and professionally, Hairston relates to those systems that decentered his way of knowing and being. Education was an external performance that required translation into less harmful and traumatizing processes. Such processes countered the identity narratives pervasive in public education, especially during the days of busing in the United States. The double consciousness first alluded to by African American intellectual and statesman DuBois in the 1903 classic, The Souls of Black Folk [40], rightly codifies Hairston’s lived and learned reality. DuBois describes the twoness as a sociocultural construct that is unreconciled and lacking resolve. Hairston uses such awareness in his equity research and attempts to provide such a worldview to the reader of this paper.

 

 

70 thoughts on “Science “studies” helping bring down science

  1. Somebody did their homework:

    “Where does the money come from? Seattle Pacific University is really a seminary, not a research university. Yet over the past decade, it has pulled in $6 million from the National Science Foundation, distributed over 11 grants—an impressive record for such a small institution. Of those 11 grants, Robertson has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on seven, pulling in a total of $5.2 million in research funding, or 86 percent of Seattle Pacific University’s total haul of NSF funding. “

    https://www.city-journal.org/national-science-foundation-funds-politicized-dei-research

    1. I wonder how they spend this money on research that does not include microscopes, reagents, lasers etc. atributes of “white” actual science. They can buy some computers and software and books and subscribe to libraries and pay publication fees but how exactly do you spend millions on this?

  2. Such work labels as “white” everything that is essential to the prosperity of a modern, technology-based society. That is, maths, logic, precision, evidence, reasoning, accuracy, clarity, et cetera, are all regarded as “white”. Whereas the stuff assigned to being “of colour” is vague waffle about feelings, usually involving the word “holistic”.

    This is a recipe for those “of colour” being a permanent underclass, never earning their way in a technology-based society. Thankfully, the Asian world is having no truck with it, and adopts the same “white” attitudes that lead to success. Those who will lose out will be, of course, the people “of colour” in the West.

    First author Amy Robertson is a physicist …

    She doesn’t seem to be. Her PhD is in “physics education”, not physics, and per CV does not list any first-author publication that looks like actual physics.

    I suspect that a lot of this comes down to “science envy” from woke people who are not, themselves, up to coping with actual science.

  3. I read a fair bit of the Drake/Gail/Paris episode and it struck me that the narrative could just have easily been leading up to the patriarchal nature of physics since it was obviously focusing on the fact that it was Drake at the whiteboard and he was “white”. He was also male.

    As for the bit about whiteboards, I don’t think there was any inference drawn from the fact that whiteboards are white and the noun contains the word “white”. What they are talking about is the idea that whoever is at the whiteboard is the centre of and controls the conversation. This is true as anybody who has been in such a discussion knows. It’s just one of the dynamics of meetings.

    I think their point is that this dynamic is somehow indicative of whiteness (and also the patriarchy) and that makes it a tool to oppress minorities. I think that is nonsense as is most of the paper. It may just be indicative of the fact that Drake was sitting closest to the whiteboard when they started. It would be interesting to see the results of repeating this with different combinations of race and gender and different seating positions for each person at the start. But, of course they didn’t do this, they cherry picked one example that fits their narrative (but not perfectly, as you pointed out).

    1. It’s a bit much to claim Drake is “white” (think Rachel Dolezal). Also to claim Drake is male. What’s with that? These days… you can be whatever you want to be. 😉 😉 😉

  4. Many university STEM departments have acquired antechambers which do not deal with the subject itself, but rather with its pedagogy—for example, programs in Mathematics Education, typically staffed by academics with little or no competence in the subject itself, but who claim special expert knowledge (and publish papers) about how to teach it. Aside from the bogus grants NSF provides in this area, there is plenty of consulting money for the eager practitioner. One example is Jo Boaler of Mathematics Education at Stanford, one of the authors of the woke-leaning California Mathematics Framework. Professor Boaler has developed an impressively lucrative sideline as a consultant to California school boards (see https://stanfordreview.org/boaler-professor/ ).
     
    In view of Professor Boaler’s successes, I have devised a new academic program to train students in the construction of Mathematics Education programs, and in how to write business plans for their exploitation. My new program is called Mathematics Education Education. The new program will reside (intersectionally, of course) at once in the School of Ed, the Business School, and the Liberal Arts faculty.   Needless to say, the Liberal Arts branch will pursue scholarship in the Postcolonial Critical Theory of Mathematics Education Education.     

    1. 🙂

      Plus forward looking papers titled ‘Whither Postcolonial Critical Theory of Mathematics Education Education’.

  5. I can remember in the first iteration of Political Correctness more than 20 years ago that ‘blackboards’ were considered to be politically incorrect. Oh how we laughed.

    Now in this iteration of Political Correctness, dubbed Wokeism, ‘whiteboards’ are problematical.

    I guess in another 20 years ‘greyboards’ will be too middle-of-the-road to be acceptable?

    1. Back in my university days, I seem to recall a fair number of chalkboards that were green in color. I wonder how those fit in. Of course, the chalk is still white, so I guess we’re all screwed.

      1. I liked to use orange chalk with the green boards. Better contrast, and a nice tribute to Northern Irish marchers in that day.

  6. 3 students!?! Quite anecdotal.

    What most annoys me about such work is that there really could be social biases worth looking at here, but this sort of research is so terrible that it brings the whole research area into disrepute and likely undermines any other more serious effort.

    Even if we took it seriously, it seems to invoke the “when women’s issues conflict with other liberal issues, women lose” adage. I really don’t believe the author has any credible conclusion to show here, but for sake of argument let’s say she does. The author spends zero time thinking about the implications of her own finding and what it means when (a) she asserts whites are preferred as speakers but (b) when the one white person in the group is a woman, she is not chosen as the speaker. Seems like you missed a pretty big point there, Prof Robertson.

  7. Krauss: “The natural tendency of academics, and scientists in particular, is to ignore this kind of nonsense and focus on their own work. But once the bar gets this low, and the flood waters are rising, you can be certain a lot of nasty effluence will be flowing out as well.” The problem he points out began
    long before this ludicrous article. Academics ignored the nonsense, and allowed the lowering of the bar, when they welcomed into academia whole bogus departments, fake disciplines, and the make-believe charades of scholarship exposed by the Sokal and Sokal squared experiments. Nothing was done about
    academic con-games comparable to astrology and dianetics, and the flood waters kept rising.

    1. Nothing was done after the Sokal hoax or the Lindsay/Pluckrose hoax or after Title IX was turned into a ‘sentence first, verdict afterwards’ Inquisition or after the embarrassing meltdowns at places like Yale, Evergreen, Oberlin etc, and nothing will ever be done if we have to rely on academia or the liberals who run it (and I say this as a liberal).
      The postmodern Critical Theorists have cleared the field of their opponents because they’ve seized the moral high ground and have convinced everyone (themselves first and foremost) that everything they say and do is on behalf of the Oppressed, and everyone who doesn’t bend the knee to them is a backwards hateful -phobic bigot. This is why liberals have been defanged and cannot fight back: they’ve been conditioned to believe that anyone who publicly disagrees with a Crit Theorist is nothing but a racist or Republican, and as this could be social death they know to keep their heads down and their mouths shut.
      Woke is a direct assault on our civil liberties, on the good-faith conversations necessary to maintain a civilized society, on the integrity of art and science and scholarship.
      I voted for a Democrat or Socialist in every election from 1992-2016, for Nader and Kucinich and Bernie multiple times, but in 2024 I will vote for Ron DeSantis or Benito Mussolini or Hannibal Lecter, as long as they promise to wage a full Dewokeification campaign.
      These people are hateful and destructive and they need to be fought and defeated.

          1. But would you vote for Donald Trump? It’s entirely possible that he will run again in 2024.

            And what did you expect to be “done” after Sokal or Lindsay? Congressional hearings? These were basically fraud, and far worse fraud with potential serious effects happens from time to time in e.g. medical research. Why should everyone run around like their hair’s on fire if some humanities publication gets hoaxed, when people can literally die from falsified medical data? Perhaps consider this in perspective when you determine who to vote for.

      1. Go ahead and vote for those awful politicians if you must but surely you don’t think they are our best weapons against the Woke, do you? They are only using the issue to gain political power. If they reach office, they’ll do a lot of awful things, most of which won’t have anything to do with battling the Woke. Doesn’t that worry you? It sure does me.

        1. Absolutely. I’m reminded of the quote (I forget who said it): “When you gaze into the anti-woke abyss, you find James Lindsay gazing back at you.” (Lindsay = anti-woke activist who used to have smart and interesting things to say, but then turned into a 100% pro-Trump conspiracy theorist)

          1. Have you seen James Lindsay brandishing his huge sword? He has no perspective on himself.

            There are all sorts of surprising transformations. I was surprised to learn that David Mamet has put himself under Trump’s spell. Check out David Frum’s article on him:

    1. Affordance is a term used in cognitive psychology and AI as a catchall for things humans perceive as things we can interact with. A chair is an affordance because we perceive it as a thing on which we can sit.

      1. I was translating a French text the other day (it’s what I do for a living) which concluded that the affordances inherent in videoconferencing technology (e.g. zoom) give that technology “agency” to influence political processes. This language is founded in actor-network theory. In fact, the article made the perfectly reasonable point that the use of zoom in political discussion lends itself better to informational and technical communication than to negotiation and the confrontation of ideas, but the point was somewhat obscured by the language mandated by the theory.

    1. It’s less hilarious when you remember that NSF money is limited, and grants are extremely competitive. I’m sure lots of people applied for funding to do actual science and were turned down, while this garbage got funded.

      1. If you have interesting research to do, then you may have no other option than to take a job and do the research in your spare time like those folks did until the nineteenth century. I am not wasting my time on trying to get budgets.

        1. I’m no physicist but I’d guess that the kind of home-made apparatus that pre-nineteenth century experimenters were able to use to advance the science of physics probably wouldn’t cut it nowadays given the state of advancement of the science and the kind of data required to test current hypotheses. You’d need very deep pockets indeed to self-fund the type of equipment used on many projects nowadays.

          1. I am not a physicist either, but I am doing a research project in economics, so for me, it is feasible. And because I am not an academic researcher, it is better to do it like so. I never get a budget, even though the theory I am working on appears promising. It is of the magnitude of Keynes and a possible paradigm shift in economics, so it may be hard to convince the establishment that I am on to something.

            1. Ah well – if you are developing new theoretical models perhaps all you need is a quiet space to think through your ideas. I was thinking more along the lines of experimental science where lab space and fancy equipment are often required. Good luck with developing your ideas!

      2. Extremely competitive. Over here, the government rejects granting thousands of funds on equitable, inclusion grounds, while it awards millions to further non-science in science:

        “Around the same time that Kambhampati’s latest application was turned down, another arm of the government, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, gave Dr. Lana Ray, a professor at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., a $1.2-million grant to study cancer prevention using traditional Indigenous healing practices. When the award was announced, Ray said “We need to stop framing prevalent risk factors of cancer as such and start thinking about them as symptoms of colonialism.””

        Basically, over a million dollars to study the benefits of smudging in relation to treating lung cancer patients. Our authorities simply have no concept of money or the advancement of knowledge.

  8. So certain areas of inquiry are off limits because they harm “science”? Sure sounds like your conception of science is inherently political. An apolitical approach to science, were it possible for such a thing to exist, would definitionally allow inquiry of any sort.

    1. Who said that these areas of inquiry are off limits. I said they harmed science and they are stupid. I didn’t say this paper should be banned.

      Read about Lysenko and how his ideology hurt science.

      I’m afraid have no idea what you’re talking about. But this is a typical rude first comment from someone who didn’t read the Roolz.

    2. You can’t just call anything “science.” This is a paper larded with jargon and magically divined “meaning” from six minutes of a presentation. Did you read any of the paper? If so, I’d like you to defend it as a legitimate line of inquiry. Please explain how this paper is in any way scientific and/or how it is in any way based on evidence. I mean it. I will eat my hat if you can give a legitimate explanation of this paper as scientific.

      Or is basing science on evidence whiteness?

      1. Of course it is: remember references to “white empiricism”? And the social injustice of the normal
        distribution (thus presumably all distributions)? And the racism of Huxley and Mendel? The striking things about all this is a level of ignorance which makes Lysenkoism look sophisticated. Conversely,
        the Republicans push scams that would embarrass any self-respecting professional con-man. More and more, one has the eerie feeling that we have drifted into Cyril Kornbluth’s great sci-fi fable, “The Marching Morons”.

        1. Haha oh yes. It was a rhetorical question. If a basis in evidence is a manifestation of whiteness, then “science” can refer to just about anything.

          Also, I see you “Mathematics Education Education,” and raise with my new paper, “Examining Whiteness in Mathematics Education Education.” Like taking the evidence out of science, woke studies renders every subject an ouroboros.

      2. It is a legitimate line of inquiry. But this paper does nothing to advance it (by which I mean “improve our knowledge of how “whiteness” impacts science teaching or if it’s just a load of bollocks”).

  9. Has there ever been something worthwhile produced by a ‘..(xyz)…-studies’ department?
    Maybe there is, but I can’t think of a single one example.

      1. And donating, of course, the wastebasket to the math (or, maths) dept. – that’s where they get credit for helping science/math(s).

    1. To answer your question, I’m reminded of a Demotivation poster with the picture of a shipwreck and the caption: “Maybe the purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others.”

  10. “I wonder what the authors would have said had the presentation been on a blackboard.”

    That’s the great thing about CRT and the wider social justice movement: you can ascribe the exact meaning you want to literally anything. If it was a blackboard, the study could say that the blackboard represented the “decentering of the black experience from science, wherein the board is used as a prop for the extension of whiteness, thus otherizing blackness, and rendering black students slaves to building the oranizational work of white supremacy. The board has no agency, no desires, no wishes, but rather is positionalized to carry out the work of whiteness through this organizational structure.”

    I can do this all day.

    1. The whiteboard is not mentioned because it is white. Their argument is equally applicable to blackboards. That doesn’t make a good argument, but it’s not that dumb.

      1. I know. The point was to demonstrate that you can attach whatever conclusion you want to anything.

      2. It’s one of those things that people who have to attend lots of meetings get to understand. If you are the one at the whiteboard (or blackboard) you are the centre of the discussion and what you write – or don’t write – controls the direction of discussion.

        In this case, either Drake knew this implicitly or explicitly and wanted to control the collaboration or he was just sitting closest to the whiteboard.

        Another thing “as any fule kno” about meetings is that whoever takes the minutes has virtually unlimited power over how everybody will perceive the meeting in the future. A woman I used to work with insisted on always taking the minutes so she could “control the narrative” as she put it.

        The paper is just an anecdote that illustrates the point, dressed up in pseudo intellectual terms.

    2. Nicely done, Carbon! Remember the “Postmodernism Generator”? The time is right for a Wokeism Generator computer program. All we need is some interested code writers, and the pool of buzzwords and clichés which you have drawn on above. Are you interested?

      1. “Are you interested?”

        Goodness, no! I felt sick for the fifteen or so seconds it took to write that. I can’t imagine doing it for a few hours. It’s soul-sucking if you don’t believe it or are enough of a psychopath to do it just for the money. But thanks for considering me for the job 🙂

  11. When the authors of the paper observe that incarceration rates are higher for African Americans, they forget to say why: because they commit a higher amount of crime (including violent crime) than other ethnicities.

  12. This will turn out to be a hoax,
    .
    .
    Are you with me?
    Those author bio’s are a giveaway…aren’t they..?
    .
    .
    Ok. I’m done. I am white and male and old.
    Apparently, I am in power, I hold the power, I wield the power.
    They are telling me that we need to dismantle my power.
    Why, oh why, would I go along with that?
    If I have the power, I will wield it and crush dissent from the fractured identities of race, sex, gender, (dis)ability, IQ, height, speed, and cooking ability.
    So – I embrace my dominance, I own my power – I run the world – and none shall pass!
    (Now I just have to get back to my interminable to to earn enough money to keep my family fed and educated, and hopefully get my heart condition under control, while I see out my days in quiet desperation.
    Yes – this reeks of privilege. I actually HAVE food. I actually WANT to work in the service of my family. Shitty white-centric dickhead that I am).

    The problem with/in the paper is: the three students are MALE!!!!!!
    It’s a toxic male issue, not a colour issue.
    This blindness by the authors is as a result of their toxic self-flagellation. Their constant fiddling with themselves has resulted in myopia to reality.

    And you know it’s true – cos I’m white and right.
    Ugh.

  13. When confronted by the drivel spewing from some Self-Important Woke Imbecile, My Standard Response is to point out to them- “Thankfully,being a High-Functioning Sociopath pretty much Exempts me from such Considerations.”
    It is great watching them try to Respond to THAT 😉

  14. Any nut can propose a paper, but what’s wrong with the universities who are publishing these, and approving them as if they’re serious science rather than the bleating of woke sheep

  15. Wokeism is a cancer on humanity. The world will have no progress or peace until this ideology and its adherents are completely eradicated from earth.

      1. Yeah, I wonder what is worse: wokeism, or the desire to completely eradicate a group of people from the planet?
        That mentality has always worked out well in the past, hasn’t it?
        (What discomfits and bemuses me is the urge for someone to think it, and then commit it to writing, and then post it…and expect…applause?…approbation? The paucity of self-awareness and irony is strong in this one…)

        1. Let’s hope it was just exaggeration for effect. We still need to call it out though. On the internet, you never know who’s listening and in what mental state.

  16. To scoff and dismiss this as nonsense from fringe players, is to play into their hands. They want you to think this. The woke heavily rely on a blindness of their targets to what’s happening or a withering reaction of silence. Aware vocal critics are charged with white supremacy. The strategy is to entrench a radicalization of the next generation of physicists by politicizing their teachers and teaching curriculum.

    This is not an aberration and the process is fully underway. Evidence of willful deconstruction of science by CRT-inspired advocates is clear. Hear the alarm bells. Science is under attack and defending action is required. And by that I mean doing more than mutter, “Tsk, tsk, someone should do something about that”.

    1. While I agree on the threat, I suspect “science” will be very resilient to the threat. Our whole economy depends on science and technology. If a school becomes too Woke, students will go elsewhere and the school will drop in its desirability. Similarly for scientific publications. The undermining of faith in science and scientists among the general population is a bigger problem, IMHO, and both Left and Right are complicit in that.

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