Ideology stomps all over chemistry in a new paper

January 15, 2023 • 12:45 pm

There are two ways I can criticize the uber-woke paper below that was published in from The Journal of Chemical Education (an organ of the American Chemical Society). I could go through it in detail and point out the fallacies and undocumented claims, and note where “progressive” ideology simply overwhelms the science. I could highlight why it’s a bit of hyper-Left propaganda, designed to force students in a Chemistry, Feminism and STEM course to think in a certain way.

Or I could simply mock it as an example of politicized science that is so over the top that it could appear without change in The Onion.

Way #1 would waste a lot of my time, and I’ve gone through this kind of exegesis many times before. Way #2 would bring out the splenetic readers who say that I shouldn’t make fun of dumb papers like this but instead take them apart line by line—that mockery is not an effective weapon.  But it is. Why else would Stanford have remove its list if disapproved words and phrases had not the Wall Street Journal mocked the list? “Mockery makes you look bad,” these jokers would say, “and it’s unintellectual.”

I’m rejecting both ways today in favor of The Third Way: let the paper reveal its own ideology, postmodern craziness, and authoritarianism by just giving quotes. In other words, I’ll let it mock itself.

You can access the paper for free by clicking on the screenshot below, or see the pdf here.

The abstract gives an idea of the purpose of the course: to indoctrinate students in the authors’ brand of feminism, CRT, and other aspects of woke ideology.  It wants to rid chemistry of White Supremacy, for the unquestioned assumption is that chemistry education is riddled with white supremacy. If you read the authors seriously, you’d think that all chemistry teachers put on white robes and burned crosses after school:

ABSTRACT: This article presents an argument on the importance of teaching science with a feminist framework and defines it by acknowledging that all knowledge is historically situated and is influenced by social power and politics. This article presents a pedagogical model for implementing a special topic class on science and feminism for chemistry students at East Carolina University, a rural serving university in North Carolina. We provide the context of developing this class, a curricular model that is presently used (including reading lists, assignments, and student learning outcomes), and qualitative data analysis from online student surveys. The student survey data analysis shows curiosity about the applicability of feminism in science and the development of critical race and gender consciousness and their interaction with science. We present this work as an example of a transformative pedagogical model to dismantle White supremacy in Chemistry.

At the outset they get off on the wrong foot: by asserting that sex is not binary (all bolding is mine):

When scientifically established facts, such as the nonbinary nature of both sex and gender are seen by students of science as a belief, one might ask: Are we being true to scientific knowledge? We use this student comment as a reflection of the subjectivity of how the pedagogical decisions are made in teaching “true science” vs what existing scientific knowledge tells us. This has resulted in the propagation of scientific miseducation for generations.

Sadly, it’s the authors who are miseducated here. Whatever they think, biological sex in vertebrates is binary, and to teach otherwise is the real distortion of education.

They have a new term, too, though I don’t see how it differs from either systemic racism, unconscious bias, or deliberate racism. (The “King’ mentioned, by the way, is not Martin Luther King, Jr.):

King introduced a new term, dysconscious racism, defined as an acceptance of dominant White norms and privileges arising from the uncritical habit of the mind leading to the maintenance of the status quo. In contrast to unconscious bias which has been quoted as involuntary and used in the academy often, King’s idea of dysconcious racism demands a critical analysis of the history of systemic discrimination in the institutions and coming up with effective interventions.

Below is the authoritarianism, breathless in its arrogance. I used to think that it was an exaggeration to compare the radicalization of science with the Lysenko movement in Stalin’s Russia. Now I’m not so sure! We’ve put our feet on that path.  Is there any ideological buzzworda missing in the following paragraph?:

In this article we describe the development, implementation, and student experience from a special topic course in chemistry, Science and Feminism, as a disruptive tool to challenge the status quo in Chemistry. Using Critical Race Theory and intersectional feminism as the framework, this course aimed at creating an intellectual as well as physical space for STEM students at East Carolina University (ECU) where they could explore their identities and how these intersect with the knowledge base and the pedagogy of science by looking at these from historical, political, and feminist lens. The other aim was to shine light, through this process, how scientific epistemology and culture have strong links with capitalism, enslavement, colonization, and exploitation of female-bodied folks. We provide the historical context of teaching this class in our institution, development of the course syllabus, assignments, and evaluations adopted for this course over the past two years as a template for future course development. In the Discussion and Conclusion section, we also provide a short description from qualitative analysis of online student surveys to understand what students thought about the importance of such a STEM course. Finally, this course is intended to produce an affirming space that will allow minoritized students to enter a chemistry class without having to leave their identities at the metaphorical and physical door of STEM classes.

But you’re supposed to leave your identities at the door. Science is science and the pursuit of the truth, and what truths are apprehended, should be independent of the characteristics of the person who does science.

Below is the “all must have prizes” bit.  Sadly, given that there are more candidates for academic jobs than there are jobs, some people aren’t going to make it. Here’s a statement that East Carolina University, where most of the authors come from, put on their website after George Floyd was murdered:

That same year, the Chemistry Department posted an antiracism statement on its Web site, which stated: “…That means we, as a department, must continually self-reflect and ask hard questions of ourselves. Do our pedagogy, assignments, exams, and grading practices help everyone to succeed?”

This means, of course, that if some students don’t succeed, it’s the fault of the teachers. Ergo a new course in which everyone succeeds, and, I suppose, in which there is no ranking of merit.

Here are the four parts of the course, each accompanied by readings from the appropriate propaganda (note: there is NO dissent in the readings, which you can see in the article):

Unit 1 readings (Table 2) focused on introducing students to the history of American feminism and its contribution/effect as felt in STEM epistemology. This unit also comprised of readings that critically looked at the DEI work in the Academy and its connection complicatedness dysconcious racism. As experiential learning, this unit also invited students to think and talk about their individual relationship with the word feminism, STEM culture, and their own identities. The end of the unit assignments was writing a reflection from all the readings and participation in a debate with the topic: Science done by a feminist and feminist practice in science are the same thing.

Unit 2 included readings (Table 2) that exposed students to the historical context of pathologizing the pregnant womb and the construction of gynecology as a White male discipline while utilizing Black and Indigenous bodies as experimental subjects. We further explored the development of (Black, Indigenous, and Brown) races as inferior and pathological throughout the development of modern science. As experiential learning, students participated in discussions on their interaction with the medical system as immigrants, women, women of color, and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals. The end of the unit assignments was writing a reflection from all the readings and participation in a debate with the topic: Health care providers (doctors, dentists, nurses, PA, PT, and administrators) should be required to learn the history of medical racism, sexism, and homo/transphobia and their legacy as part of their licensing process, and it should be an ongoing training than a onetime one. Students were also suggested to watch the 2017 movie, The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks.

Unit 3 explored the development and interrelationship between quantum mechanics, Marxist materialism, Afro-futurism/pessimism, and postcolonial nationalism. To problematize time as a linear social construct, the Copenhagen interpretation of the collapse of wave-particle duality was utilized. The end of the unit assignments was writing a reflection from all the readings and participation in a debate with the topic: past is never dead, it is not even past. The students also had the option of watching the 2020 movie, Antebellum. However, the instructor was flexible on this assignment as some of the African American students did not want to watch it and be triggered. They wrote a reflection on a book on race and gender that they had read.

Unit 4 consisted of reading articles in STEM that used identity (racial/gender/sexuality) as empirical parameters and how that can further propagate the absoluteness of these categories rather than dismantling these constructed realities. The end of the unit assignments was writing a reflection from all the readings and participation. There was no debate for this unit as this was close to the semester end.

Besides the reading assignments, there are essays in which students are expected to parrot back the woke pabulum they’ve been fed:

The final assignment was a full paper with an intervention plan that might be implemented in their own institution/department which will enable students to create a STEM identity which acknowledges and respects their personal identity. For 2021 and 2022 classes, the intervention topics that students wrote about were as follows: the importance of all-gender bathrooms in STEM buildings, the importance of teaching how race, gender, sexuality, etc. are created and pathologized by STEM as a medical college course, how to increase accessibility of STEM as a discipline without erasing the lived experiences of URM students, and how the American STEM identity can incorporate the immigrant student/scholar experience.

At this point I wondered if this course had anything to do with science beyond using the “field” (excuse me) as an example of racism and white supremacy. I don’t think so. It’s ideological propaganda, pure and simple, and even worse than the forms dished out in “studies” courses. ‘

There’s a section on “Social Location of the Authors and Their Relation to This Course.” Here’s just a bit:

M.A.R. participated in the special topic chemistry class in Spring 2021 as a biology graduate student. She is a young adult Filipino cis woman who was raised in a middle-class rural town in North Carolina for most of her childhood by immigrant parents.D.M. consulted on the design and delivery of the course as well as the preparation of this manuscript. He is a middle-aged White cis-gendered man who was raised in a suburban Philadelphia family with a diverse set of adopted and foster siblings. He approaches this work largely trained in a Jesuit social ethics tradition and currently serves as a student affairs educator responsible for community engagement, leadership, and DEI experiential programming.

S.B. designed and taught this class as a special topic in chemistry class in Spring 2021 and then in Spring 2022. They are a middle-aged Indian immigrant working in the US higher education. They identify as gender nonconfirming and a brown-immigrant-queer. They were raised in an upper caste and middle-class, college educated family in an urban environment in India and experiences and understands this world from these complex vantage points. These social locations of S.B. also influenced the texts and topics discussed in this course which centered around the historical relationship of Black and Brown and colonized people with modern STEM discipline.

I’m not sure whether this is relevant for teaching propaganda, though it tells us why it’s being taught. It also help establish the authors’ “identity credibility”.

Finally, there’s the obligatory land acknowledgment at the end. It’s a long one!

The authors acknowledge that this article was conceived, researched, and written on Indigenous land and “We acknowledge the Tuscarora people, who are the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live, and recognize their continuing connection to the land, water, and air that Greenville consumes. We pay respect to the eight state-recognized tribes of North Carolina; Coharie, Eastern Band of Cherokee, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of Saponi, Sappony, and Waccamaw-Siouan, all Nations, and their elders past, present, and emerging”.

Does this help the indigenous Americans? I don’t see how. I’m sure the Native Americans would prefer getting the land back than this faux form of “respect.”

To end, I point out what I think is an error. You can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there was a “Tuskegee airmen” case that falls under the “history of medical racism”. I believe the authors are referring here to the four-decade “Tuskegee syphilis study” ending in 1972. It truly was a dark episode in the history of medical ethics: an experiment in which black men infected with syphilis were left untreated so that the US Public Health Service could observe the effects of untreated disease. These men could have been treated, but weren’t; they weren’t told what they had; and they were promised medical treatment but lied to.  This could not happen today, but it was a horrible, horrible thing to do to these people, and was certainly motivated in part by racism. Below is the conflation of this study with another group associated with Tuskegee:

The syphilis study had nothing to do, as far as I know, with the Tuskegee airmen, a group of black pilots who fought gallantly during WWII, despite the military having been segregated. They were the first black military aviators, and received many plaudits and decorations for their bravery and work. But the group had, as far as I know, nothing to do with the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, except that both groups of men were associated in some way with the historically black Tuskegee Institute, which later became Tuskegee University. So much for checking the facts!

The Upshot: This is without doubt the most annoying, misguided, and misplaced paper on science education I’ve read in the last five years. The American Chemical Society should be ashamed of itself.

h/t: Anna

91 thoughts on “Ideology stomps all over chemistry in a new paper

  1. Well, solvents _are_ inhalation hazards – even though they can smell nice – with the first aid guidance on the label usually reading to remove to ample supply of fresh air.

    I particularly delight in the “dys..” [ scroll scroll scroll ] “dysconscious” [scroll scroll] … yep – …


    Ohhh, I do like that.


    You know what – I’m going with “dysco”.

      1. Upon reflection, I think the mind-state required to understand this paper is that of “dysconscious”… or it made me “dysconscious”, I’m not sure which!

        1. I’m more concerned about the mindset that would offer this…

          In the choice between publishing and perishing with this drivel, I would have chosen to perish.

  2. I question whether–if sex and gender are not binary–whether it is even appropriate to asset a feminist perspective on Science.

    But seriously, the use of the term “true science” suggests to me that the authors have in mind the assumption that there is a truth out there to be taught, and that that truth is not subject to revision based on new information, indeed, is probably determined in spite of existing evidence.

    1. “I question whether–if sex and gender are not binary–whether it is even appropriate to asset a feminist perspective on Science.”

      Good point. Here (but not only here) it’s where you see all the contradiction of the Woke. All their statements are ridden with contradictions… which shows how stupid they are.

  3. If this is what counts as a contribution to the literature of science education, we’re doomed.

    The sad thing about the course being described here is that it’s being offered to students at a “rural serving university” (from their abstract). Many of the students will be the first in their families to attend college. With this course, they will experience the absolute worst that college has to offer. And, being new to college life, they will have no idea what science actually is or how it’s done. One can only hope that this kind of nonsense is rare, but I have my doubts.

    1. It seems things wouldn’t be much different were they to attend Harvard or any other prestigious university in 2023.

    2. Can you imagine the discussions at the dinner table when student returns from his/her/its/their enlightenment?

  4. J. Chem. Ed. of the American Chemical Society used to be a respectable journal publishing decent papers on chemistry education. I used some for inspiration for demos in my General Chemistry class. However, they have gone Woke and now publish Woke garbage. This paper is not an outlier. Check out previously published collection of 67 papers dedicated to DEI:
    As Jerry said, the titles and abstracts satirize themselves. Should we introduce a new word–self-satirizing?

  5. [ settles down a bit ]

    The question is (and this _is_ sober-serious ):

    how will this proposed work _empower_everyone_?

    I suppose it’s just my dysconscious bias, but I do not see how.

    Well, maybe the straight-As, sure, but besides those.

    1. how will this proposed work _empower_everyone_?

      It’s a work of virtue signalling. Therefore, regardless of any statements within the work, it’s purpose is very definitely not to “empower everybody”. It”s purpose is to differentially empower some people over others.
      The people it is intended to empower (over a newly suppressed generation of people) are the authors. That’s why they put their names to it – otherwise how could they reap the empowering benefits of their virtue signalling?

      1. I like to draw a distinction between “empower” and “gain power” – that helps the clarity, IMHO.

  6. Where’s the chemistry content? I didn’t see anything specifically about chemistry in the description of the course. Presumably undergrads are getting chemistry credit for the course, so how come there’s no chemistry content?

    Also, there’s a typo in your piece: “left treated” should be “left untreated”.

      1. He’s not hard right, but his rhetoric has become a lot more questionable over the last couple of years. There are many things he has said that are just bizarre and irrational. They may be expeditious in regard to enabling dissemination of his political views, but they don’t help us get nearer to the truth. In my opinion, he has turned to the right. This is not terrible in itself, but in doing so, he has dismissed almost all left-leaning views as woke and desirable, while uncritically and irrationally agreeing with an unreasonable number of views on the right.

    1. But who could fail? If ChatGPT failed, they’d have to re-“think” the course so that nothing fails, no knowledges can fail, no bodies, no marginalizations.

    2. []

      Please write a short essay on the topic of Feminism and Science as a Tool to Disrupt the Dysconcious Racism in STEM. Please write from the point of view of a university chemistry student.

      “As a university chemistry student, I have come to realize the importance of intersectionality in the field of science. Intersectionality is the understanding that different aspects of an individual’s identity, such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status, intersect and contribute to their experiences of discrimination and privilege. This is particularly relevant in the field of STEM, where women and people of color have historically been underrepresented and marginalized.

      “Feminism is a crucial tool to disrupt the unconscious racism in STEM. It calls for the recognition of the ways in which women and other marginalized groups have been excluded from the field and the active work to combat these barriers. This includes increasing representation and visibility of women and people of color in STEM, as well as creating a culture of inclusivity and respect in the workplace.

      “One of the ways in which unconscious racism in STEM manifests is through the lack of representation of women and people of color in the field. This not only leads to a lack of role models for these groups, but also perpetuates the stereotype that science is a field for white men. This can make it difficult for individuals from marginalized groups to even consider a career in STEM.

      “Feminism can help to disrupt this by advocating for policies and programs that increase representation and visibility of women and people of color in STEM. This includes initiatives like mentorship programs, networking opportunities, and targeted recruitment efforts.

      “Another way in which unconscious racism in STEM manifests is through microaggressions and discrimination in the workplace. This can take the form of subtle biases, such as assuming that a woman or person of color is not as qualified as a white man, or more overt forms of discrimination, such as harassment or exclusion from important opportunities.

      “Feminism can help to disrupt this by creating a culture of inclusivity and respect in the workplace. This includes educating individuals on unconscious bias and the impact of microaggressions, as well as implementing policies that provide support and protection for individuals who experience discrimination.

      “In conclusion, as a university chemistry student, I believe that feminism is a crucial tool to disrupt the unconscious racism in STEM. It calls for the recognition of the ways in which women and other marginalized groups have been excluded from the field and the active work to combat these barriers. This includes increasing representation and visibility of women and people of color in STEM, as well as creating a culture of inclusivity and respect in the workplace.”

      Banal, repetitive, but not totally wrong? So like C+?

      [edit: I forgot to ask the AI to include references to research on this topic; users report that the AI simply makes up fake references that sound good but are imaginary]

  7. I can’t help wondering how the end of unit assessments, with their “writing a reflection from all the readings and participation in a debate with the topic” approach, were marked for any student brave/foolish enough to take issue with the ideology espoused in the tuition.

    I’d be interested to know if this situation arose although I suspect that the course was preaching to the true believers since anyone else would run a mile rather than sign up to be indoctrinated.

    1. users report that the AI simply makes up fake references that sound good but are imaginary

      Hmmm, too tempting.

      I can’t help wondering how the […] assessments, […] were marked for any student brave/foolish enough to take issue with the ideology espoused in the tuition.

      ChatGPT-the-non-AI-version¹ approached the authors for comment and their reply was “help us stack these bundles of dry wood”.²
      ¹ Me
      ² Pers.Comm, by telepathy.

  8. This is a paradigmatic example of how the Woke substitute practicing postmodern critical theory (pedagogy) of natural science for practicing natural science.

    (Being critical in the sense of the neo-Marxist Frankfurt School means identifying and exposing (alleged) problems in order to bring about revolutionary political change resulting in a communist/socialist society.)

    “…What this means is nothing short of /the theft of education/. Something that looks like education remains, but it is no longer education. It is political brainwashing to see the world “on the side of the oppressed.” So central to his views is this transformation of education that [Paulo] Freire’s magnum opus bears the description of it in the title: it is the Pedagogy of the Oppressed, in which educators and learners together are instructed to “die and be resurrected” on the side of the oppressed and into a “faith” in “permanent struggle.” Students are transformed into learners who learn virtually nothing except two things: (1) how to view the world from the “standpoint of the oppressed,” and (2) to denounce the “dehumanizing conditions” of the world, as seen from that perspective, in a way that simultaneously announces the potential for something “better” (read: more Socialist, equitable, and Socially Just).”

    (Lindsay, James. The Marxification of Education: Paulo Freire’s Critical Marxism and the Theft of Education. Orlando, FL: New Discourses, 2022. pp. 1-2)

  9. I’m afraid that I annoyed my wife while reading this gallimaufry, by repeatedly shoutng “Oh, f*** off!” It is beyond satire. I laughed out loud at the many absurd statements, particularly “[to] problematize time as a linear social construct, the Copenhagen interpretation of the collapse of wave-particle duality was utilized”.

    These persons have literally no understanding of what they are talking about. I wonder how many chemistry graduates of East Carolina ‘University’ will have signed up to this anti-intellectual b*llocks; or how many of them will succeed in getting a job in a serious institution if they did. Sadly, the way things are, the answer is probably ‘far too many’.

    1. This is why I am annoyed with the name “Catholic University of Louvain,” which is the official name of the university. I sometimes interview scientists from that university (they have quite a good science departement) and always use the term “University of Louvain” in my articles. Editors rarely change this into the official name.

  10. Matthew Cobb recently posted on Twitter the results of asking ChatGPT to write an essay on Pheromenes in Reptiles. He gave the resulting essay 40%. It would be interesting to see what kind of mark ChatGPT got when answering the Unit Questions for this course.I imagine much closer to 100%.

  11. It’s good to see that female-bodied folks have an advocate. We wouldn’t want female-bodied folks to feel left out in any way. Their bodies are every bit as good as those of male-bodied folks.

    1. New courses are often given under Special Topic course umbrella. After one or two rounds, the course gets registered and approved by the curriculum committee.

  12. I don’t know what “the Copenhagen interpretation of the collapse of wave-particle duality” thingamajig is, but maybe that was in the Schrodinger’s cat paradox thingy?

  13. the chemistry course offerings at East Carolina University for the BS degree.

    “BS degree” is a more accurate description than they realise…

    1. I don’t know why Americans insist on using “BS” for their degrees. I can’t help but read it as “bullshit degree”. I have a proper British BSc btw, which I sometimes read as “biscuit”.

  14. East Carolina students will be comforted by an affirming space that allows minoritized students to enter a Chemistry class without having to learn any Chemistry. While this affirming space class is being tested out, I am developing a new curriculum to teach students how to develop and advertise courses like this one. The new curriculum and its professional journal will be called, of course, Chemistry Ed Ed. Then, we will need a still newer curriculum in the teaching of Chemistry Ed Ed—and it is obvious what that curriculum ought to be called.

  15. Again I’d like to mention that perhaps the only non-woke contributor at Science Based Medicine, Dr. Harriet Hall died on Friday.

  16. Ingersoll preserve us! I nodded off halfway through the abstract. And am thankful that actually mere mortals, like me, cannot download the PDF, having no institution on my side anymore.

    But of course it is inane to babble about “knowledges” these days. We know better. Because if what they say in their framework of reference is true, then solipsism is the inevitable result. The current racial, intersectional, blah und blah, categories cannot hold. So to heck with their pretence and power-push and marginalizing MY knowledges. The wreckers (postmods/deconstructionists) have triumphed.

    I long for the days of the Abalone Alliance, who sought to oppose the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant (near San Luis Obispo CA) through the use of interpretive dance. We had fun back in those days. The grim rigidity of wokie thought today makes the Cultural Revolution and Soviet Stalinism look like the Renaissance.

    BTW, how can there be “female-bodied folks” in an infinite world of genders?

    PS. And I object to folks of any sort, who want to screw prepositions, also insisting on screwing verbs. It should be “They is” since it is a single person, not a plural person.

  17. How it started:
    As society becomes more secular, it will become more rational.

    How it’s going:
    Men can get pregnant, and chemistry is racist.

    1. Something went wrong, but how, why?
      how could such a thing happen?
      How did we get to this point?

      I really don’t understand, but I’m scared, really scared.
      Sometimes I just want to scream “stop the world, I want to get off”.

  18. The “Tuskegee Airmen case” is a howler I’ve heard before from earnest people who simply have not bothered to look up either historical event. It’s like people who say, “for all intensive purposes”, completely unaware of what the words mean. The cadets who became the 332d Fighter Squadron were all educated at the Tuskegee Institute where there was a nearby airfield to train from. So far as I know that is the only connection.

    It’s as if the course developers vaguely remembered hearing about the movie, The Tuskegee Airmen but assumed that the pilots all had syphilis. A shame because the story of the 332d really is inspiring not only for what they did in combat but for what they overcame getting there. While you could argue that the airmen didn’t get a completely fair shake and you could make their experience a case study of the racism of the day, (which the Wiki page discusses), I don’t think “the Tuskegee Airmen case” means what the course organizers think it means.

    The other topic in the course that raised my eyebrows is “Perfecting the C-section.” Like that’s a bad thing?

    1. Yep, they tried to decomission, but actually, nuke power is probably the best alternative until fusion in about 50 years. Had a brother in law who inspected pipes when they were building Diablo — his stories didn’t give comfort, but what complex construction project would? At the same time, I worked with Pete Faulkner, a noted anti-nukepower guy around Stanford way back when. Personalities aside, gotta go with the science — not the kind we have today, I mean the real stuff Jerry flogs.

      1. We’ve got 15 CANDUs generating 13,000 megawatts in Ontario, none to be shut down, plus a small modular reactor under construction for test of concept. Unlike the French reactors we didn’t build them all at the same time and then have them wear out all at once. We are also the world’s only civilian supplier of tritium for fusion experiments. All CANDUs produce tritium but Canada is the only place that extracts it for sale.

      2. “Yep, they tried to decomission, but actually, nuke power is probably the best alternative until fusion in about 50 years.”

        True. Germany is planning browncoal powerplants, which will entail the destruction of entire villages to get at the coal.

        1. Partially true. A CONSERVATIVE German government decided to phase out nuclear power after Fukushima. Things were going fine until the war in the Ukraine. The lignite (“brown”; German “Braunkohle”) coal is a replacement for Russian gas mainly. There is one village which will be destroyed, but people were compensated and moved out long ago. I don’t agree with all of the policies of the German government—whatever one is in power—but the summary above is a bit of a distortion.

          Most people have a firm opinion on climate issues and so on. Some don’t. Radical climate activists will convince few, if any, fence-sitters, and probably cause some to go the opposite way. Some of the violent ones really believe what they’re fighting for. Others just show up whenever there is a chance of violence; maybe next week it will be a football match.

          And what is the point of violent protest? Are they really unrealistic enough to think that it will have the effect they claim they want? And what is their idea of democracy? Should every group, no matter how small, which protests violently and loudly get their way? Or do they want violence to be effective only for their own goals?

          If one wanted to mount a fifth-column attack to discredit a movement, it would look a lot like the violent climate activists.

          1. Why do you write “CONSERVATIVE” as if that’s somehow relevant? Merkel wasn’t exactly a “conservative” by any stretch of the imagination apart from being the leader of the Christian Democratic party. The phase out of nuclear energy in Germany was the result of decades of pressure from (left wing) environmentalist groups and the green party. As is the case with many nominally “conservative” governments in Western Europe (UK, Netherlands), policies in key areas such as climate/energy or immigration tend to fall in line with the “international consensus” (which is often cemented in some kind of treaty or EU law or UN declaration anyway, so local governments have very little way of deviating from that and will be sued into submission by progressive actvists who are often funded with taxpayer money to sue the same government that’s financing them) which doesn’t tend to be “conservative” but often heavily influenced by progressive activists. It’s only recently and under a lot of pressure from rationalist factions I think that the EU has reached some kind of statement that nuclear power may be just a little bit useful to fight climate change, but still many countries are opposing this view for (left wing, not conservative) ideological reasons.
            The “conservative” (in reality: high spending, high taxes, record immigration, endorsing intersectionality-and CRT, fantastical climate goals devoid of any kind of reality) government here in the Netherlands has finally decided to build 2 more nuclear reactors over the coming 15 years. But not without a good deal of pushback from more progressive coalition partners and of course the usual “green” activists.

  19. I’m pretty sure this is output from the new WokeChatGPT bot in response to the prompt “Create a journal article that parodies the most woke (wokest??) excesses at the intersection of feminism and chemistry.”
    Seriously, when I see these articles, I always have to ask if in fact it might be satire. How can anything be this bad? How can a scientific society let it out into the world? Young minds will be damaged!

  20. Jesus fudgepacking Christ. The day is too short for me to rebut every bit of ridiculous idiocy in this article, but this quote jumped out at me:

    “reading articles in STEM that used identity (racial/gender/sexuality) as empirical parameters and how that can further propagate the absoluteness of these categories rather than dismantling these constructed realities”

    Oh, the authors want to “dismantle” constructed racial identities, right? Sounds great! Except once they’ve dismantled racial categories, they have absolutely *NO* grounds for making statements like “Black people are n% less likely to graduate from college than white people; therefore, our society is white supremacist!” The correct answer is, “Black people? Aren’t you being old-fashioned? There’s no such thing as Black or white people! These are constructed realities that propagate discrimination!”

    But of course, everyone knows that if I were to say this in public, I would be accused of “colorblindness” and of “erasing and invalidating the lived experience of racialized folx in our cisheterosexist/racist/ableist/capitalist/imperialist society!”

    Truly, there is no pleasing some people.

    1. Now you have this former Catholic boy (now igtheist) speculating on Jesus’s DNA. If he was haploid, that is, produced by parthenogenesis, he would be she. (I don’t want to get into current fantasizing that Jesus was nonbinary. 🥴) I vaguely remember that I was taught that 50% of His DNA came from Mary and the other 50% was miraculously created by God the Father. I did a quick and dirty search and came up with this article, a great specimen of casuistry.

      1. “…a great specimen of casuistry.”

        And yet it’s still orders of magnitude less crazy than the nonsense being exposed in this article.

      2. The Finding Hope Ministries is a comically serious example of the old question about angels dancing on the head of a pin. It’s hilarious—also disturbing—to think that there are earnest people paid to think about and conjure up such abstruse stupidities.

  21. It’s all just Marxism, with class swapped out for race and gender. “Dysconscious racism” is the same thing as the “false consciousness” of the proletariat.

    1. You’re probably right. But how is it possible that there are so many Marxists around the world? Why is such a toxic ideology so successful? Why is it able to attract so many people, especially among intellectuals?

  22. I read the opening parts of the Introduction of the Reyes article. It’s extraordinary. The last author of the article is Dr. Sambuddha Banerjee, teaching assistant professor in chemistry at ECU. The article quotes at length an anonymous student complaint about Bannerjee’s teaching (and his being a woke martinet in the classroom). This article seems to be a big middle finger to that student complaint.

    It will come as no surprise that Dr. Bannerjee’s research “uses critical race theory, queer theory, and other intersectional feminist theories to investigate science and how science is practiced in the context of the society and its history.” Yawn.

  23. There’s an argument that the political parties (particularly in the UK but the USA as well) might present ideology as their unique selling point but in *practice* they are just two instances of the same political machine for securing their own jobs.

    A consequence is that motivated individuals and organisations are free to pursue their own ideological aims – without consequence or democratic control.

    So what pushback is possible – except mockery?

  24. If all {science|education|mathematics} are , then using those tools to deconstruct those institutions is more and must be .

  25. Does no one see the irony of an article bemoaning ideology over science being published in a journal named “Evolution Is True?”

  26. Always fascinating that they claim that “sex is not binary” while at the same time talking about “female-bodied folks”. OK, so what does “female bodied” mean exactly if sex is not binary? “Female bodied” seems to imply that sex has something to do with biology, a currently heretical idea that the woke vehemently oppose.

  27. Just recently I began to follow this issue, that seems to me mostly related to epistemological relativism coupled with a kind of wishful thinking targeted to expiation of colonial guilt.
    I’m writing from Brazil, so it seems that there’s some delay (as usual) between what I see in USA as compared to here. Despite that, there are clear signals of the same base phenomenon.

    If anyone here is interested in trying to get a whole vision of a possible root for all these tendencies, I recoment some short texts from the book Anthropology and Politics: Revolutions in the Sacred Grove, by Ernest Gellner. Particularly the chapters 1, 15 and 16.
    There’s also another Gellner book that has some interesting insight about that. This one I have on google docs here:
    (Search for the paragraph that begins with “What are the motives of those who wish to endorse all cultures?”)

  28. I am starting to wonder when these articles get published in chemical and physics journals, if they are in a way of secretly admitting that there’s been nothing new in the field of any interest lately

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