More Social Justice Science

Social justice ideologues continue their efforts to undermine science. From the Washington Post:

Academics and scholars must be mindful about using research done by only straight, white men, according to two scientists who argued that it oppresses diverse voices and bolsters the status of already privileged and established white male scholars.

Geographers Carrie Mott and Daniel Cockayne argued in a recent paper that doing so also perpetuates what they call “white heteromasculinism,” which they defined as a “system of oppression” that benefits only those who are “white, male, able-bodied, economically privileged, heterosexual, and cisgendered.” (Cisgendered describes people whose gender identity matches their birth sex.)


In their 22-page paper, “Citation matters: mobilizing the politics of citation toward a practice of ‘conscientious engagement,'” they explained that their work was motivated by “shared feelings of discomfort, frustration, and anger” over actions of fellow scholars and publication practices.

So what to do?

Scholars should read through their work and count all the citations before submitting their work for publication, and see how many people of diverse backgrounds — women, people of color, early-career scholars, graduate students and non-academics — are cited.

These two don’t seem to understand how science works.  Say, for example, you are doing research on gene X and how it is upregulated when a cell is stressed.  In your published paper, you will cite people whose discoveries and whose insights have been important to your research.  It doesn’t matter what their sex or race is.  All that matters is that someone else’s discovery/insight enabled your discovery and insight concerning your research into gene X and its regulation.  Thus, they get cited regardless of their sex, race, stage in career, etc.

Trying to implement some type of quota system for citations is something we might expect from postmodern science (and don’t forget how the March for Science people welcomed the social justice perspective into science).  But it really is something that will tremendously hurt science.  Instead of focusing on the discovery, we’re asked to focus on identity politics.

So just what type of discoveries do these two postmodernists make?

Mott and Cockayne both describe themselves as feminists and have done research related to feminism.

Mott also focuses her research on race and social justice, among other things. She describes herself as a “feminist political geographer,” who’s interested in “how resistance movements mobilize to fight against state-sponsored violence and marginalization.” Cockayne’s research and interest are on digital media, entrepreneurship, and gender and sexuality.


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17 Responses to More Social Justice Science

  1. Terry says:

    We wouldn’t want a trained sociologist to discuss this matter, we need geographers! I get that they were talking about the ratio of men to women in the geography field but seriously, stick to what you know.

  2. TFBW says:

    @Terry: your comment lacks context. At whom is it directed, and in relation to what, exactly?

  3. Kevin says:

    I believe Terry is referencing the fact that these two are arguing about a sociological matter despite not being trained sociologists, and perhaps also hinting that they should embarrass themselves less by sticking with geography.

    Of course, the social sciences are utterly dominated by progressive ideology, so sociology has likely ceased being an actual science.

  4. Terry says:

    I should have noted in my previous comment that the type of geographers the article was talking about are political geographers, a field related to political science. I majored in pol. science for a bit (wanted to be a lawyer.) Political geography, at least the way I was instructed, was centered on the interplay of government and territorial control and how it affects citizens. Sexism in academia is not related, but hey maybe they know what they’re talking about.

    My comment was more of a mini-rant on political science. Fortunately i woke up before it was too late and switched majors before I graduated. Political science is the original intersectionality/sjw major. it’s always been about victimization.

  5. pennywit says:

    If women and people of color are really shut out of the field of political geography, then I suppose that’s an issue that needs to be addressed. But, IMO, it’s probably better to extend tenure-track opportunities to women and persons of color and offer them the opportunity to publish work worth citing. I don’t think policing citations is the way to go.

  6. mechanar says:

    Imagine If I said that the studys a Doctor who is Black has done on cancer is not legit because he hasnt asked a white Person for diverse viewpoints

  7. Kevin says:

    If science is truly an exercise in attempting to discover what is objectively knowable about nature, then what precisely does sex or skin color alter within that process? Also, I find it racist and sexist to assume that white men think monolithically.

  8. TFBW says:

    @Regual Llegna: that’s priceless. The cultural Marxists have decided to no-platform Dawkins at last. Interestingly, Coyne seems to be the primary source here, based on an email forwarded from someone who purchased a ticket to the event and was subsequently informed that the event was cancelled. So far, KPFA Radio, the organisers, have not been at all public about the cancellation. You can still find a link to the ticket sales portal for the event from their site at the time I write, and the ticket sales portal says nothing of a cancellation, only that “there are no active dates for this event”, and “advance online tickets are sold out but some tickets are still available at independent bookstores and at the door.” Dawkins is still promoting his autobiography, so it’s not like the book promotion itself is controversial.

  9. TFBW says:

    No … wait … that link I posted to KPFA radio relates to something two years ago, and it’s the most recent Dawkins thing findable on their site. Either they never actually promoted this event from their website, or they already scrubbed it. I would assume it’s the latter.

  10. Dhay says:

    As reported by Jerry Coyne, Richard Dawkins has now emailed KPFA Radio to complain, including:

    You say I use “abusive speech” about Islam. I would seriously – I mean it – like to hear what examples of my “abusive speech” you had in mind. When you fail to discover any, I presume you will issue a public apology, which I will of course accept in a spirit of gratitude for what KPFA once was. And could become again.

    Perhaps this quote from a 2015 The Telegraph article will help refresh Dawkins’ memory:

    Richard Dawkins’ insanity has now become an English institution – like warm beer and rain. On Saturday morning, a tweet from his account asked why we don’t send lots of “erotic videos” to theocracies, adding that it should be “loving, gentle, woman-respecting” (I guess this involves the pizza delivery boy calling the next day). If we’re going down this road, I also hear that Islamists aren’t very keen on bacon, so perhaps we should bombard the Iranian countryside with pig carcasses? Also, miniature bottles of gin. And photos of hot guys making out – in a “men-respecting” and “gentle” sort of way.

    After a few minutes of mockery, the tweet was deleted. Perhaps even he realised how utterly mad it was. Which suggests a degree of self-awareness that I didn’t think possible in Britain’s nuttiest professor.


    Coyne had earlier fired his own complaint email to KPFA Radio, including:

    … How dare a radio station commit such a blatant violation of the First Amendment?

    Even to a Briton that looks utterly confused; so I looked up the First Amendment:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Er, “Congress shall make no law …”; Coyne has abysmal reading comprehension when he chooses, or when the red fog chooses for him.

    It’s legal language, but so plain and simple it is readily understandable. What does it say about Coyne, so often defending the First Amendment and free speech, that he does not know the first thing about it, namely what it actually says.

    Or perhaps he does not understand it, despite it being so short, clear and simple.

    Through his red fog Coyne sees KPFA Radio violating the First Amendment: it’s a “blatant violation”, no less. I suppose, for Coyne, that’s “emotionally true”, though hardly rationally justifiable.

    Which sounds like Coyne, the scourge of SJW “emotional truths” and promoter of rational truths is here a fellow-traveller with those SJWs: here he’s promoting his own SJW-type “emotional truth” instead of rational truth.

  11. Dhay says:

    I find this in a review of the new book Richard Dawkins is touring to promote:

    … Dawkins never conceals his love of good explanations and his contempt for sloppy thinking. Unfortunately, that contempt for sloppy thinking doesn’t extend to the social realm, where Dawkins often comes across as being as confused by politics, culture, and society (for example, his failure to understand why Barack Obama might identify as black) as he is knowledgeable about genetics.

    Says it all, really.


    Well, this says a bit more about why he is confused by politics, culture and society, and why Barack Obama might identify as black:

    “Life is just bytes and bytes and bytes of digital information.”

    [From River out of Eden (1995)]

    That seems to evidence a very blinkered narrowness of mind and outlook.

  12. Julian says:

    His files are all corrupted.

  13. Dhay says:

    > As reported by Jerry Coyne, Richard Dawkins has now emailed KPFA Radio to complain, including: “You say I use “abusive speech” about Islam. I would seriously – I mean it – like to hear what examples of my “abusive speech” you had in mind. When you fail to discover any, I presume you will issue a public apology, which I will of course accept in a spirit of gratitude for what KPFA once was. And could become again.” [Quoted above.]

    Adding to my example above, here’s a tweet from 2013:

    Haven’t read Koran so couldn’t quote chapter & verse like I can for Bible. But often say Islam greatest force for evil today


    OK, Dawkins has been pretty muted since his heart attack, but is that because he has changed his mind or is it because his health prevents him coping with the kickback his tweets used to generate. I would want to see evidence of a change in his habitual language before allowing him near a microphone.

  14. pennywit says:

    Sort of a side point, but I remember reading a few years ago that a sociologist (don’t remember his name) found his race helpful when he was interviewing gang leaders for his research. Because he was Indian, gang members were willing to open up to him in a way that they wouldn’t talk to a white, black, or Hispanic researcher.

  15. Dhay says:

    Someone else who has been no-platformed is Sam Harris. He recently tweeted that:

    My upcoming events are now listed on my website (more to come):

    So I looked, and immediately spotted that although “Events” had been added as a link in the header, the “Media” link to articles either written by Harris or including quotes from him had been removed.

    I commented recently that Harris’ blog output consisted predominantly of podcasts: if you scroll up from the bottom of his Full Archive of podcasts you find 1 in 2011 (which actually wasn’t added until much later), 2 in 2013, 3 in 2014, 19 in 2015, 35 in 2016, and 31 in the seven months to 25 July 2017.

    Do the same for his blog posts, you find in recent months they have degenerated largely into Memes and adverts for his own podcasts or video’d discussions; when he’s not effectively a chat show host, he’s a chat show interviewee; the former pattern of long, thoughtful blog posts has all but ceased.

    Why? Possibly it’s because many of those better quality posts, certainly the best quality posts, were actually reproductions of articles originally published in print. A look at the 06 July 2017 archived copy of that Media page, listing his articles in print shows that articles authored by himself have all but dried up in the last few years. The very last one on the list, “There’s No Such Thing As Free Will” by Stephen Cave, but quotes a sentence or two of Harris’.

    Put another way, the publishers who used to pay Harris for his articles just aren’t buying them any more — which is no doubt why Harris has diverted to prolific podcasting, to regain lost revenues.

    Put another way, Harris has been quietly but effectively no-platformed by the publishers who formerly used to use his articles; and who now don’t.

    And the replacement of his site’s “Media” link with an “Events” link to speaking event ticket booking links, that replacement finally acknowledges the no-platforming has happened.

  16. Dhay says:

    Someone else who has been de-platformed, this time by his former New Atheist friends and co-authors, is Phil Torres:

    … Boghossian — who I once coauthored papers with — has quite literally “deplatformed” me by “blocking” any contact on the social media platform of Facebook. This is irrational because Boghossian is an outspoken advocate of free speech and critical dialogue  …

    De-platformed by Peter Boghossian (from Boghossian’s FaceBook page, at any rate.)

    And also de-platformed by Jerry Coyne (from commenting on Coyne’s blog, at any rate):

    I have also been banned from Jerry Coyne’s website for literally asking the question, “So, why not focus our attention on higher priorities?,” which Coyne claimed was a violation of the blog’s rules. Coyne also hurled insults at me (repeatedly saying that I’m “obtuse”!) and admitted that I made his “temper” flair [sic] by interrogating his claims.

    What a surprise that that should happen to Torres, when interacting with a hair-trigger-happy control freak. Join a large club. Bearing in mind that Coyne, too, is “an outspoken advocate of free speech and critical dialogue”, that’s very hypocritical of Coyne.

    Torres can be blocked by his former New Atheist friends from their personal FaceBook accounts or blogs, but not from other media: Torres is delighting in the “Joys of Hate” — the title of the RDF’s Hate Mail letters page — with anti-Boghossian and anti- New Atheist articles on Salon and other sites.)

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