It’s been a matter of significant debate for some time just how seriously we should take the soft sciences in the first place. Even before the social sciences expanded into such unnecessary avenues as gender studies and LGBT disciplines, it was clear that this form of “science” was much more susceptible to bias and fraud than traditional hard science – which is already far from free of such concerns. If statistics can be made to say anything the researchers want them to say, then the same is doubly true of social science studies. And the problem multiples tenfold when political correctness becomes so oppressive that peers in the scientific and academic community are no longer willing to challenge even the most ridiculous studies. At that point, we’re no longer doing science at all; we’re merely giving a soapbox to propaganda.
Unfortunately, things may be even worse than we thought.
This week, three professional academics – James Lindsay, Peter Boghossian, and Helen Pluckrose – revealed to the Wall Street Journal that they have spent that last year engaged in an ongoing hoax. They have submitted multiple fictitious studies to some of the most respected journals in the field; to their surprise, seven of them were accepted by the academic establishment. It is not a coincidence that these papers were written in the fields of race, gender, sexuality – what the academics themselves refer to as “grievance studies.”
“Certain aspects of knowledge production in the United States have been corrupted,” say the researchers, by an abject fear among academics of being accused of racism, sexism, and other forms of privilege-based oppression.
The researchers make an extraordinary case for themselves, considering the fact that their hoax papers was truly absurd. These weren’t merely examples of poor research edging its way through the cracks; these were actively ridiculous studies that should have been rejected out of hand.
In one example, the academics managed to publish a study on the “rape culture” overtaking dog parks throughout the nation. The paper called for “awareness into the different ways dogs are treated on the basis of their gender and queering behaviors, and the chronic and perennial rape emergency dog parks pose to female dogs.”
The feminist journal “Gender, Place & Culture” published the study without asking for additional data.
Although, to be fair, we’re pretty sure we’ve seen more ridiculous nonsense come out of the world of feminist academia. When you really think about it, is the idea of dog rape any more absurd than “Believe All Women”?
It’s time for the scientific community to clean house.