If scientists get elected, will they confront the war on STEM education?
|November 5, 2018||Posted by News under Culture, science education|
Some scientists hope to influence society by running for office:
On the verge of Election Day in the U.S. a political movement focused on getting scientists into public office is hoping that results at the polls will lead to more scenes like this one at state houses, city councils and school boards across the country, not just at a federal level. At least 70 scientist–candidates launched bids for office at the state and local level this election cycle, most of them first-time campaigners and part of a record wave of scientists bucking a long-established penchant to avoid the political arena. Organizers hope this will become a deep bench of up-and-coming policy makers with science and technology backgrounds who might contest for higher office in years to come. Or many may stay local, because those jobs are usually part-time and allow researchers to maintain careers that were their first passion.
For Jasmine Clark, a microbiologist and lecturer at Emory University competing for a state house seat in a district about 30 minutes northeast of Atlanta, the decision to run for office was not difficult. But she says there has been a steep learning curve, including figuring out how to craft a message to sell herself to voters. On the campaign trail, though her flyers include a drawing of an atom, she says some people “could care less that I’m a scientist, so most of the time I don’t harp too much on the science part. But when I say things like we need to get back to facts, they all agree with that.” David S. Rauf, “Scientist-Politicians Go Local: From Lab Bench to a Deep Bench” at Scientific American
It’s good to hear that candidate Clark finds that the public still cares about facts because, as has often been pointed out here, among educrats, there is currently a culture war against science disciplines that still care about such things:
Science, we are told by one source, is “inherently discriminatory to women and minorities by promoting a view of knowledge as static and unchanging, a view of teaching that promotes the idea of a passive student, and by promoting a chilly climate that marginalizes women.” (Laura Parson, dissertation, University of North Dakota).
Parson is not a lone voice. We hear that objectivity, along with “scientific,” “valid,” “reliable,” and “rationality,” is racist and sexist, a mere veneer for white male power (P.L. Thomas. “White Men Of Academia Have An ‘Objectivity’ Problem,” HuffPost June 14, 2017). Darwinian atheist Jerry Coyne complains, “These misguided people argue not only that there is no objective reality, but that attempts to find and teach it are sexist: that such endeavors are masculine ones, and that the methods of science themselves make the discipline sexist and patriarchal.”
Yes, Dr. Coyne, they do argue that and they are dead serious. Their cause includes citational politics, which means avoiding the citation of research by white male academics like himself. Would the fact that he is considered an expert in his field (evolutionary biology) make any difference? Not if objective reality is sexist.
Some progressives also tag science as a form of colonialism. Here again, as atheist neurologist Steven Novella makes clear, science’s core values, not individual scientists’ cultural failings, are under assault. Unfortunately, Dr. Novella responds by arguing that science is inherently anti-colonial because “the very essence of science is to seek objective truth that is separate from the assumptions of any particular culture.” Does he not grasp that “objective truth” is precisely what is under assault? More.
The scientists in office can pretend these people aren’t in positions of influence in education but that would be bad news for their constituents.
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See also: Enemies of science? The current war on objectivity is a genuine enemy
Professor: Maths should be a movement against “objects, truths, and knowledge”
Education prof: Upend science to benefit the oppressed