This year’s March for Science offered some sobering revelations for the future of science as identity politics.
One was figurehead Bill Nye. During the aftermath of the March, videos surfaced that won’t likely help his reputation: My Sex Junk and another one in which ice cream cones discover sex. Detractors wondered if he wasn’t now the ”Pee Wee Herman of popular science.” Meanwhile, Nye was also quoted as wanting to shrink science classrooms: “Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?” and also as being open to jailing skeptics of climate change.
But the key complaint about Nye that made news during the pre-March publicity invoked none of this. It was that he is too white. That makes sense if one assumes that, in terms of influence, identity matters far more than behaviour.
Preeminent science journal Nature endorsed the March, suggesting that scientists who object to the antics should shout louder “about what you think matters more.” It’s a strange world in which the bar for a scientist is set at shouting louder than a motivated identity group.
And Harvard sociologist Andrew Jowett explained in the Atlantic that explaining science to the public doesn’t really work anyway: “Scientized” political issues generate “particularly sharp controversies precisely because the participants can focus exclusively on questions of scientific validity while obscuring the values and interests that shape their positions.” As if both sides in any controversy do not have discernible values and interests that shape their positions. His subtext is yet another riff on “The public can’t make good decisions.” We should expect to hear that often now. It would be more helpful to the rest of us if Dr. Jowett would comment on recent trends in which post-normal, “post-truth,” and post-fact science have come to seem normal, and objectivity is seen as sexist or worse.
These protest movements are not 1960s retro; they are a flat-out war on reality, conducted by seasoned veterans with a lot at stake.More.
See also: The war on intellectual freedom How political correctness morphed into a monster.
The war on freedom is rotting our intellectual life In a world governed by naturalism, power is its own justification. That is the single hardest thing for opponents of rampant political correctness to grasp.
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