Covered at American Council on Science and Health:
Last week I highlighted four disturbing trends in science journalism that are destroying the public’s trust in mainstream academic and public health institutions. It’s time to add a fifth bromide to the list: science publications that prize “social justice” activism over evidence-based analysis.
Scientific American may be the worst offender in this respect, publishing groundless opinion pieces such as “Denial of Evolution Is a Form of White Supremacy” and “Modern Mathematics Confronts its White Patriarchal Past.” Biologist Jerry Coyne and science writer Michael Shermer have taken apart both articles in great detail, but Scientific American hasn’t stopped there. The magazine’s coverage of crop biotechnology has tragically devolved into social justice foolishness as well.
On December 27th, SciAm published a story so ridiculous it could have been written by a Greenpeace activist: “How Biotech Crops Can Crash—and Still Never Fail.” American Council on Science and Health (December 29, 2021)Cameron English, “‘Woke’ Scientific American Goes Anti-GMO” at American Cou
Yes, English notes that Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne denounced the unhinged claim in a Scientific American op-ed earlier this year that creationism was a form of white supremacy: “Sure, there may be racists among creationists—there has to be given the connection between Evangelical Christianity and the South—but you’d have to essentially make things up to argue that creationism comes from white supremacy and that its connection with religion is ‘a lie.’”
Okay. But — Cameron, Jerry, are you listening?: Just making things up and enforcing belief in their fantasy is a privilege the Woke give themselves. As we enter the new year, we need to soberly assess the fact that Wokeness is claiming some science media the way cancer claims a body.
On the bright side: In a still-free society, Wokeness will create a space for a new popular science magazine. Lots of Woke-weary folk who value evidence over ideology would likely support it. That magazine should allow evidence-based criticism of Darwinian theory — which is treated with considerable skepticism anyway once you get outside the venue of the very people who blew up SciAm with their Wokeness.
Hey! We have stories. No rants, no picket signs. Lots of stories.
You may also wish to read: Cameron’s Four awful science journalism trends that should die.
Yer news hack (O’Leary for News) is so old that she remembers when science journalists started to denounce the idea of listening to both sides, some time early in the millennium. And here we are today…