A study exploring Darwinian reasons there are both more highly intelligent and intelligence-deficient men than women was actively suppressed by professors at prestigious universities, all for merely discussing the reality that the sexes are different, says the study’s coauthor. A journal editor and professor at Smith College told him it was repressed because several academics worried about the “very real possibility that the right-wing media may pick this up and hype it internationally.”
So the study was yanked from acceptance in several journals, lost its coauthors, generated threats to the authors’ careers and institutions, and was stripped of acknowledging its authors had received federal funding, all revealing the deep academic corruption of even “free speech exemplars” like the University of Chicago.
The study was accepted, then rejected at the Mathematical Intelligencer for political reasons. “In my 40 years of publishing research papers I had never heard of the rejection of an already-accepted paper,” writes study coauthor Ted Hill, a research scholar at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Perhaps he’d not run into the “there are fewer women in scientific fields solely because of sexism” mafia before. Well, he sure got the full monty from these ideologues with this paper.
Memory-Hole This One, Or Else
After the study had been yanked from acceptance at MI, an editor at the New York Journal of Mathematics offered to review it for publication. It was accepted there, and published online. Just three days later, however, the study was deleted from its online location after a University of Chicago senior math professor and her husband launched another round of complaints, and a different study was swapped into its place at the same link. It’s like the study was never there.
Hill writes at Quillette of his discussion with a NYJM editor about the deletion:
I pointed out that if the deletion were permanent, it would leave me in an impossible position. I would not be able to republish anywhere else because I would be unable to sign a copyright form declaring that it had not already been published elsewhere. Steinberger replied later that day. Half his board, he explained unhappily, had told him that unless he pulled the article, they would all resign and ‘harass the journal’ he had founded 25 years earlier ‘until it died.’ Faced with the loss of his own scientific legacy, he had capitulated.
The earlier journal editor who had also encouraged and conveyed the acceptance of the paper, then wrote back to say it had been subsequently un-accepted, told Hill “she had received no criticisms on scientific grounds and that her decision to rescind was entirely about the reaction she feared our paper would elicit. By way of further explanation, [Marjorie] Senechal even compared our paper to the Confederate statues that had recently been removed from the courthouse lawn in Lexington, Kentucky.”
What Other Information Have We Never Seen?
These are only highlights from Hill’s insanity-filled saga that instantly raise questions about what other information has been squelched over the decades by academic institutions whose gatekeepers resist acknowledging discoveries or even discussions that might contradict leftist ideology. In the weirdly Soviet process Hill went through to finally publish his study on an online mathematics archive, he lost two coauthors from Penn State due to “career-threatening reprisals from their own departmental colleagues and the diversity committee,” plus disapproval from the federal National Science Foundation agency.
Hill says he’s less easily intimidated than his coauthors since he’s largely retired, plus a Vietnam combat veteran and a former U.S. Army Ranger. Yet how many other academics without Army Ranger-level moxy have aborted research ideas, proposals, and even studies due to their knowledge of this atmosphere? Based on things like this, academia’s uniform leftism according to polls and voter registration, several researchers directly confirming this to me, and the large number of of academics who send The Federalist submissions but want to use a pen name for fear of career reprisals, I’d wager it’s a huge number.
This means we are missing a lot of information about all manner of things, from medicine, to social science, to applied science and more. Even more frightening is that Congress and other legislative bodies, not to mention the countless government agencies, use studies to make the rules American citizens all have to pay for and live under. How many of these rules are based on junk science, or just horribly lopsided science? We can never know.
The Sciences Are Not Immune from Identity Politics
As Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, writes in a preface to an NAS study about modern science’s irreproducibility crisis, “the inability of science to discern truth properly and its politicization go hand in hand.”
The NAS study from April notes that hard-science researchers believed they could insulate themselves from the corruption of identity politics that is now endemic to academia. By now that has been well disproved. It is becoming increasingly common for even hard science research to be aborted in utero. I just wrote last week about how Ivy League Brown University took a study about transgender children off its website and chastised the author rather than the memory-hole contingent.
Before that, I quoted math education professor Rochelle Gutierrez‘s argument for further radicalizing the field of math into an indoctrination weapon because people within the field support that goal: “Many of the mathematicians I know did not shy away from the ‘politics’ [sic] or ask me not to use words like White supremacy when naming the relationship between mathematics and power.”
This is a significant factor in today’s scientific reproducibility crisis, in which researchers have uncovered that myriad — even majorities, in some cases — scientific findings cannot be replicated. In other words, they have no reliability or credibility according to the scientific method, well after their findings have been used to create health, government, social, and other rules. Back to the NAS study:
Findings from experimental work or observational studies turn out, time and again, to be irreproducible. The high rates of irreproducibility are an ongoing scandal that rightly has upset a large portion of the scientific community. Estimates of what percentage of published articles present irreproducible results vary by discipline. Randall and Welser cite various studies, some of them truly alarming. A 2012 study, for example, aimed at reproducing the results of 53 landmark studies in hematology [blood medicine] and oncology [cancer treatment], but succeeded in replicating only six (11 percent) of those studies [emphasis added].
If bad results are not scrutinized early, they can infect their entire subject matter with dangerous falsehoods. Here’s an example also from the NAS study.
In March 2017 a graduate student named Tim van der Zee calculated that critics had already made serious, unrebutted allegations about the reliability of 45 of [a certain researcher’s] publications. Collectively, these publications spanned twenty years of research, had appeared in twenty-five different journals and eight books, and—most troubling of all—had been cited more than 4,000 times. Wansink’s badly flawed research tainted the far larger body of scientific publications that had relied on the accuracy of his results.
The Consequences Of Politicized Science
It is quite obvious that if only 6 percent of “landmark” cancer studies have replicable results, and if bad results infect subsequent treatments, that the reproducibility crisis partly created by the politicization of science is likely deadly. This is one big reason we cannot tolerate bad science, but there are others, deadly both to physical and civic health.
Non-experts need to be able to rely upon experts, and how to think critically about their advice. When we learn that people we used to trust have abused their positions of power, we lose faith in them and the institutions they represent. This is a not-insignificant factor in things like the anti-vaccination and Gwyneth Paltrow crazes.
not doing a great job. Flint water was bad long (and known to be bad) long before anyone told us. Same thing happened (not as egregiously) in a town near me. Science is as fallible as anything else. Thalidomide was science!
— Taffy Brodesser-Akner (@taffyakner) August 2, 2018
Five hours later, my appendix was removed. I was told by head of surgery at NYU downtown that it was an extremely close call. I think about that a lot. What could I have done to better convey myself? As if it was my fault!
— Taffy Brodesser-Akner (@taffyakner) August 2, 2018
“Non-specialists generally are left to trust that what purports to be a contribution to human knowledge has been scrutinized by capable people and found trustworthy. Only we now know that a very significant percentage of such reports are not to be trusted,” says the NAS paper. “What passes as ‘knowledge’ is in fact fiction. And the existence of so many fictions in the guise of science gives further fuel to those who seek to politicize the sciences.”
This set of interlinked phenomena create a dangerous feedback loop where fraud begets fraud, and people — and civic institutions, perhaps even ultimately societies — die. The answer to corruption is not more corruption, of course. It is integrity. If our nation’s leaders and institutions will not provide it, then it is time for a new generation of leaders and institutions to prepare to be worthy to take their places. That means me, it means you, it means us, and now.