SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN Goes Even Woker: "Why Scientists Must Stand For Affirmative Action And Against Scientific Racism"
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The Supreme Court oral arguments on affirmative action gave Scientific American magazine yet another opportunity to remind us science geeks why we don’t read the filthy thing, and to remind us science geeks of the senior cohort why we lament the cruel death of the Scientific American we read so eagerly in our youth when it covered actual science in a way that was actually interesting to people who were not hysterical adolescent girls.

Monday the magazine’s website ran a big op-ed under the title ”Why Scientists Must Stand for Affirmative Action and against Scientific Racism.”

As a piece of opinion journalism, this one is pretty dire.

Every cliché you’d predict before starting to read it is there. ”Systemic racism”: check. ”White supremacy”: check. The late Phil Rushton was a ”notorious scientific racist”: check. The Bell Curve is ”pseudoscience”: check. A lunatic killer who was a race realist proves that race realism is ”dangerous”: check. Mustaches must be dangerous, then: Stalin and Hitler both had one.

As a piece of science journalism, the op-ed is a disgrace. The scientific temperament does not pronounce as indisputable facts ideas that are highly disputable, and disputed by thoughtful and learned people. It does not pretend that fashionable luxury opinions are the last word on open scientific topics. It does not abuse and insult by name persons whose research, conducted with proper scientific rigor, suggests results displeasing to political ideologues.

I did get one faint smile out of the piece. Enumerating racial and ethnic groups that, the authors say, are underrepresented in STEM programs, they list, quote: ”Black, Latine, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students,” end quote.

The second term in that list is spelt L-a-t-i-n-e. La-teen? La-tine? Don’t ask me. It’s the first time I’ve seen that. Has ”Latinx” now been laughed out of usage even by the former Teen Vogue staffers now writing for Scientific American?

What caused me the faint smile was the thought of some subversive subeditor in some publication slipping a letter ”r” into that word…

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