The Curryman

just another angry brown man…

Exposing Academic Tomfoolery

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Be careful when you pick a fight with the academic establishment, especially when you make them look like fools by exposing their nonsense. One professor at Portland State University is facing the wrath of school administrators for his hoax of tricking academic journals to publish his bogus research.

From Reason:

“Peter Boghossian, a professor of philosophy best known for his involvement in the “grievance studies” hoax papers, is now in trouble with Portland State University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB), which has accused him of violating its policies regarding the ethical treatment of human test subjects in the course of his experiment.

“Your efforts to conduct human subjects research at PSU without a submitted nor approved protocol is a clear violation of the policies of your employer,” wrote PSU Vice President Mike McLellan in an email to Boghossian, according to Areo.

This charge makes Boghossian sound like Dr. Frankenstein. But the “human subjects” in question are the peer reviewers and journal editors who accepted Boghossian’s hoax papers for publication. Their reputations may have suffered as a result of being duped—and they were indeed unwitting participants in the experiment—but their physical well-being was not compromised. Moreover, it may not have been obvious to Boghossian and his co-conspirators that research conducted outside his field, bearing no formal connection to Portland State University, was still subject to IRB approval.

Nevertheless, the professor could face sanctions for his conduct, including possible termination.

Let’s back up a bit. The “grievance studies” hoax—also known as Sokal Squared, in reference to physicist Alan Sokal’s similar stunt from 1996—was masterminded by Boghossian and two friends: Areo editor Helen Pluckrose and mathematician James Lindsay. The trio, who consider themselves left-wing, were concerned about the state of modern discourse on the left; they had come to believe that academic journals would uncritically accept drivel for publication, so long as the underlying research promoted leftist identity politics.

Read rest of the article here.

The goal of Boghossian and his colleagues are two-fold: 1) to expose the “grievance studies” industry for what it really is — identity politics, which permeates college and university campuses; and 2) defend freedom of speech and tolerance of other opinions other than the prevailing one. Academic institutions, especially in areas of humanities and social sciences, have increasing become islands of intolerance and dogma. College campuses were once a fertile ground for free debate but now they are centers for indoctrination of the ideology of identity politics.

It’s not like Boghossian and colleagues are a bunch of right-wing nutjobs, but fellow members of the left. But if we have seen anything is that the left consumes their own, especially those that dare stray from the orthodoxy. Regardless of the fallout for Boghossian, he has done all of us a great favor by exposing the fraud and hypocrisy that is academia.

I recommend watching this Joe Rogan podcast where Boghosian and his colleague, mathematician Lyndsey, explain why they did what they did.  

Written by curryman

January 10, 2019 at 20:55

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