Dust Up: Social Justice and STEM Publishing

June 28, 2023

Are you familiar with “social justice warriors?” These are people who. Take it upon themselves to police the world for their moral causes, usually from a self-righteous standpoint. Social justice warriors are also known my the acronym SJWs and can cross over into the infamous Karen zone. Unfortunately Heterodox STEM reports SJWs have invaded the science community and Anna Krylov and Jay Tanzman discussed the issue in their paper: “Critical Social Justice Subverts Scientific Publishing.”

SJWs advocate for the politicization of science, adding an ideology to scientific research also known as critical social justice (CSJ). It upends the true purpose of science which is to help and advance humanity. CSJ adds censorship, scholarship suppression, and social engineering to science.

Krylov and Tanzmans’ paper was presented at the Perils for Science in Democracies and Authoritarian Countries and they argue CSJ harms scientific research than helps it. They compare CSJ to Orwell’s fictional Ministry of Love; although real life examples such as Josef Goebbels’s Nazi Ministry of Propaganda, the USSR’s Department for Agitation and Propaganda, and China’s authoritarian regime work better. CSJ is the opposite of the Enlightenment that liberated human psyches from religious and royal dogmas. The Enlightenment engendered critical thinking, the scientific process, philosophy, and discovery. The world became more tolerant, wealthier, educated, and healthier as a result.

CSJ creates censorship and paranoia akin to tyrannical regimes:

“According to CSJ ideologues, the very language we use to communicate our findings is a minefield of offenses. Professional societies, universities, and publishing houses have produced volumes dedicated to “inclusive” language that contain long lists of proscribed words that purportedly can cause offense and—according to the DEI bureaucracy that promulgates these initiatives—perpetuate inequality and exclusion of some groups, disadvantage women, and promote patriarchy, racism, sexism, ableism, and other isms. The lists of forbidden terms include “master database,” “older software,” “motherboard,” “dummy variable,” “black and white thinking,” “strawman,” “picnic,” and “long time no see” (Krylov 2021: 5371, Krylov et al. 2022: 32, McWhorter 2022, Paul 2023, Packer 2023, Anonymous 2022). The Google Inclusive Language Guide even proscribes the term “smart phones” (Krauss 2022). The Inclusivity Style  Guide of the American Chemical Society (2023)—a major chemistry publisher of more than 100 titles—advises against using such terms as “double blind studies,” “healthy weight,” “sanity check,” “black market,” “the New World,” and “dark times”…”

New meanings that cause offense are projected onto benign words and their use is taken out of context. At this rate, everything people say will be considered offensive, including the most uncontroversial topic: the weather.

Science must be free from CSJ ideologies but also corporate ideologies that promote profit margins. Examples from American history include, Big Tobacco, sugar manufacturers, and Big Pharma.

Whitney Grace, June 28, 2023


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