The DIE plan 73

If we lose science – real science, not social, Communist, Muslim, climate or Christian “science” – we may as well grow tails and live in trees.

And we are threatened with its loss.

Professor Jordan Peterson writes at National Review:

I have watched the universities of the Western world devour themselves in a myriad of fatal errors over the last two decades, and take little pleasure in observing the inevitable unfold. It is a failing of human reason, with all its limitations, ego, and pretensions, to serve as Cassandra; to derive a certain satisfaction in watching the ship whose demise was foretold breach its hull on rocks hidden from all other observers. The self-righteous pleasure of “I told you so,” is, however, of little comfort when the icy water wends its way around ankle, knee and thigh, threatening to swamp everything still retaining its incalculable and unlikely value, even if it simultaneously makes short shrift of the ignorance and willful blindness that is frequently part and parcel of the death of something once great.

Italics ours. That must the most mixed metaphor so far this century. But we get what he’s meaning to say, and we like the points he is trying to make, so we’ll just laugh amiably and move on.

He relates what has happened to certain STEM academics whose importance to science has been found unimportant when weighed against politically correct opinion.

He cites the case of the highly distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Tomáš Hudlický, of Brock University (Canada), who submitted an essay to the extremely eclectic journal Angewandte Chemie, “a prestigious place of scientific publication among chemists”. It was accepted and published. It memorialized and updated “a piece written thirty years ago, which has been widely recognized as powerfully influencing the direction of the chemistry subfield in question (organic synthesis)”. Then all hell broke over the author’s head. Some sentences in the (approximately) 4,000 word essay “raised the ire of a Twitter mob” – of “about a dozen” in number – “howling about ‘academic feudalism’ and calling it an ‘anti-diversity screed’”.

At once the editor of the journal snapped to attention, removed the essay from the journal’s website, condemned it as “unfair, untrustworthy and lacking in “social awareness”, apologized abjectly for having published it, and declared the author and two of his editors to be “discriminatory, unjust, and inequitable”. He fired the two editors.

Hudlický himself went on being punished. The journal Synthesis was about to dedicate an entire issue to him to celebrate his 70th birthday, but upon hearing that he lacked social awareness, was unfair, untrustworthy, unjust, discriminatory and inequitable, cancelled the project. Another journal, Highlights in Chemistry expunged all mention of him and his work. A European chemical society (name not as yet made public) objected to other researchers in his field collaborating with him. And his professional colleagues at Brock University turned against him.

Whatever had the professor said that amounted to such frightful sinning against political correctness?

According to Dr. Greg Finn, Provost and VP Academic at Brock, the essay “’contains descriptions of the graduate supervisor-graduate student relationship that connote disrespect and subservience. These statements could be alarming to students and others who have the reasonable expectation of respectful and supportive mentorship’”. He cringingly begged for mercy on the University for having such a disgusting human being on its staff, pleading that the offending statements “’do not reflect the principles of inclusivity, diversity and equity included in the University’s mission, vision and values as approved by our Senate and Board of Trustees’”. [To risk being appalled or merely mystified by the actual statements, go here.]

The story makes glaringly clear the fact that, Professor Peterson writes, “research prowess is no longer as important as willingness to mouth the appalling commonplaces of political correctness in the hallowed corridors of academe”. 

He further proves his case:

A highly cited professor of physics, whom I cannot name, at a university I cannot name either (suffice it to say that the former has garnered 100+ publications and 7000+ citations in a highly technical field) had his standard Canadian Federal grant application rejected because he had failed to sufficiently detail his plans to ensure diversity, inclusivity and equity (DIE) practices while conducting his scientific inquiry. It is now standard practice for university hiring boards to insist that their faculty job applicants submit a DIE plan with their curriculum vitae — a terribly dangerous occurrence of its own.

Ah, there is one thing we can praise! The acronym of the plan’s name could not be more suitable. DIE. Die the institution of the university. Die morality. Die science. Die the human race. 

Do not be afraid that it will be a protracted process of dying. Western medical science is to be replaced by Native American healing practices. And – politically incorrect though it is to say so – those practices have been found less effective than the wicked white man’s methods.

For a while you will have a choice. To start with, the “Indigenous knowledge” of medicine will be reckoned “equally valid to Western science”. That’s obviously insufficiently respectful of “Indigenous knowledge”. In time the replacement will happen. We can all rest easy on that score.

I believe that the fundamental reason such plans are required, particularly of those who practice in the so-called “hard” STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is so that those who could not hope to assess the quality of research endeavors in those specialties as a consequence of their own inability or ignorance, can be made into judges by enforcing the adoption of standards of attitude and behavior that have nothing to do with the fields in question.

Consider this, in addition: a group of three professors at Concordia were awarded a New Frontiers in Research Grant (announced in late 2019) aimed at “engaging Indigenous understanding and involving Indigenous communities in the co-creation of knowledge, the project aims to decolonize contemporary physics research and attract Indigenous students.” The head researcher, Dr. Tanja Tajmel, “questioned the colonial assumptions made in the way Western science evaluates light and what it considers knowledge.” Dr. Louellyn White [whose name surely requires additional self-abasement – ed], associate professor in First Peoples Studies, added that “Indigenous ways of knowing have been suppressed and marginalized throughout academic history and we are finally gaining momentum in elevating Indigenous knowledges as equally valid to Western science… If we, as an institution, do not embody the Territorial Acknowledgement by recognizing and affirming the expertise of our Elders as Knowledge Keepers, the acknowledgement becomes nothing but empty platitudes.” Dr. Ingo Salzmann, the last of the three principal investigators to whom the funds were awarded, says, “The culture of physics certainly changes with diverse people involved.” He argues, “Therefore, decolonizing science involves challenging the underlying hierarchies.”

The refusal of the research grant application specifically requesting funding for what must now apparently be regarded as “colonialized physics” and the success of the application that had the magical mention of “indigenous knowledge” should alert us to the fact that with the increasingly successful politicization of the university the STEM fields comprise the next frontier for occupation by the politically correct.

Qualified and expert researchers in such fields are already in great danger of being pushed aside by activists of the proper opinion. The rest of us will pay in the longer run, when we no longer have the will or the capacity to make use of the rare talents that make people highly competent and productive as scientists, technological innovators, engineers or mathematicians [or doctors]. Wake up, STEM denizens: your famous immunity to political concerns will not protect you against what is headed your way fast over the next five or so years.

Everyone must wake up to the plan to undo the achievements of our civilization. The DIE plan.

What, if anything, can be done about it?

Posted under education, Science by Jillian Becker on Sunday, July 5, 2020

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