Civil War on the Left, Part 38: The Beclowning of Science

With the sensational success of the Wymyn’s march a few days after Trump’s inauguration on everyone’s mind (/sarc), the science community decided that it needs a march of its own, because as everyone knows Trump hates science, and as we also know there was no science at all before federal funding.

The March for Science is scheduled for April 22, which is Earth Day (also Lenin’s birthday by “coincidence”). And like the Wymnyn’s March, there is a lot of gnashing of teeth at the intersection of intersectionality. (Among other things, apparently the “diversity policy” for the march as been re-written four times.)

Science March on Washington, Billed as Historic, Plagued by Organizational Turmoil

By Kate Sheridan

It may be the largest rally in support of science ever. Hundreds of thousands of people have joined the Facebook group for the upcoming March for Science, and tens of thousands have offered to volunteer. Beyond a march in Washington, more than 400 cities worldwide will host simultaneous events on April 22 to repudiate science policies of the new White House and Congress.

Yet for all the excitement, STAT has found, plans for the march are plagued by infighting among organizers, attacks from outside scientists who don’t feel their interests are fairly represented, and operational disputes. Tensions have become so pronounced that some organizers have quit and many scientists have pledged not to attend. . .

Rachel Holloway, a clinical psychologist who chairs the event’s diversity and inclusion committee, conceded that initially the group was overwhelmed by scientists and activists clamoring for a spot at the table. . .

Jacquelyn Gill, a biology and ecology professor at the University of Maine, told STAT that she quit the organizing committee in recent weeks because of leaders’ resistance to aggressively addressing inequalities — including race and gender. . .

At the heart of the disagreements are conflicting philosophies over the march’s purpose. In one corner are those who assert that the event should solely promote science itself: funding, evidence-based policies, and international partnerships.

In another are those who argue that the march should also bring attention to broader challenges scientists face, including issues of racial diversity in science, women’s equality, and immigration policy. . .

Science March

Is my popcorn ready yet? The entire article is quite long and offers lots of smiles at the struggles of political correctness among people who don’t understand that intersections are prime spots for crashes—especially when no one wants to turn on a red light to stop people who should be stopped.

Amazingly, it is the social scientists who are saying the whole thing should be avoided (although a close reading quickly reveals that the author of this article is that extremely rare beast: a sensible social scientist):

Why Social Scientists Should Not Participate in the March for Science

By Clay Routledge

I realize that this will be a controversial position, but I believe the best way social scientists can contribute to the March for Science is to quietly sit this one out. I am very much pro-science and share some of the concerns people have about cultural and political threats to science. That being said, in my opinion, the social sciences are currently too compromised to help the cause. Even those who have the best intentions risk doing more harm than good.

Gotta run. My popcorn is ready.

More here.

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