March For Science Descending Into Farce

Diversity and Intersectionality edition

By William M Briggs Published on April 9, 2017

Last thing the March for Science needs, say some agitated folks, is Bill Nye the “Science Guy” co-leading the parade. Why?

Their complaint is not that he’s an errorprone non-scientist, though that’s true. See, Nye is white. And a man. And some organizers are concerned that onlookers will notice Nye is white, and a man, and project his male-whiteness onto science itself. That in turn will cause the gullible to figure science is mostly done by white men.

Which, historically and in many current fields, it was and is. Now this fact may be for good or for bad, but it is a fact. And it’s not likely those who say they are “for” science and reason would be pleased were the contributions from white men removed from science. So long, calculus!

Or maybe they would be. Because it seems organizers believe scientific results are less important than who is producing them. Diversity trumps science.

Proof? Buzzfeed reports that, so far, the March for Science has already gone through “four diversity statements.” So the Twitter account @ScienceMarchDC tweeted (and later deleted) “colonization, racism, immigration, native rights, sexism, ableism, queer-, trans-, intersex-phobia, & econ justice are scientific issues.” The tweet also pictured a black power fist and rainbow flag icons.

Of course, science per se is silent on all these matters. But that’s because natural science alone is mute on every moral and ethical question put to it. Including the question whether to deign to include a white man holding a science baton.

“I love Bill Nye,” said Stephani Page, a biophysicist at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who created the Twitter hashtag #BlackAndSTEM. Page was asked to join the march’s board in February after she tweeted criticism of its approach to diversity. “But I do feel comfortable saying to you what I said to the steering committee: He is a white male, and in that way he does represent the status quo of science, of what it is to be a scientist.”

And being a scientist is not about race and sex. It’s about intelligence, talent, interest, drive, money, and luck. Much the same as what success in most fields require.

The March organizers say nothing about this. They want us to know what they really stand for (emphasis original):

Inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility are integral to this mission and to our overall goals and principles. People have rightly pointed out that some of our own public communications, including social media posts, have not affirmed this stance. …We are actively partnering with and seeking advice from organizations and individuals with expertise in this area. We cannot ignore issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, xenophobia, or any other form of discrimination in the discussion and implementation of science. Nor can we ignore the ways in which science has been misused to harm marginalized communities. The lack of inclusivity and diversity in STEM thwarts scientific advancements not only by limiting who conducts the research, but also by influencing what topics are studied, who participates in the research, and who will benefit from or be harmed by it.

Sound like left wing politics to you, and not science? That was the effect they were going for. Organizers insist, “It was a mistake to ever imply that the March for Science is apolitical — while this march is explicitly non-partisan, it is political” (the original statement was in bold type).

Yet the positions taken by the politicians, activists, and many others involved in the March are rankly partisan. They insist on diversity. That means rigorous, mandatory and monitored balance between people from favored groups. This is not a scientific concept. It is pure politics. And anti-scientific politics, at that.

We observe that men and women have about the same averages on intelligence tests. But more men than women have extreme scores (both low and high). That’s one reason why there are far more men than women in the club of elite research mathematicians. There is also the matter of choice. Far more men than women choose to do theoretical physics.

Marchers call this a “disparity.” The rest of us call it a banal consequence of nature and freedom. Yet marchers insist on the theory of equality, which says that men and women must all be innately equal in all abilities, and must be equally represented in every field.

The march organizers are adamant, though, that theory rules over evidence. They tweeted, “For those wondering, #intersectionality is a core principle of #ScienceMarch, and we will soon be releasing our formal vision.”

Intersectionality is the theory that only trained academics and activists can spot “oppression” of favored political groups. Or it might be better said, as Andrew Sullivan did, that intersectionality is a religion and not just a theory. Except that that insults religion. It’s really a false religion.

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  • Gary

    The solution is simple. Have Nye “identify” as a black female. That should satisfy the liberals.

    • WHMay

      Or identify as an Asian transexual. It’s not like this stuff is written in stone.

      • Sonnys_Mom

        Or a “furry” (person who “identifies as” an animal).

    • Surfinnonreality

      Or any one of the over 100+ (and growing) list of genders.

  • Craig King

    I presume this level of idiocy is coming to engineering soon. What a world, what a world.

  • JP

    Science has failed us in not denouncing homosexual sex and transgenderism.

    • DCM7

      Actually, scientific knowledge has devastatingly denounced all of those things, and more. The problem is that the scientific community in general hasn’t followed suit.

      • Az1seeit

        The “scientific community”….isn’t.

      • Sonnys_Mom

        Afraid of losing their research grants?

    • Sonnys_Mom

      Those who try are attacked and given the full Alinsky treatment.

  • eddiestardust

    See that flag? What does that have to do with science? NOTHING! That’s why I will have NOTHING to do with this!

  • Charles Burge

    As a geek who has always loved science, this is particularly dismaying to me. It’s not that surprising when young millenials who never learned to think critically latch on to Marxist ideology. But when some of our brightest thinkers are infected with the same intellectual rot, one has to wonder what is really going on here.

    The Bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. As a culture shifts to a wholesale rejection of God and Truth, it really does seem that wisdom is in increasingly short supply.

  • socalpa

    Let’s call this display by its’ proper name .. the.. March for Science ..Budgets !!

    I wonder how many readers would agree that since actors and politicians can represent science ..how about a singer representing Climate Science ?

    A …Black Female singer ,representing ..Climate Science ! I nominate Rihanna ! With a theme song adapted from John Lennons’ Imagine …

    What a scene ! Rihanna , leading Al Gore ,Bill the End is Nye and De Caprio and thousands of scientists terrified at the prospect of budget cuts errr.. Climate Change
    belting out these powerful lyrics ;

    Imagine there’s no icecaps , easy if you try ..No snow to cool us ,and we all gonna fry …

    Imagine all those countries, signed the Paris Deal, now no U.S money ,hear the UN squeal ..

    You hoo may say I’m a Dreamer, but ,I’m not the only one…… I hope someday Ivanka hears us , and the budget cuts will soon be gone !

    More lyrics as I think of em’ Enjoy !

  • TheRealTruthSerum

    The left uses soviet style propaganda and tactics and gets soviet style results. What these idiots don’t understand is that they will be the first to rot in a gulag if they are successful in their revolution.

    • Sonnys_Mom

      If not “up against the wall” (favorite Weatherman slogan from the 1970s)…

  • socalpa

    I can hardly wait for the MARCH FOR SCIENCE ..which everyone knows is really a MARCH FOR SCIENCE….BUDGETS !

    I keep visualizing some of the signs the big climate change science salesmen will be carrying ..

    Al Gores .sign reading I WAS THE PRESIDENT .

    Followed by Dr. Michael Mann .. I WAS A NOBEL PRIZE WINNER

    Bill the End is Nyes sign …BRING BACK THE LITTLE ICE AGE

    De Caprio …. Uhh.. SAVE THE HURRICANES ? .

    • Sonnys_Mom

      Can’t wait to see the costumes! /s

  • Joe Bastardi

    Yet another article by the master, William Briggs, that when I get thru reading, have me thinking :” why didnt I write that?”

  • Sonnys_Mom

    The March for Science Organizing Committee could have saved a lot of deleting-after-tweeting, if they had just stuck with the meme: #SmashBoundaries That way they get to attack everything at once!

  • Buster

    when you have no common sense, the result is you become a leftist.

  • cc

    #BillNyeTheWhiteGuy
    I’m getting out the Orville Redenbacker snacks to watch this debacle unfold…. munch munch munch

  • eddiestardust

    Oh let’s “Gayify everything” because it’s just soooo cool to do that…
    Meanwhile…outside “The Twilight Zone” Trump becomes President and starts to bring jobs back to America!

  • bbb

    Truth is not just an ideal, it is Christ who is the way, the truth and the life.
    All the gibberish poured into the bowl of ideologies means nothing.
    Pray this Easter that Nye, Page, atheists in DC and agnostics each comes to know Jesus Christ as their personal savior.
    That is the truth.
    If these are the last days then everyone who has not given themselves completely 100% to Jesus is in more peril than any of their imaginings and predictions could ever manufacture.

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