August 11, 2017
Science shouldn’t be misconstrued as truth because most of the foundations were laid by white men, says Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a particle physicist and philosopher of science at the University of Washington. Her argument appeared at Slate in an article titled, “Stop Equating ‘Science’ with Truth.”
Prescod-Weinstein’s entire premise was built on the Google employee memo which laid out factual differences between men and women and why women are less likely to enter fields of science and technology:
It is impossible to consider this field of science without grappling with the flaws of the institution—and of the deification—of science itself. For example: It was argued to me this week that the Google memo failed to constitute hostile behavior because it cited peer-reviewed articles that suggest women have different brains. The well-known scientist who made this comment to me is both a woman and someone who knows quite well that “peer-reviewed” and “correct” are not interchangeable terms. This brings us to the question that many have grappled with this week. It’s 2017, and to some extent scientific literature still supports a patriarchal view that ranks a man’s intellect above a woman’s…
Science’s greatest myth is that it doesn’t encode bias and is always self-correcting. In fact, science has often made its living from encoding and justifying bias, and refusing to do anything about the fact that the data says something’s wrong.
Prescod-Weinstein puts “science” in quotations a lot in her piece because of its ties to Europe during the Enlightenment. “Much of the science that resulted from this system, conducted primarily by white men, is what helped teach us that women were the inferior sex,” she writes.
And those systems have been passed on through the ages through bad education and apparently, she is finally telling everyone the truth in this article:
Most saliently in the context of the Google memo, our scientific educations almost never talk about the invention of whiteness and the invention of race in tandem with the early scientific method which placed a high value on taxonomies—which unsurprisingly and almost certainly not coincidentally supported prevailing social views.
We never learned that former president and inventor Thomas Jefferson “hid behind science as a shield” because his writings about slaves being inferior to whites proved he was not “much of a scientist” as much as he was “a biased white supremacist.”
And then there was the stealing of ideas already known by indigenous peoples:
Very few curricula acknowledge that some European scientific “discoveries” were in fact collations of borrowed indigenous knowledge. And far too many universally call technology progress while failing to acknowledge that it has left us in a dangerously warmed climate.
Wait, how did climate change sneak in there? Is she saying that is “science” or science?
One of the top comments on this story really gets at the heart of the matter of what this feminist physicist is trying to say: “Obviously any science done by anyone not a young Black female with a degree in physics is at best bunk, but probably evil. We all need to throw away the Constitution because an evil White man wrote that, too.”
Prescod-Weinstein suggested in her conclusion that perhaps a new experiment is in order to take back science from the patriarchy:
Google bro would argue that we ought to consider the possibility that white women and racial minorities simply produce lower-quality work, which is why we struggle to be recognized as competent knowledge producers. It’s time to turn the tables on this debate. Rather than leaning in and trying endlessly to prove our humanity and value, people like him should have to prove that our inferiority is the problem. Eliminate structural biases in education, health care, housing, and salaries that favor white men and see if we fail. Run the experiment. Be a scientist about it.
But as she explained already in her article, it was men like “Google bro” that encoded their bias into scientific theory which would make any conclusions from the experiments null and void. And then where will she find the answers? Perhaps she’ll join other leftists and pursue their “own truth.”
This article was posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 at 7:25 am