The activists are now stalking the hard scientists

The activists are now stalking the hard scientists, by Jordan Peterson. (He’s back!)

I have watched the universities of the Western world devour themselves in a myriad of fatal errors over the last two decades … It is a failing of human reason, with all its limitations, ego, and pretensions, to serve as Cassandra … The self-righteous pleasure of “I told you so,” is, however, of little comfort …

Persecuting a technical genius — because in one published sentence he noted the obvious drawback to diversity:

Dr. Tomas Hudlicky of Brock [University in Canada] submitted an essay memorializing and updating a piece written thirty years ago [for chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie]. … The good doctor holds a prestigious Canada Research Chair … Hudlicky’s research productivity is admirable and rare. …

Twitter seems to exist primarily for the purpose of generating mobs — composed primarily of individuals who are hungry for blood and desiring to bask in the joys of reasonably risk-free reputation destruction, revenge and self-righteousness.

Furthermore, as far as Twitter mobs go, those who complained about the Angewandte Chemie publication were by no means numerous, constituting perhaps less than a dozen. No matter: once the complaints emerged, the editor of the journal in charge of Hudlicky’s work — Dr. Neville Compton — removed the paper from the journal’s website, and offered an abject apology for daring to have published it. Furthermore, he reported the “suspension” of two of the journal’s editors and cast aspersions on Hudlicky’s ethics, stating that his essay did not properly reflect fairness, trustworthiness and social awareness, while implying that the now-pilloried author and his peer reviewers and editors were discriminatory, unjust and inequitable in practice.

What were Hudlicky’s sins? … Here are the sentences constituting his wrong-think, which I have paraphrased slightly for length.

“In the last two decades many groups have been designated with ‘preferential status’ (despite substantive increases in the recruitment of women and minorities). Preferential treatment of one group leads inexorably to disadvantages for another. Each candidate should have an equal opportunity to secure a position, regardless of personal identification/categorization. Hiring practices that aim at equality of outcome is counter-productive if it results in discrimination against the most meritorious candidates. Such practice has also led to the emergence of mandatory ‘training workshops’ on gender equity, inclusion, diversity, and discrimination.” …

The Twitter trolls who objected to this opinion nonetheless reacted as if Hudlicky had said that efforts to “diversify” hiring and student selection were definitively harmful, and this is simply untrue. …

That is the sum total of Hudlicky’s academic crimes. He has faced severe retaliation on no less than six separate fronts for his hypothetically unforgivable thoughts — the two we have already discussed, and four more, including, third, the cancellation of an entire issue of the journal Synthesis (published by Thieme), which was to be dedicated to his 70th birthday and for which invitations had already been sent to more than forty prominent scientists; fourth, the elimination of any mention of his work in yet another journal, Highlights in Chemistry; fifth, a statement by a European chemical society (not as yet made public) hypothetically critiquing his ongoing collaborations with researchers from that continent; and sixth, his transformation into whipping boy by his own faithless professional colleagues at the administrative level at Brock University.

After two more examples, Dr Peterson concludes:

The increasingly successful politicization of … 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.

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.

The comrades, triumphant, will be like a boot stomping on our faces forever.

The universities are the centers of the new repression and irrationality. Defund them, or we’ll be back with the third world in two generations.

hat-tip Stephen Neil