That is a lacuna that an astronomy course at Cornell University aims to prevent. “Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos” asks the question, “Is there a connection between the cosmos and the idea of racial blackness?”
Anyone familiar with academia’s racial monomania knows the answer: of course there is! Though “conventional wisdom,” according to the catalog description of “Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos,” holds that the “‘black’ in black holes has nothing to do with race,” astronomy professor Nicholas Battaglia and comparative literature professor Parisa Vaziri know better.
Battaglia and Vaziri puncture the “conventional wisdom” by drawing on theorists such as Emory University English professor Michelle Wright. Wright’s book, The Physics of Blackness: Beyond the Middle Passage Epistemology, invokes “Newton’s laws of motion and gravity” and “theoretical particle physics” to “subvert racist assumptions about Blackness.” The Cornell course also studies music by Sun Ra and Outkast to “conjure blackness through cosmological themes.” …
The humanities and much of the social sciences have been beyond parody and beyond shame for a long time. What’s different about “Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos” is its co-listing in an actual science department. …
It is not surprising that astronomy would be an early adopter of race theory, and that Cornell would lead the way. Many astronomy departments have been on the forefront of campus identity politics, eliminating the physics GRE as a requirement for graduate study, for example, on the ground that it has a disparate impact on female, black, and Hispanic students.
Cornell’s astronomy department will not even allow prospective graduate students to submit the general GRE or the physics GRE. Cornell’s engineering department accepts female undergraduates at over two and a half times the rate of male students, to yield an engineering class that is majority female. This is hardly an accident. Twice as many male as female intending engineering students apply for admission; the average male math SAT score is significantly higher than the average female score, and males predominate at the upper reaches of the curve.
Astronomy lacks immediate factual feedback, so theorizing and social dynamics hold sway over actual evidence. Origin of the universe? Fashions constantly change — no theory stays on top for more than a few years. (After hearing the latest more important-est theory a few times, the rest of us learn to tune them out.) Like a climate scientist, an astronomer can be wrong for decades — a whole career even — and never be contradicted by empirical evidence.
PS Don’t hire engineers from Cornell.