Showing posts from February, 2018

Feminist Glaciers and the Science Culture Wars

Steven Pinker recently penned a massive essay for Chronicle called "The Intellectual War on Science." I'm generally a pretty big fan of Pinker, but I am skeptical of this narrative that there's a "war on science," fed by some sort of postmodernist view that truth is relative. This is a popular narrative among people like Jordan Peterson and Gad Saad, who seem to think postmodernism (and the damn feminists!) are ruining science. Saad, for example, recently mocked an event purporting to address feminist issues in science, saying sarcastically, "I've always thought that research on the distribution of prime numbers was biased by the male gaze. Let's have a more diverse and inclusive understanding of number theory."

Before proceeding, I want to lead with a quote by one of my favorite scientists, cognitive linguist George Lakoff. In his book Philosophy in the Flesh, he remarks,
Science, as Kuhn rightly observed, does not always proceed by the l…