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Identity Politics Invades Astronomy

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  • Identity Politics Invades Astronomy

    It was inevitable when back in 2014 after scientists succeeded in landing a probe on a comet that the left was only interested in the "sexist" shirt one of the scientists were wearing

    Source: Identity Politics Is Taking Over Astronomy


    Now even astronomy has to be intersectional.

    Astro 2020 is the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) outline of astronomy’s top priorities for the next ten years. Astro 2020 thinks the search for diversity is as important as the search for extraterrestrial life, and it dutifully recites the importance of “specific steps that the agencies can take towards increasing diversity, equity and sustainability.” The panelists who contributed to the report paste the party line onto astronomy’s actual subject matter: “I’m excited to see that there is a strong focus on building an astronomy and astrophysics workforce that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable in the report. I am looking forward to seeing how the exoplanet field evolves as we work toward the goals outlined in ‘Pathways to Habitable Worlds’ scientific priority area.”

    Professional astronomy has adopted the ideology of identity politics and cheerfully utters non-sequiturs to link diversity, inclusion, and equity (DEI) to exoplanet evolution. Its obeisance to identity politics gets deeper by the day. In December 2019, the prestigious journal Nature devoted an entire section to DEI in astronomy. Filled with articles on development aid to African astronomers, astronomy outreach in Mexico, and safe spaces to mitigate power and privilege problems in in the field, much of Nature’s coverage reads more like a journal from the social sciences and management rather than astronomy.

    Astronomers and official astronomical professional bodies have joined in the radicalization of sciences. During the 2020 riot season, thousands of scientists took part in #ShutdownSTEM and refused to hold classes or publish research for a day as a way to ‘protest against racism.’ The American Astronomical Society (AAS) also endorsed #ShutdownSTEM. A year after the 2020 riots, astronomy’s politicization has gained steam.

    Some astronomers have decided to “decolonize” astronomy. In 2013, the Kuiper Belt Object, an odd-looking asteroid of made of two separate rocks smushed together, was named after the Powhatan word for “sky”. Using Powhatan rather than Greek and Latin monikers for celestial bodies is part of a broader attempt to “decolonize” and de-Westernize astronomy as a field. The scholarly removal of the West from astronomy draws from critical theory and history. Talks such as Haverford College’s discussion of Isaac Newton and the colonization of India delegitimize Western scientific achievements, while work by Smith College links the “commercialization of space” to threats facing indigenous communities by means of light pollution. Astronomical research attacking Western history and capitalism is the latest iteration of an academic discipline following identity politics and socialism to guide research.

    At Cornell University, students concerned over racial oppression in the stars can take a cross-listed course on “Black Holes: Race and the Cosmos” that explores the question of whether there is a “connection between the cosmos and the idea of racial blackness”. Pomona College has developed a mandatory event on “Decolonizing Physics” for students studying physics or astronomy.

    It is true that astronomy as a field is overwhelmingly male and white. A 2018 study done by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) found that among the total pipeline of students and scholars in the field, 82% of those in the astronomical profession were white while only 2% are African-American. The AAS condemned this statistic as “unsustainable”. On page 52, the AAS Task Force on Diversity calls for astronomers to implement “Safe Zones” and training on “privilege” and “allyship”. Nowhere does the AAS consider that individuals make their own decisions about their careers, and that African-Americans (or any other group) might, in proportion to their population, care less for careers in astronomy. Nor does the AAS take the time to call for equal standards for all professional astronomers. It is unfair to astronomers, as it is in every discipline and profession, to impose race or sex quotas on available jobs.

    The ivory tower implications of politicized science and STEM fields guided by identity politics will lead to real world consequences. Just as “racist math” rules could result in poorly engineered bridges, an astronomy profession guided more by identity politics and cultural Marxism rather than scientific evidence could produce a distorted view of our solar system and the cosmos.



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    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

  • #2
    Pluto is a dwarf planet that identifies as a cisplanet. That makes Pluto a Transplanet.

    Comment


    • #3
      So are they going to start searching for undocumented space immigrants?
      When I Survey....

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
        Pluto is a dwarf planet that identifies as a cisplanet. That makes Pluto a Transplanet.
        Cis is basically the opposite of trans

        I'm always still in trouble again

        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
        "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          Cis is basically the opposite of trans
          Are you assuming Pluto's identity?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Sparko View Post

            Are you assuming Pluto's identity?
            Goofy told me

            I'm always still in trouble again

            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
            "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
              Goofy told me
              I told you nothing of the sort!
              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                I told you nothing of the sort!
                And as I keep telling you Goofy is not one of the Seven Dwarves.

                I'm always still in trouble again

                "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                  And as I keep telling you Goofy is not one of the Seven Dwarves.
                  You would know, DOPEY!
                  The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                    You would know, DOPEY!
                    The internet tests say I'm "Doc." And they're never wrong.


                    And is Dopey really that dumb? After all, which other Dwarf got two kisses from Snow White?

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                      The internet tests say I'm "Doc." And they're never wrong.

                      And is Dopey really that dumb? After all, which other Dwarf got two kisses from Snow White?
                      Did you know that they originally didn't even have names, until the Broadway production, when they became Blick, Flick, Glick, Snick, Plick, Whick and Quee?
                      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                        And as I keep telling you Goofy is not one of the Seven Dwarves.
                        Technically, the correct spelling is "dwarfs".

                        And socially, they are "vertically challenged individuals".
                        When I Survey....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Rogue is a planet supremacist!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Faber View Post

                            Technically, the correct spelling is "dwarfs".

                            And socially, they are "vertically challenged individuals".
                            Unless they self-identify as taller, in which case they become "vertically blessed individuals".

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That's... a pretty terrible article, in that it mixes together a bunch of random stuff that has nothing to do with the NASEM Decadal Survey, labels it all "cultural marxism", and hypes fears of collapsing bridges based on nothing more than a letter to the editor.

                              There's two things going on here. One is the Decadal Survey, which sets goals for the astronomy community. In addition to a bunch of exciting telescope projects, one of the goals is to diversify astronomy itself. That seems like a good goal to me. All indications are that scientific talent is randomly distributed in the human population. So, if we've got a field where only a small subset of the population appears to be thriving, then we're missing out on a lot of scientific talent. So, identifying the problems that are keeping us from having the best population of scientists possible seems like a worth endeavor to me.

                              The rest are just anecdotes of some of the stupidity that seems to be going on at some colleges today, along with some misrepresentation. For example, the naming of Kuiper Belt objects started out being focused on various gods of mischief, since they upset the order of the solar system by helping get Pluto demoted. It then broadened out, but there's not some "anti-Greek-and-Latin" agenda there, as the piece implies.

                              There are a couple of genuinely stupid things that the author of the piece points to, and i have no problems with critiquing them. But most of it is an attempt to lump together a bunch of things that have nothing to do with each other as a way of trying to fish for outrage clicks.
                              "Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from trolling."

                              Comment

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