The ruination by Tranzi occurs in various ways. One that’s come to my attention through some (to me) related articles is how science is being changed. It’s as if these people read cautionary tales like that of Lysenko as “how to” guides. Let’s check a few links —
First up is the fluffy Washington Post piece about gender differences in throwing. The key quote
Thomas1 points out that a biological explanation isn’t palatable to everyone. “If you say something is biological.” he says, “people think you should just give up and go home.” Janet Hyde agrees: “The more we argue for gender differences, the more we feed people’s stereotypes. A belief in large gender differences is incompatible with equal opportunity.” Still, Hyde2 readily acknowledges that there are some biological differences, and throwing is one of them. [emphasis added]
Why is a putative scientist worrying about a political issue when doing science? Science should determine facts and leave it to our political system to handle the politics. That this is just dropped in as a matter of course tells much about the current state of science.
In this same vein is the reaction to a study on gay parenting in which an actual scientist who did science is accused of scientific misconduct because his results are not politically acceptable.
Last is a demonstration of how a scientist responds to scientific criticism. That the “scientist” feels free to respond in this way (and will suffer no career damage from it) again is an indicator of how science works now.
Lysenko would be so proud.
1 Jerry Thomas, dean of the College of Education at the University of North Texas in Denton
2 Janet Hyde, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison