When doctors can't tell the truth due to ideology + Can science survive Woke?

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What happens when doctors can't tell the truth?

EXCERPTS: I always thought that if you lived through a revolution it would be obvious to everyone. As it turns out, that’s not true. Revolutions can be bloodless, incremental and subtle. And they don’t require a strongman. They just require a sufficient number of well-positioned true believers and cowards, like those sitting in the C-suite of nearly every major institution in American life.

That’s one of the lessons I have learned over the past few years as the institutions that have upheld the liberal order — our publishing houses, our universities, our schools, our non-profits, our tech companies — have embraced a Manichean ideology that divides people by identity and punishes anyone that doesn’t adhere to every aspect of that orthodoxy.

This is wrong when it happens at a company Apple or Condé Nast. But there are sectors where the stakes of the ideological takeover are higher. Like K-12 education.

Readers of this newsletter know that I’ve been particularly focused on it. In part, this is because the legacy press is ignoring or lying about the story. In part it’s because the stakes feel so high...

[...] They meet once a month on Zoom: a dozen doctors from around the country with distinguished careers in different specialities. They vary in ethnicity, age and sexual orientation. Some work for the best hospitals in the U.S. or teach at top medical schools. Others are dedicated to serving the most vulnerable populations in their communities.

The meetings are largely a support group. The members share their concerns about what’s going on in their hospitals and universities, and strategize about what to do. What is happening, they say, is the rapid spread of a deeply illiberal ideology in the country’s most important medical institutions.

This dogma goes by many imperfect names — wokeness, social justice, critical race theory, anti-racism — but whatever it’s called, the doctors say this ideology is stifling critical thinking and dissent in the name of progress. They say that it’s turning students against their teachers and patients and racializing even the smallest interpersonal interactions. Most concerning, they insist that it is threatening the foundations of patient care, of research, and of medicine itself.

These aren’t secret bigots who long for the “good old days” that were bad for so many. They are largely politically progressive, and they are the first to say that there are inequities in medicine that must be addressed. Sometimes it’s overt racism from colleagues or patients, but more often the problem is deeper, baked into the very systems clinicians use to determine treatment... (MORE - details)

Can science survive Woke? Only posturing administrators on guilt trips know for sure.

In Defense of the Universal Values of Science

EXCERPTS: . . . Nevertheless, the postmodern notion that empirical scientific knowledge is somehow culturally derived, with little or no objective underpinning, has continued to persist in various social science and literary corners of academia far removed from the rush of scientific progress.

Until recently, it seemed inconceivable to imagine that any physical or biological scientists could become so misguided as to argue against the empirical basis of their own fields. But we are living in strange times. This week, the Divisional Dean of Social Sciences at the University of Oregon sent an email to faculty “to encourage you all to attend this exciting presentation!”, by a visiting physicist, which was described as follows:

Title: Scientists vs. Science: Race, Gender, and Anti-Intellectualism in Science

Abstract: Black thought can help us free science from the white supremacist traditions of scientists. Scientists vs. Science will use Black feminist and anti-colonialist analyses to show that white supremacy is a total epistemic system that affects even our most “objective” areas of knowledge production. The talk hinges on the development of the concept of white empiricism, which I introduced to give a name to the way that anti-intellectual white supremacy plays a role in physicists’ analysis of when empirical data is important and what counts as empirical data. This white empiricism shapes both Black women’s (and other) experiences in physics and the actual knowledge produced about physics. Until this is understood and addressed directly, systems of domination will continue to play a major role in the practice of physics.

On its own, this racist nonsense would not deserve remarking on here, even if it does lead one to wonder how its author, who apparently doesn’t understand the empirical basis of her own discipline, could gain an appointment at a physics department. But the response it produced by the administrator at Oregon [...] suggests he might be particularly sympathetic to arguments that knowledge is culturally or racially derived.

The Dean’s email apparently received wide circulation [...] A tweet from Bruce Gilley ... on the board of the National Association of Scholars saw ... that the underlying pretext of the talk was itself racist. As he remarked “Neo-racism is now spreading like wildfire in the academy with the normalization of racist and anti-scientific ‘research’ that freely denigrates people based on their race. This talk below will use ‘black feminist and anti-colonial analysis’ to debunk ‘white empiricisim [sic].'”

Galileo would have discovered four moons of Jupiter with his telescope regardless of his sex or pigment, and DNA is a double helix regardless of whether it was Rosalind Franklin’s crystallography that demonstrated it, or Watson and Crick’s analysis of that empirical data. Empirical evidence is not white, or black, and the term “black theory” makes no intellectual sense.

As it turns out, the U. of O. talk was abruptly cancelled, with no reason given in the announcement. I agree with Professor Gilley’s assessment that, having been announced, a better course would have been to have proceeded with the talk, and allowing those present to then ridicule its premise via intelligent rebuttal.

I wonder however, whether that would have happened, or whether there would have been polite applause, for fear of appearing racist by asking pointed questions... (MORE - details)

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