University professor being targeted by liberals for proving that “gender studies” is laughable junk science
02/11/2019 // Vicki Batts // Views

Portland State University professor Peter Boghossian took part in a highly controversial study, which proved that academics will blindly accept ideas that align with their values -- and now, he's got a target on his back. In addition to facing disciplinary action from the university, a group of professors from Portland State University (PSU) wrote an anonymous letter, accusing him of all kinds of wrongdoing. Indeed, Boghossian and his study cohorts have earned the scorn of liberals everywhere, for disproving the legitimacy of gender studies and other fields colloquially known as "grievance studies."

Grievance studies are described as areas of academia which focus on rallying up grievances from the "powerless" against the "powerful."

PSU is now claiming that Boghossian has committed some sort of ethics violation for participating in the study. And without tenure, he could soon be fired.

Exposing the grievance studies

Boghossian was part of a team of researchers who performed an experiment on academia. He worked with mathematician James Lindsay, and medieval-studies independent scholar Helen Pluckrose to submit 20 fake scientific papers to an array of academic journals within the "grievance study" fields.

The goal was to make the fake studies as ridiculous and outrageous as possible, and see what happened. Seven of the 20 bogus articles were accepted for publication, after a few standard bouts of editing and revisions.

Writing for Intelligencer, Jesse Singal reports on what happened next: An article about how dog parks perpetuate rape culture didn't just get accepted, it "won recognition for excellence by the feminist geography journal in which it was published, Gender, Place, and Culture."


This would ultimately be the trio's undoing. As the paper circulated, it caught the attention of several journalists who were immediately suspicious, uncovered the truth and revealed the hoax.

Facing retribution

The news of what had happened unleashed a wave of controversy. While Boghossian's experiment confirmed what many skeptics of grievance studies already knew, liberals were outraged. Critics of the hoax say that the intent of the study was not "good-faith critique," but rather a "thinly veiled excuse to attack leftist scholarship concerned with the plight of marginalized people."

Others have claimed that it's unfair "to judge the health of a field by looking at what an insincere author can get through peer review." It's not the health of the field we're concerned about -- it's the validity. If a paper on "dog park rape culture" can win an award, there's clearly more holes in the scientific merit of grievances studies than Swiss cheese.

"Some of the leading journals in areas like gender studies have failed to distinguish between real scholarship and intellectually vacuous as well as morally troubling b******t," Harvard lecturer Yascha Mounk commented.

Now, PSU is targeting Boghossian for disciplinary action. In late 2018, he was called to meet with Institutional Review Board chair, Jack Barbera, to discuss what protocols were followed before the articles were published.

Boghossian reportedly stated in a video, "I think that they will do everything and anything in their power to get me out of there. I think that this is the first shot at that." Boghossian has been in trouble for hoaxing academia in the past.

In early January, it was revealed that PSU determined that he had committed a “human subjects” ethics violation for partaking in the Grievance Study and that charges for falsifying data were also being investigated.

PSU also reports that Boghossian has admitted he faked the data for the dog study, which was published -- which is another ethical issue. What action will be taken against the professor has yet to be disclosed.

Boghossian was further admonished by a group of PSU colleagues who published an anonymous letter in the school newspaper. "When supposed scholars repeatedly engage in fraudulent behavior violating acceptable norms of research in any discipline, we have to start asking what the purpose is," the authors lament. They state further that Boghossian has displayed a "less-than-collegial attitude." Apparently, refusing to accept left-wing ideas makes you a monster.

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