Andrew  Follett

In recent months, the op-ed columns of major newspapers have been filled with commentary about the legitimacy of scientific peer review, following a major peer review ring which forced the retraction of many papers. These events are related.

Starting in the 1970s, many “fill-in-the-blank studies” university departments began politicizing the processes of tenure and grant application, causing universities to become increasingly politically active as a means to achieve “social justice.” This created a “spoils system” in which academic freedom increasingly gave way to “academic justice.” Soon enough, it became virtually impossible to publish or receive grant money in those fields unless the paper was “politically correct.” The fields became vehicles used for the justification of pre-existing ideology at the expense of the truth. Sadly, today, this phenomenon is seeping out of the classrooms of sociology and “fill-in-the-blank studies” into the “hard sciences.”

Increasingly, universities and research institutions use faculty profiles, publishing rights, funding cuts, denial of tenure, and numerous other methods to actively discriminate against any student or faculty member who rejects the progressive orthodoxy in the hard sciences, thus promoting what the late/great Carl Sagan would call “pseudo-science.” Holding a politically incorrect view about how humanity should respond to the reality of climate change— such as that climate change exists but won’t end civilization as we know it due to the ability of humans to adapt— is punishable by an academic death sentence in the once “hard sciences.”

Andrew Follett

Andrew Follett is a student seeking a Masters of Public Policy in Science and Technology Policy at George Mason University.