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Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole

In the highly controversial area of human intelligence, the ‘Greater Male Variability Hypothesis’ (GMVH) asserts that there are more idiots and more geniuses among men than among women. Darwin’s research on evolution in the nineteenth century found that, although there are many exceptions for specific traits and species, there is generally more variability in males than in females of the same species throughout the animal kingdom.

Evidence for this hypothesis is fairly robust and has been reported in species ranging from adders and sockeye salmon to wasps and orangutans, as well as humans. Multiple studies have found that boys and men are over-represented at both the high and low ends of the distributions in categories ranging from birth weight and brain structures and 60-meter dash times to reading and mathematics test scores. There are significantly more men than women, for example, among Nobel laureates, music composers, and chess champions—and also among homeless people, suicide victims, and federal prison inmates.

Darwin had also raised the question of why males in many species might have evolved to be more variable than females, and when I learned that the answer to his question remained elusive, I set out to look for a scientific explanation. My aim was not to prove or disprove that the hypothesis applies to human intelligence or to any other specific traits or species, but simply to discover a logical reason that could help explain how gender differences in variability might naturally arise in the same species.

I came up with a simple intuitive mathematical argument based on biological and evolutionary principles and enlisted Sergei Tabachnikov, a Professor of Mathematics at Pennsylvania State University, to help me flesh out the model. When I posted a preprint on the open-access mathematics archives in May of last year, a variability researcher at Durham University in the UK got in touch by email. He described our joint paper as “an excellent summary of the research to date in this field,” adding that “it certainly underpins my earlier work on impulsivity, aggression and general evolutionary theory and it is nice to see an actual theoretical model that can be drawn upon in discussion (which I think the literature, particularly in education, has lacked to date). I think this is a welcome addition to the field.”

So far, so good.

Once we had written up our findings, Sergei and I decided to try for publication in the Mathematical Intelligencer, the ‘Viewpoint’ section of which specifically welcomes articles on contentious topics. The Intelligencer’s editor-in-chief is Marjorie Wikler Senechal, Professor Emerita of Mathematics and the History of Science at Smith College. She liked our draft, and declared herself to be untroubled by the prospect of controversy. “In principle,” she told Sergei in an email, “I am happy to stir up controversy and few topics generate more than this one. After the Middlebury fracas, in which none of the protestors had read the book they were protesting, we could make a real contribution here by insisting that all views be heard, and providing links to them.”

Professor Senechal suggested that we might enliven our paper by mentioning Harvard President Larry Summers, who was swiftly defenestrated in 2005 for saying that the GMVH might be a contributing factor to the dearth of women in physics and mathematics departments at top universities. With her editorial guidance, our paper underwent several further revisions until, on April 3, 2017, our manuscript was officially accepted for publication. The paper was typeset in India, and proofread by an assistant editor who is also a mathematics professor in Kansas. It was scheduled to appear in the international journal’s first issue of 2018, with an acknowledgement of funding support to my co-author from the National Science Foundation. All normal academic procedure.

*     *     *

Coincidentally, at about the same time, anxiety about gender-parity erupted in Silicon Valley. The same anti-variability argument used to justify the sacking of President Summers resurfaced when Google engineer James Damore suggested that several innate biological factors, including gender differences in variability, might help explain gender disparities in Silicon Valley hi-tech jobs. For sending out an internal memo to that effect, he too was summarily fired.

No sooner had Sergei posted a preprint of our accepted article on his website than we began to encounter problems. On August 16, a representative of the Women In Mathematics (WIM) chapter in his department at Penn State contacted him to warn that the paper might be damaging to the aspirations of impressionable young women. “As a matter of principle,” she wrote, “I support people discussing controversial matters openly … At the same time, I think it’s good to be aware of the effects.” While she was obviously able to debate the merits of our paper, she worried that other, presumably less sophisticated, readers “will just see someone wielding the authority of mathematics to support a very controversial, and potentially sexist, set of ideas…”

A few days later, she again contacted Sergei on behalf of WIM and invited him to attend a lunch that had been organized for a “frank and open discussion” about our paper. He would be allowed 15 minutes to describe and explain our results, and this short presentation would be followed by readings of prepared statements by WIM members and then an open discussion. “We promise to be friendly,” she announced, “but you should know in advance that many (most?) of us have strong disagreements with what you did.”

On September 4, Sergei sent me a weary email. “The scandal at our department,” he wrote, “shows no signs of receding.” At a faculty meeting the week before, the Department Head had explained that sometimes values such as academic freedom and free speech come into conflict with other values to which Penn State was committed. A female colleague had then instructed Sergei that he needed to admit and fight bias, adding that the belief that “women have a lesser chance to succeed in mathematics at the very top end is bias.” Sergei said he had spent “endless hours” talking to people who explained that the paper was “bad and harmful” and tried to convince him to “withdraw my name to restore peace at the department and to avoid losing whatever political capital I may still have.” Ominously, “analogies with scientific racism were made by some; I am afraid, we are likely to hear more of it in the future.”

The following day, I wrote to the three organisers of the WIM lunch and offered to address any concrete concerns they might have with our logic or conclusions or any other content. I explained that, since I was the paper’s lead author, it was not fair that my colleague should be expected to take all the heat for our findings. I added that it would still be possible to revise our article before publication. I never received a response.

Instead, on September 8, Sergei and I were ambushed by two unexpected developments.

First, the National Science Foundation wrote to Sergei requesting that acknowledgment of NSF funding be removed from our paper with immediate effect. I was astonished. I had never before heard of the NSF requesting removal of acknowledgement of funding for any reason. On the contrary, they are usually delighted to have public recognition of their support for science.

The ostensible reason for this request was that our paper was unrelated to Sergei’s funded proposal. However, a Freedom of Information request subsequently revealed that Penn State WIM administrator Diane Henderson (“Professor and Chair of the Climate and Diversity Committee”) and Nate Brown (“Professor and Associate Head for Diversity and Equity”) had secretly co-signed a letter to the NSF that same morning. “Our concern,” they explained, “is that [this] paper appears to promote pseudoscientific ideas that are detrimental to the advancement of women in science, and at odds with the values of the NSF.” Unaware of this at the time, and eager to err on the side of compromise, Sergei and I agreed to remove the acknowledgement as requested. At least, we thought, the paper was still on track to be published.

But, that same day, the Mathematical Intelligencer’s editor-in-chief Marjorie Senechal notified us that, with “deep regret,” she was rescinding her previous acceptance of our paper. “Several colleagues,” she wrote, had warned her that publication would provoke “extremely strong reactions” and there existed a “very real possibility that the right-wing media may pick this up and hype it internationally.” For the second time in a single day I was left flabbergasted. Working mathematicians are usually thrilled if even five people in the world read our latest article. Now some progressive faction was worried that a fairly straightforward logical argument about male variability might encourage the conservative press to actually read and cite a science paper?

In my 40 years of publishing research papers I had never heard of the rejection of an already-accepted paper. And so I emailed Professor Senechal. She replied that she had received no criticisms on scientific grounds and that her decision to rescind was entirely about the reaction she feared our paper would elicit. By way of further explanation, Senechal even compared our paper to the Confederate statues that had recently been removed from the courthouse lawn in Lexington, Kentucky. In the interests of setting our arguments in a more responsible context, she proposed instead that Sergei and I participate in a ‘Round Table’ discussion of our hypothesis argument, the proceedings of which the Intelligencer would publish in lieu of our paper. Her decision, we learned, enjoyed the approval of Springer, one of the world’s leading publishers of scientific books and journals. An editorial director of Springer Mathematics later apologized to me twice, in person, but did nothing to reverse the decision or to support us at the time.

So what in the world had happened at the Intelligencer? Unbeknownst to us, Amie Wilkinson, a senior professor of mathematics at the University of Chicago, had become aware of our paper and written to the journal to complain. A back-and-forth had ensued. Wilkinson then enlisted the support of her father—a psychometrician and statistician—who wrote to the Intelligencer at his daughter’s request to express his own misgivings, including his belief that “[t]his article oversimplifies the issues to the point of embarrassment.” Invited by Professor Senechal to participate in the proposed Round Table discussion, he declined, admitting to Senechal that “others are more expert on this than he is.” We discovered all this after he gave Senechal permission to forward his letter, inadvertently revealing Wilkinson’s involvement in the process (an indiscretion his daughter would later—incorrectly—blame on the Intelligencer).

I wrote polite emails directly to both Wilkinson and her father, explaining that I planned to revise the paper for resubmission elsewhere and asking for their criticisms or suggestions. (I also sent a more strongly worded, point-by-point rebuttal to her father.) Neither replied. Instead, even long after the Intelligencer rescinded acceptance of the paper, Wilkinson continued to trash both the journal and its editor-in-chief on social media, inciting her Facebook friends with the erroneous allegation that an entirely different (and more contentious) article had been accepted.

At this point, faced with career-threatening reprisals from their own departmental colleagues and the diversity committee at Penn State, as well as displeasure from the NSF, Sergei and his colleague who had done computer simulations for us withdrew their names from the research. Fortunately for me, I am now retired and rather less easily intimidated—one of the benefits of being a Vietnam combat veteran and former U.S. Army Ranger, I guess. So, I continued to revise the paper, and finally posted it on the online mathematics archives.

*     *     *

On October 13, a lifeline appeared. Igor Rivin, an editor at the widely respected online research journal, the New York Journal of Mathematics, got in touch with me. He had learned about the article from my erstwhile co-author, read the archived version, and asked me if I’d like to submit a newly revised draft for publication. Rivin said that Mark Steinberger, the NYJM’s editor-in-chief, was also very positive and that they were confident the paper could be refereed fairly quickly. I duly submitted a new draft (this time as the sole author) and, after a very positive referee’s report and a handful of supervised revisions, Steinberger wrote to confirm publication on November 6, 2017. Relieved that the ordeal was finally over, I forwarded the link to interested colleagues.

Three days later, however, the paper had vanished. And a few days after that, a completely different paper by different authors appeared at exactly the same page of the same volume (NYJM Volume 23, p 1641+) where mine had once been. As it turned out, Amie Wilkinson is married to Benson Farb, a member of the NYJM editorial board. Upon discovering that the journal had published my paper, Professor Farb had written a furious email to Steinberger demanding that it be deleted at once. “Rivin,” he complained, “is well-known as a person with extremist views who likes to pick fights with people via inflammatory statements.” Farb’s “father-in law…a famous statistician,” he went on, had “already poked many holes in the ridiculous paper.” My paper was “politically charged” and “pseudoscience” and “a piece of crap” and, by encouraging the NYJM to accept it, Rivin had “violat[ed] a scientific duty for purely political ends.”

Unaware of any of this, I wrote to Steinberger on November 14, to find out what had happened. I pointed out that if the deletion were permanent, it would leave me in an impossible position. I would not be able to republish anywhere else because I would be unable to sign a copyright form declaring that it had not already been published elsewhere. Steinberger replied later that day. Half his board, he explained unhappily, had told him that unless he pulled the article, they would all resign and “harass the journal” he had founded 25 years earlier “until it died.” Faced with the loss of his own scientific legacy, he had capitulated. “A publication in a dead journal,” he offered, “wouldn’t help you.”

*     *     *

Colleagues I spoke to were appalled. None of them had ever heard of a paper in any field being disappeared after formal publication. Rejected prior to publication? Of course. Retracted? Yes, but only after an investigation, the results of which would then be made public by way of explanation. But simply disappeared? Never. If a formally refereed and published paper can later be erased from the scientific record and replaced by a completely different article, without any discussion with the author or any announcement in the journal, what will this mean for the future of electronic journals?

Meanwhile, Professor Wilkinson had now widened her existing social media campaign against the Intelligencer to include attacks on the NYJM and its editorial staff. As recently as April of this year, she was threatening Facebook friends with ‘unfriending’ unless they severed social media ties with Rivin.

In early February, a friend and colleague suggested that I write directly to University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer to complain about the conduct of Farb and Wilkinson, both of whom are University of Chicago professors. The previous October, the conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens had called Zimmer “America’s Best University President.” The week after I wrote to Zimmer, the Wall Street Journal would describe Chicago as “The Free-Speech University” based upon its president’s professed commitment to the principles of free inquiry and expression. Furthermore, Professor Zimmer is a mathematician from the same department and even the same subfield as Farb and Wilkinson, the husband-wife team who had successfully suppressed my variability hypothesis research and trampled on the principles of academic liberty. Surely I would receive a sympathetic hearing there?

And so I wrote directly to Professor Zimmer, mathematician to mathematician, detailing five concrete allegations against his two colleagues. When I eventually received a formal response in late April, it was a somewhat terse official letter from the vice-provost informing me that an inquiry had found no evidence of “academic fraud” and that, consequently, “the charges have been dismissed.” But I had made no allegation of academic fraud. I had alleged “unprofessional, uncollegial, and unethical conduct damaging to my professional reputation and to the reputation of the University of Chicago.”

When I appealed the decision to the president, I received a second official letter from the vice-provost, in which he argued that Farb and Wilkinson had “exercised their academic freedom in advocating against the publication of the papers” and that their behavior had not been either “unethical or unprofessional.” A reasonable inference is that I was the one interfering in their academic freedom and not vice versa. My quarrel, the vice-provost concluded, was with the editors-in-chief who had spiked my papers, decisions for which the University of Chicago bore no responsibility. At the Free Speech University, it turns out, talk is cheap.

*     *     *

Over the years there has undoubtedly been significant bias and discrimination against women in mathematics and technical fields. Unfortunately, some of that still persists, even though many of us have tried hard to help turn the tide. My own efforts have included tutoring and mentoring female undergraduates, graduating female PhD students, and supporting hiring directives from deans and departmental chairs to seek out and give special consideration to female candidates. I have been invited to serve on two National Science Foundation gender and race diversity panels in Washington.

Which is to say that I understand the importance of the causes that equal opportunity activists and progressive academics are ostensibly championing. But pursuit of greater fairness and equality cannot be allowed to interfere with dispassionate academic study. No matter how unwelcome the implications of a logical argument may be, it must be allowed to stand or fall on its merits not its desirability or political utility. First Harvard, then Google, and now the editors-in-chief of two esteemed scientific journals, the National Science Foundation, and the international publisher Springer have all surrendered to demands from the radical academic Left to suppress a controversial idea. Who will be the next, and for what perceived transgression? If bullying and censorship are now to be re-described as ‘advocacy’ and ‘academic freedom,’ as the Chicago administrators would have it, they will simply replace empiricism and rational discourse as the academic instruments of choice.

Educators must practice what we preach and lead by example. In this way, we can help to foster intellectual curiosity and the discovery of fresh reasoning so compelling that it causes even the most sceptical to change their minds. But this necessarily requires us to reject censorship and open ourselves to the civil discussion of sensitive topics such as gender differences, and the variability hypothesis in particular. In 2015, the University of Chicago’s Committee on Freedom of Expression summarized the importance of this principle beautifully in a report commissioned by none other than Professor Robert Zimmer:

In a word, the University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed.

Supporting documentation for this account can be found here.

Ted Hill is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Georgia Tech, and currently a research scholar in residence at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. His memoir PUSHING LIMITS: From West Point to Berkeley and Beyond was recently published jointly by the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America.

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559 Comments

  1. Emmanuel says

    Welcome into the world of factually correct but politically incorrect !

    More seriously, that article proves once again that nowadays the biggest threat to academic freedom does not come from corrupt politicians or bible-thumping rednecks but from other academics.
    At least internet platforms such as quillette or heterodoxacademy give you the possibility of letting the public know what happens, which would have been much harder not so long ago.

    • To put a simple explanation forward it would appear that women who have considerable voting power, being half the population, are abusing that power to force academia to accept their positive discrimination agenda. It is all about money. Politicians are afraid of losing millions of female votes so they use university funding as a weapon to make academics toe the line. Academics cave in because they afraid of losing their economic lifeline instead of sticking to proper academic traditions of scientific integrity.
      Surely the purpose of getting women into these harder STEM courses is to take advantage of skills that society might otherwise miss out on. But if those skills are accepted to the detriment of other more advanced skills you are obviously defeating the purpose. You may encourage more women into STEM but you will end up lowering the overall standard which was not the purpose. STEM acceptance must be based on merit not sexual preference. Women must be given every opportunity and encouragement to compete with men in these subjects but not equal numbers or equal outcome unless of course they can actually prove they are equal to or better than men in which case all power to them

      • Trevor Sedis says

        >”Women must be given every opportunity and encouragement to compete with men in these subjects”

        Why? Do women work equally for men so fathers get equal custody post-divorce and/or can live full lives without being worker-mule utilities for others?

        Amie Wilkinson seems to be a thoroughly-modern women: combat-ready, Ranger-qualified, and eager to call on daddy/hubby to fight her battles.

        • Kris Barton says

          ”Women must be given every opportunity and encouragement to compete with men in these subjects” What is your problem with that??
          Encouraged, yes, to counter their false claims of male discrimination against them but their acceptance must be based on merit only and if it proves they cant keep up and compete intellectually with the rest of the course they should fail and be thrown out.

          • Fred90024 says

            “given every opportunity and encouragement ..” is a euphemism for extra scholarships for women, summer science programs open only to women and finally job opportunities over equally or better qualified men. There are a number of organizations to make the path to achieving a science career easier for women. 40 years ago women were being discriminated against in science and math admissions, that process has now reversed and it gives the lie to feminist “equality”.

          • You should see your own reaction to the opportunities that a civilized society gives to women, that bothers you, irritates you, annoys you. If societies do something in favor of gender equity it is because it is necessary, it is irrelevant that it bothers you, just as it is irrelevant that a woman agrees with you, the bottom line is that the recognition of women’s rights to access to science and technology continues to bother you because there is a macho core in your way of seeing this issue, free yourself.

      • It would be interesting to see how many women actually apply to these programs. At the HS level, my daughter attends the #1 STEM magnet school in the state (she is in another magnet at the same school) and I have talked at length with school administrators about their recruiting challenges for STEM. They cannot get enough females to even apply. (It is a rigorous process to apply to all the magnet programs).

        Most females who do apply, are Asian. The majority of males who apply are Indian, Pakistani or Asian. And it’s not for the lack of feeder schools as we have several STEM elementary and middle schools. no one is guilty of turning away anyone who wants to apply. They are pulling out their hair warding off accusations of not being friendly to females. The media is not interested in facts. It’s the sensational. But it won’t fix the problem.

      • More than half, my friend. Women are the single largest voting demographic.

      • Reziac says

        “It’s not about equality. It’s about power.” — Gloria Steinem

      • billw1984 says

        No. Women don’t vote as a bloc. And the women such as Ms. Amy in the article had plenty of support from men. It is the progressive/leftist bloc that “fucking love science” until it says something they don’t like that are at fault. They prove how devoted they are to logic and science by running away from debate at every opportunity.

    • Justin says

      There is some truth to that @Emmanuel however corrupt politicians and bible-thumping rednecks are also a problem and I think it’s worth keeping that in mind.

    • Terry Goldman says

      Despite the depth of this threat to academic freedom, I do not agree that the “biggest” threat comes from anywhere but “corrupt politicians and bible-thumping rednecks”, as you put it, by the same argument as Prof. Hill’s paper: They are mostly men, and so more of them on the far out extremes of this kind scum than there are women. So strictly by population, they pose the greater threat.

    • So same old same old.
      The history of Science is the history politically incorrect ideas and papers getting shutdown.
      If the Science is good they generally break though eventually, but eventually can take a while.

      The Author has my sympathy but to those who want to make up a story about how terrible it is about how women are oppressing good science in the name of PC. Whatever. The actions are nothing new, and indeed the odds are good that aome of the commentators would cheerfully do the same to theories and papers they didn’t like if they had the chance.
      The main difference is that in this case it’s a woman doing the oppressing.

      • “Whatever.”

        If only there were more fools like Mr. Ede out there to say “whatever.” Galileo’s ideas would’ve died with him and we could all be complacent the dark!

        To read this article and to come away thinking “whatever,” is to miss the point entirely. Just complicit in the whole charade.

    • Trajan Fanzine says

      The Red Guard is alive and well, ready to ‘Galileo’ any hirsute academic bystander….

    • Montie Rainey says

      While it is true that “…’nowadays’ the biggest threat to academic freedom does not come from corrupt politicians…”, had America’s voters learned (say, fifty years ago) how to keep Congress continuously filled with a steady supply of Democratic and Republican legislators who WEREN’T largely well-meaning but nevertheless self-serving, politically ambitious politicians (PAPs) engaged in a never-ending, all-consuming struggle for power (much of it purely for power’s sake), today’s universities would not be operating under the near dictatorial control of intellectually intolerant liberals hard at work indoctrinating their students with an intellectually intolerant philosophy of liberalism (i.e., conservatism/capitalism –> bad/evil, progressive liberalism/socialism –> good).

      Interestingly, it’s also worth noting that had Congress not been controlled by self-serving “politicians” for the last five decades, today’s conservative intelligentsia would not be hard at work promoting their intellectually intolerant philosophy of conservatism and capitalism.

    • Dr Rad says

      I’m sorry that the paper went through the “push-me, pull-you” game that it did. That was quite unfair, and I do sympathize with your feelings of betrayal. However, I cannot let stand the previous comment by Emmanuel, implying that the message was “factually correct but politically incorrect”. There are serious flaws with the model proposed in the paper, which should have been noted by the referees. It is not a “theory” – it is a mathematical model that is not based on any recognized assumptions of inheritance (for example, that offspring will inherit the traits of their parents). Since this “theory” supports policies that are disadvantageous to half the population, it is not OK, by whatever calculations you want to make, to publish it as a “proven fact”. The reporting in this article ignores the considerable effort that was made, at least from one person, to engage in civil dialogue about the actual content of the article rather than the politics surrounding it.

      • Honest About Science says

        > It is not a “theory” – it is a mathematical model that is not based on any recognized assumptions of inheritance (for example, that offspring will inherit the traits of their parents).

        Doesn’t the extremism theory come from things related to sex chromosomes, eg that women have XX and men have XY?

        X-chromosome inactivation in women causes a “splotching” across the body of any genes carried on the X chromosome, whereas men have a consistent version everywhere. You see this in the patterning of calico cats — with the color regions defined by which version of the X-chromosome was inactivated.

        The extremism theory is then that X-chromosome “splotching” in the brain causes behavioral differences, as the mixed genetic version will tend to be more average (literally being an average of two chromosomes) than the single chromosome version.

        • billw1984 says

          This is what I was thinking. Random X-chromosome inactivation in women.

    • zosanga says

      Professor Hill,

      Why can you not simply accept that the emotional truth of women is superior to the objective truth of facts and reality, and is beyond scrutiny. Can you not see how the scientific world would benefit from not having to engage in time-sapping activities such as looking for evidence or freely debating in an open forum?

      I personally tested your paper and found that, when cast into water, it floats, and when set to a flame it burns. This is evidence enough to me that it is witchcraft and that you are a heretic.

  2. Sounds like an interesting paper — I’ve downloaded it to read. I work in stm publishing, so I’m particularly appalled at the behavior of everyone involved. Guess that there are no questions to answer or theories to test — everything is *settled* science ’cause the shrieking harpies said so.

        • Martin28 says

          I finally see it after combing the article. Paragraph 20, just before the second set of three asterisks. This is not all that easy to find, given that links are very subtle in Quillette and he doesn’t say “download it here” or anything like that.

  3. J Nedelka says

    I wish I could claim to be shocked…There is no greater admittance of a weak counterargument than refusing to hear the original statement.

    I fear for the future of the Academy, and at least one generation of citizens. hopefully, not much more.

      • Galileo, again? Are they happy in the role of the inquisitors? Do we want a world created on our presuppositions or a world created with empirical data?
        There are mathematical women geniuses, put that effort highlighting their achievements, not suppressing statistical data that does not say anything about any given individual.

        • jsolbakken says

          “Do we want a world created on our presuppositions or a world created with empirical data?”

          If you knew the truth about psychotic megalomaniacs, you would not ask such a stupid question.

          Er, on the other hand, there are no stupid questions, there are only stupid people.

          The reason I’m being so insulting towards you is because I’m sick of the communist SJW’s, I hate their guts, and I think it’s long past time for normal people to pull their heads out of rectal defilade and get serious about stopping them and their evil.

        • ImStillaYankee says

          Spot on, Emma. I’ve been pointing out the new Inquisition for a good 15 years now. Groupthinking is dangerous to freedom.

    • Thomas D Dial says

      The Academy is the last defense against the tide of unexamined and unjustified opinion. It is hard to be optimistic in the face of the kind of activity this article reports.

  4. How disgusting. Academia in the USA is dead! Stone dead.

    As soon as I read these words, I knew how things would turn out: “In principle,” she told Sergei in an email, “I am happy to stir up controversy and few topics generate more than this one. After the Middlebury fracas, in which none of the protestors had read the book they were protesting, we could make a real contribution here by insisting that all views be heard, and providing links to them.”

    A naïve idiot who appears to ‘think’ that the protesters act in good faith! They do not! They intend to replace science with ideology and are, in their own pitiful pearl-clutching style, are as ruthless in this pursuit as the Khmer Rouge!

    I think that you should have simply said to that, “don’t be stupid – they’ll make you fold like the wet cardboard you are” – and self-published. Or published in a journal that knows how to weather hard-left protests… if there are any.

    • Martin28 says

      She got a wake-up call. A lot of people are just waking up to how crazy some of the so-called academics are. Many have yet to wake up and are still naive. The silver lining is that the left is revealing itself to be crazy to more and more people. The left just keeps alienating people. It will come back to bite them. At some point everyone will have a story like this and everyone will deny they ever believed this crap.

      • Trevor Sedis says

        The trouble is that often that “point” comes AFTER Good Germans go from mocking Nazism to embracing it. It did no good for the White Rose Society to publicize Germany’s atrocities post-1942. Too little, too late.

        And, not for nothing, but: feminism has been running amok for 50 years. If half a century isn’t enough to kabosh craziness, what is?

        Finally, the first to support Hitler were academics and women. Plus ça change.

        • The Evil Prophet says

          You forgot to mention holocaust.
          Their press, academia and the movie industry were subverted almost as American are today.
          That is the very reason why all this is happening.
          Germans tried to prevent the complete subversion to avoid ending up like The US will.
          South African style.
          With #AmericanFarmers hashtag.

      • Guy Incognito says

        Hey, let’s not make sweeping generalizations here, I’m a left-leaning individual, and I’m just as upset about this as you are! If the data and research are sound, then it should be made available to the public, whether it’s controversial or not.

        • If the side you are “leaning” to is going against your principles, perhaps it is time to reconsider if you actually lean in that direction or not.

          This would not be the first time that the false dichotomy of “left” and “right” has completely reversed their majority positions, carrying along supporters that no longer believed in the position they were supporting.

          • Thomas the Lesser says

            there appears to be significant conflation in the use of overgeneralizing rhetorical terms.
            Scientific inquiry involves analysis and inference derived from inductive and deductive process.
            Insofar as I know, “left” and “right” when used ubiquitously as it is in political shorthand and rhetoric (a word signaling the use of words and language as swaying another to one’s own point of view regardless of logic, accuracy, or any connection whatsoever to reality) has been so generalized as to be meaningless; it appears to have originated in the self-segregation of either the US or some other legislature into partisan grouping) has no meaning other than denoting ingrouping or outgrouping from whatever vocal chords noising it.

            As such, almost innumerable exceptions to ANY policy being the sole property of either artificially defined group can be noted by anyone examining policy divides across a few decades or more.

            The purpose of science, and it appears to be necessary to remind those using such rhetoric, is to explore and examine reality, the systematic discovery of physical, chemical, biological, cognitive likelihood and if possible, fact.

            The arousal evident in the comment column is inappropriate to scientific discussion.

            However, universities and other learning institutions include other exploratory disciplines, some 1quite nonscientific in their pursuit of creativity.
            thus Doctors of Philosophy or masters of art may gain employment under the aegis of a university, but contention with departments of science and mathematics is inherently conflationary – inducing inappropriate mixing ,creating some schizophrenic polyglot being neither one coherent entity or another.

            Cognitive and behavioral, statistical and mathematical sciences attempt to explore bias, finding some statistical correlation varying in different individuals, and in different cultures.
            Surely such bias has influenced the more dogmatic among us to accept as factual, , inferences that were not.
            Colloquial interpretation is more subject to such fallacy, and so acceptance of scientific, statistical and mathematical results remains slow and halting.
            too many commentors even here, have attempted to use science to support their individual and ingroup biases; the human brain, like evolution itself operates heuristically, and in our case, the heuristic choices are confounded by theevolved emothional salience of seeming threat.
            That’s the way brains function, as natural selection helped the fearful, the angry, the arrogant, to apply more energy than the complacent. It is evident in very distantly related species, being useful for all animals.

            Modern entrenched pursuers of science may find themselves overaroused in academia, but submitting research is not as dangerous as chumming an ocean withblood and jumping in with hungry sharks, although the mutual arousal parallels the practice very well neurohormonally.
            Perishing if you publish is something out of religious hysteria, “inquisition”, and dark ages, not appropriate to institutions of learning, or reporting correlation and hypothesis.

            It seems that science increasingly in this time of devolution, needs protection from ANY raging squabbling thoughtless, unreflective primate violent social coaltion creation..

      • The Evil Prophet says

        Unfortunately no, they are importing the voters faster than they’re alienating the existing population. Demography is destiny.

  5. Martin28 says

    Why should we believe any of the climate change science that is being conducted, since clearly the academy does not believe in science itself? (I happen to know that Penn State conducts a lot of climate change studies, funded by the NSF). And if we cannot believe the science anymore, how do we act as a society?

    • polistra says

      “If we can’t believe the science, how do we act as a society?”

      A good strong question, with a simple answer. The notion that we should run our lives by “science” is quite recent, starting after WW2 and dominating after 1970. Societies ran considerably BETTER before we allowed “science” to make our decisions for us. We should return to making our own decisions based on facts and reason, now that we know PUBLIC science is the precise opposite of facts and reason. (Obviously there is still plenty of good honest science, but it’s no longer allowed in the public sphere.)

      • Daniel says

        > Societies ran considerably BETTER before we allowed “science” to make our decisions for us. We should return to making our own decisions based on facts and reason, now that we know PUBLIC science is the precise opposite of facts and reason.

        One of the reasons this affair is so dangerous is that it wrecks credibility of science as a whole. How are people supposed to trust vaccination, the germ theory of disease, climate change, and other unintuitive areas of study when scientists will censor papers that contradict established wisdom? This activist malfeasance has the real potential to send us into another dark age.

        • Thomas the Lesser says

          Ah, the mysterious apocryphal Edens of the past, evoked without knowledge, in the secret strategic realms of contrafactual ideation, the imagination so entangled with deception that it enables self-deception so strong that one can socially signal falsehood without detection.
          see Bob Trivers (and, lately, functional imaging experiments bearing out his work) for insight into the self, so transparent to others so opaque to the “faithful.”.

      • Robinson says

        We’re still running our lives with politics, not science. Science has become more political as science funding has become so. Everything is run on fear of outrage mobs at the moment. Nobody can be honest anymore.

        • The “outrage mobs” are coming from one side of the political spectrum. The chief racial instigator of the left has just broken tradition to join the demagoguery.

          Fortunately, help is on the way in the form of a return to sanity on the Supreme Court – finally turning conservative after 80 years and liable to be returning to their proper place of interpreting, not making, laws for the next 40 years.

          If you vote for the Democratic Party in 2018 you are truly a fool, no matter your personal opinion of Donald Trump, whether it be his style or his process. Get over it. He’s a a NY real-estate businessman, and thank goodness he is who he is.

          If you cannot acknowledge his phenomenal results then you brand yourself a liar as well.

          The time to stand up and be counted for your country is now.

    • Paolo Scussolini says

      This is a strong implication of these misgivings (though by far not the most concerning one). I study and teach climate change. How are we -scientists- ever going to convince the public, left AND right, to trust climate science, if it’s coming from the same academia that in other branches is so overtly political? The wide public will not bother you look into ‘oh but this is another discipline, maybe that’s not so corrupted after all’. And who can blame them?

      • ccscientist says

        It is really cute that you think climate change science is not politicized. I have friends who have lost their jobs or been hounded. I gave a talk about something very technical at a college some years ago. So far so good. A student asked about melting ice caps sliding into the sea. I said that according to the IPCC Antarctica was currently gaining ice and that Greenland was mostly in a bowl of mountains and could not “slide” away–a geology prof stood up and started screaming at me. Yeah, real safe non-political environment where even trying to publish on topics like cloud feedback or talk about impacts gets you labeled a denier.

        • Paolo Scussolini says

          I indeed agree that there is a level (already excessive) of politicization around climate, also in academia. That’s just normal though, as the matter has profound implications for society. But the politicisation seems to me confined to some sub-fields and contexts. I am into some climate sub-fields, and although I have seen people taking ideological stances, I don’t know of anyone who’s had their science practice limited on political or ideological account. Also the unfortunate episode you describe, it’s sad, but it doesn’t depict a situation nearly as sour as that described in the article.

          • Mike Lorrey says

            Climate only has profound implications for society if you believe the alarmist argument that it is both man made and catastrophic to our existence on Earth (which, btw, is a position that does NOT have support of 97% of scientists, contrary to popular claims). The entire reason for the disasturbationist argument is the Club of Rome’s desire to export eurosocialism globally to reshape the world economic system to centralized control.

      • Unfortunately, I don’t think you will. I personally had a mindset change at the natural history museum in Chicago when I watch a video showing the different climates Chicago has experienced over the millennia. After seeing the dramatic changes, I wonder how some scientist can be so certain our current climate change is attributable to mankind.

        Add in the tribalism around anthropogenic climate change, the lack of knowledge when it comes to statistical modeling and scientific literacy, and there is no way for the average person to make an informed decision. They go on who they trust.

        As the academy hides research that asks questions or draws conclusions that certain groups don’t like, the trust will continue to erode, and in the end there could be dire consequences for our civilization.

  6. Lowell Kirkland says

    I suspect leftist ideology is a convenient accident to keep dim wits gainfully employed. It caught on once the material advantage was noticed. Without imposing their leftism, what else would such creatures do and where else, but in schools and universities, would they have jobs?

    • Martin28 says

      No, Lowell. These people are not stupid. Do not make that mistake. A math professor at the U of Chicago is in the top 1 percent of intelligence. This is about ideology, not stupidity.

        • Brian says

          Orwell on Intellectuals:
          “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man* could be such a fool.”

          – George Orwell, “Notes on Nationalism” (1945)
          * or non-male peoplekind

          • derek says

            A Phd in Mathematics teaching at a very prestigious University means that the person has very specific knowledge and experience of a very narrow focus.

            In other words, she (or anyone else in such a situation) can be extremely intelligent in their domain of knowledge without knowing the slightest bit about anything else. A random person on the street likely knows more about evolutionary biology that she does.

            She could have talked about the mathematics involved in the study, but that isn’t what she did.

        • Trevor Sedis says

          Money? Your proof? Ideology is often more powerful than money, military might, etc. An army without a “fighting spirit” will lose. And well-paid mercenaries can’t always be counted on to fight as hard as natives. I think “power”…and the narcissistic rush of wielding it…counts for more than money.

          • ideology and money are not incompatible. Marxism was developed by a man who never worked a day in his life and scrounged money from everyone he could. The entire ideology of Marxism is a justification for theft. And refinements and revisisions of the theory by Gramsci, the Chicago School and post-modernism just serves to justify not only the theft of the entire economy (Marxism) but also the pathological ingratitude of the minor thefts of the intellectuals who live comfortably under societies they spend their entire careers defaming, denigrating and fulminating against.

      • jerry michelson says

        You should acquaint yourself with the IYI (intellectual yet idiot) principle first formulated by applied mathematician, trader, and deep thinker Nassim Taleb.

    • Peter from Oz says

      Lowell K

      I agree with you. Added to the fact that dumb lefties can make a living out of being lefties, there is also the fact that they get pleasure from the constant virtue signalling involved.
      I wonder if anyone has done any academic reserach on leftist smugness.

  7. It is extraordinary how viciously and ferociously they wield censorious power in order to destroy people and ideas while believing what they do is just. A true display of Olympic caliber metal gymnastics.

  8. estepheavfm says

    The gynovoodism of the New Left is now creating a major national security threat by Lysenkoising Western science.

  9. “First, the National Science Foundation wrote to Sergei requesting that acknowledgment of NSF funding be removed from our paper with immediate effect. I was astonished.”

    How can you be so blissfully unaware of cause and effect? These folks funded you, in essence you’re biting the hand that feeds you. Also, explain to the non-academics, and armchair scientists reading this: Why you can’t just start your own journal and publish whatever claptrap you want in this era of social media? Why do you need their validation?

    • Martin28 says

      Stupid comment and you can’t really believe it. These are refereed journals, and they are supposed to have integrity and credibility. The idea that you can just start your own journal with the same level of credibility is ludicrous. These journals have power, power based in the hard-won credibility of science, and the power is being abused.

      • Some people are meant to change and challenge the way the world thinks, and others kowtow to how it currently is. I know where you stand. Thanks for the clarification. Did you even read the paper? It’s meant to start a conversation.. and to that end, its more successful now that it’s outside to be disinfected in the in the sunlight.

        • You mean some people are so egoistic as to think they know better than anyone else how the world should be and end up destroying fine and useful institutions that have served the world very well for centuries just to satisfy their selfish egos. Most of us try and make what exists better rather than tearing it down and replacing it with something worse.

        • Karen Straughan says

          “Tree falls in a forest…”

          And somewhere, a feminist blamed the patriarchy.

        • Parmenides says

          Memory Hole, sometimes I think that the newer generations watch too much anime. Are you part of that group? Yeah sure history shows us it only takes one man to change things, but how many opportunities must a man/woman go through to produce that particular person who is able to change things? You have to go through hardship to get to somewhere good usually.

          The issue we’re having here is related to the way these institutions say they work, and the reality. The cognitive dissonance between those two. The point that some savage individuals would rather push their ideology down others than believe something potentially true, but dangerous to their anima/animus, their ego.

          These institutions provide us with that very same word, ‘opportunity’ and you’re unhappy that somebody else is not doing the work for you to change the way things hard the hard reset way? Why don’t you do it Memory Hole? Why are you putting the onus on others as though you are not a part of this by simply commenting?

    • Emerson’s Ghost says

      Why must you be so smug and dismissive towards someone who has actually experienced discrimination? How can you be so blissfully unaware and ideologically drunk that you cannot recognize the insidious implications of this kind of behavior within academia? Is the cause and effect not clear enough for you?

      • Simple, for someone who is allegedly very smart, not understanding the blowback that would come from this is colossally stupid. “No matter how unwelcome the implications of a logical argument may be, it must be allowed to stand or fall on its merits not its desirability or political utility.” — I agree with this statement here, it should be able to stand on its own — anywhere, not just in an academic journal that he’s trying so hard to get accepted by.

        • Feargal says

          So it’s his fault that he didn’t realize he was dealing with academic fascists?

          You are some sort of hole, memory.

          • Yes, it was his fault that he lacked self awareness of the potentialities of his submission, knowing full well what what the state of the world is today. These journals have submission guidelines and he is at their whim. I may be a hole, but you’re just dense.

          • leylaw says

            Professor Hill may have a legal cause of action against the New York Journal of Mathematics (NYJM) for breach of contract if Hill gave NYJM copyrights to the article in exchange solely for NYJM publishing the article. By making the Article disappear, NYJM may have breached an implied warranty. Professor Hill may also have a cause of action against Benson Farb for tortious interference with a contract.

        • Either the data supports his hypothesis in which case publish it, or it doesn’t, to take into consideration “blowback” as a criteria for publishing something is to show just how cowardly you are, by memory hole do you mean you lost the memory of what it means to be brave? Certainly you’ ve filled that hole with complete cowardice that’s for sure.

        • “Yes, it was his fault that he lacked self awareness of the potentialities of his submission, knowing full well what what the state of the world is today.”

          This is similar to making the argument that a female should have thought twice about wearing that skimpy outfit, and that’s what caused her to get raped.

          Rational discourse should be promoted given different data and viewpoints. You can’t just stifle and attempt to hide data. How do you expect anyone’s brains to develop that way?

          • augustine says

            “This is similar to making the argument that a female should have thought twice about wearing that skimpy outfit, and that’s what caused her to get raped.”

            Yes, but there is a process of justice for dealing with the rapist. Anything similar in academia seems to be breaking down because the institutional climate itself is deranged.

        • joeywalnuts says

          Galileo should have recognised the blowback, and then what? Kept it to himself?

        • Bob McFee says

          What you are implying is self censorship. If he should take into account what the blowback will be, then you are suggesting he publish himself or elsewhere which is to say he won’t be read by a wider audience. You are also saying that it is okay for these other academics to interfere on behalf of ideology, and to have Mr. Hill be aware of and account for it. Rubbish. Having met the requirement of having his paper refereed, his paper should have been published. Having had it stuffed down your hole violates any sense of scientific objectivity. It renders science suspect and unreliable.

          In the climate debate, those who argue for disaster occurring from global warming refuse to open their models and data to inspection. One of the chief tenets of science is that if the research shows some outcome, then it should be repeatable by others. But since they withhold the data and the methods, this cannot occur. They then label skeptics as ‘deniers’ and refuse or to at least try to block publication of opposing viewpoints. This is not science. It is corrosive to all branches of science as we can’t tell who is being suppressed or if suppression is happening in the other fields. This allows pseudo scientists to make up whatever they want without opposition.

          Perhaps you would like it better if we asked Quillette to remove all your comments since you fail to appreciate real science. I wouldn’t ask for it, I’d miss too much popcorn eating entertainment.

        • spicemakesrice says

          “Trying so hard to get accepted by.”
          Someone hasn’t actually read the article.

        • So in your world one should self-censor logically consistent theories about an open topic of scientific interest because to just publish such a theory would be stupid. How exactly does one determine whose feeling will be hurt, how badly those feelings will be hurt and who politically connected the offended will be? By the way did you read the part where it noted that the NSF had never asked to have their funding hidden before. How does a logical argument stand or fall on its merits if it is censored and no one gets to see it?

    • “very real possibility that the right-wing media may pick this up and hype it internationally.”

      This is why. Facts don’t matter, science doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that The Other would be able to make a point. See: http://archive.is/QRJ6m This must *never* be allowed.

      This is why the Left is so keen on censorship and readily uses it as a weapon of first resort. If nobody knows the truth, nobody can diverge from left-wing ideas. And since Leftists only see the world in black and white (i.e. harm reduction is most important, other values are irrelevant) they don’t have a problem with this. However this harm reduction only applies to their side, when it comes to The Other, it’s out the window. One only needs to utter the name “Sarah Palin” to see how interested liberals are in women’s rights, or “Clarence Thomas” to see how interested they are in racial equality. The Reclusive Leftist blogged in 2009 that it was a “major shock” to discover “the extent to which so many self-described liberals actually despise working people.” http://www.reclusiveleftist.com/2009/06/15/here-we-go-again-with-the-classism/

      When faced with questions such as “One of the worst things a person could do is hurt a defenseless animal” or “Justice is the most important requirement for a society,” liberals assumed that conservatives would disagree. http://theindependentwhig.com/haidt-passages/haidt/conservatives-understand-liberals-better-than-liberals-understand-conservatives/

      The thing that went unremarked in this story, but comes up again and again in these kinds of things is the incestuous nepotism. People are married to other people or have close relationships, which they ruthlessly exploit in order to harm The Other. This is a feature of an aristocracy, which America is currently degenerating into. We can already see the sneering contempt for the deplorable commoners that is so prevalent on the Left.

      • James Lee says

        @Harland0

        My take is that moral matrices have a genetic and environmental component, and that the extreme low level of threat and war in the modern West has shifted matrices towards “left” configurations (all about harm reduction) and away from “right” configurations (authority, loyalty – the binding foundations which are especially important during periods of high survival threat).

        As Jonathan Haidt has pointed out, the academy shifted markedly to the left after the Greatest Generation retired or passed away in the 1990s. They fought in wars and lived through the Great Depression, and they were far more conservative overall than following generations.

        There are a handful of studies that indicate shifts toward “right” moral matrices after major terrorist attacks, including the twin towers attacks of 9-11. There are also a few studies that suggest a connection between historical rates of parasite and pathogen prevalence and the endorsement of conservative moral foundations.

        https://medium.com/@james3lee321/why-the-west-has-gone-blind-6ef8996b686c

        • I get your point but there is nothing more “authoritarian” than mandated healthcare, stifling regulation, censoring, regulating self protection out of reach, etc, in the name of “reducing harm”. Taking away personal choice and responsibility results in dependence on some “authority”. I just don’t see the compassion angle at all because it just doesn’t turn out that way. We have decades of proof.

          • James Lee says

            @lydia00

            I agree that there surely is an “authoritarian” streak manifest on the far left today. I also agree that we see a lot of what could be characterized as “idiot compassion”, that is, compassion divorced from wisdom, which isn’t really compassion. The recent Swedish girl who was hailed for her bravery when she prevented a violent felon from being deported, after he had brutally attacked his wife and kids, is a case in point.

            The definition for the moral foundation of “authority” is: “This foundation was shaped by our long primate history of hierarchical social interactions. It underlies virtues of leadership and followership, including deference to legitimate authority and respect for traditions.”

            The definition for the moral foundation of ingroup “loyalty” is: “This foundation is related to our long history as tribal creatures able to form shifting coalitions. It underlies virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice for the group. It is active anytime people feel that it’s “one for all, and all for one.”

            People on the left tend to produce low scores on questions concerning these foundations, in contrast to people on the right, politically speaking.

            Anecdotally, we have all seen plenty of historical and modern examples of “the left eats itself.”

          • peanut gallery says

            It’s all mental masturbation. The results don’t matter, just feeling good about being “on the right side.” It’s all bullocks as they are addicted to the feeling of righteous indignation.

        • Yes, the generation that gave us social security, the Warren court, and the highest levels of union membership in the history of the country were far more conservative than the generation that gave us Ronald Reagan. That is, if you dropped acid before you posted.

      • Bruce and Nellie Ohr. Half the couples in Washington. Watch out for the spouses.

      • Peter from Oz says

        ”We can already see the sneering contempt for the deplorable commoners that is so prevalent on the Left.”
        And yet the left is all about supporting commoners. No-one seems to notice this hypocrisy.

    • DEEBEE says

      You could have replaced Memory with Ass and it would have become perfectly aligned with your comment

    • KiloAlpha4 says

      The answer is quite simple…prestige..that old “jolly good job I say old chap” and the pat on the back. Problem is he got a swift kick in the ass instead. Irony for you.

  10. Just one example of many I’m sure. Free inquiry no longer exists in academia (and rapidly everywhere else too)

    • Alas, this is glaringly true in the field of medicine, and metastisizing at an accelerating rate, as lockstep submission to “consensus-built” protocols and politically correct ideology is forced upon physicians under the guise of improving patient outcomes and “not confusing the nurses”. At the pace of institutional degredation of actual critical thinking and analysis, it won’t be too long before bloodletting will return as the consensus-approved treatment for fever.

      • ccscientist says

        As an example, in England doctors are required to administer pap smears to male-to-female transexuals. Not clear how but hey, PC.

  11. Whilst reading this article I couldn’t help but think of the wonderful Christopher Hitchens quote below.
    If we were to replace ‘God’ with ‘PC Police or Ctrl-Left’, I think it works quite well.

    “Not scorning the three delightful children who result, who are everything to me and who are my only chance of even a glimpse of a second life let alone an immortal one, I’ll tell you something. If I was told to sacrifice something to prove my devotion to God, if I was told to do what all monotheists are told to do and admire the man who said ‘Yes I’ll gut my kid to show my love of God’ I’d say ‘No. Fuck you.’”

  12. Martin28 says

    “Half his board, he explained unhappily, had told him that unless he pulled the article, they would all resign and “harass the journal” he had founded 25 years earlier “until it died.” ”

    Mafia tactics.

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  17. A copy suggestion – when individual’s social media accounts are referenced as part of the article, it would be great if they were linked to in the text. It’s very useful context. cheers

    • Martin28 says

      This is a Machiavellian tale. Amie Wilkerson is a shadowy character, letting the men in her life do her fighting while she relies on deceit and attack on the reputation of the author, editor, and publications through social media. It would be good to hear her voice directly.

  18. adrian smits says

    Beware…you keep publishing little jems like this your growth will quickly turn you into the MSM .

  19. Tom Crispin says

    The opposition to your paper seems to provide one data point in their direction; the female of the human species shows greater variability in viciousness.

    • Walter Sobchak says

      “the female of the human species shows greater variability in viciousness.”

      No.

      “My theory is that all women have hydrofluoric acid bottled up inside,” he wrote.
      “Kurt Vonnegut, Writer of Classics of the American Counterculture, Dies at 84” by Dinitia Smith in the NYTimes on April 11, 2007
      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/books/11cnd-vonnegut.html

      Even the devil himself does not know where women sharpen their knives.
      Latvian proverb

    • Greater variability In viciousness and emotional hysteria. As Peterson said women are not physically strong enough to use violence as a weapon so they use social smearing, character assassination and emotional blackmail instead.

    • Lol. We had to be more clever as we did not have access to the same weapons. (The pistol was a great equalizer). Historically, women poisoned.

      But there is nothing more disgusting than a modern (post modern?) whiny “feminist” demanding special rights, donning a hijab to fight oppression or getting daddy to go after the mean guys.

      • JennaB says

        I mean really, Amy Wilkinson is fretting over rhe damage to women this article may do so she has the men in her life go and fight her battle for her. Go Patriarchy!

  20. I do hope FIRE (https://www.thefire.org) takes notice of this, and maybe offer their help, legal or inquiry of some kind… It is disgraceful the “opponents” would not even try to challenge the hypothesis/theory on academic or even general intellectual grounds but resort to blackmail, fear-mongering, harassment and abusive behavior.

    Though with this kind of paper, I doubt they would even have the ability to challenge it on intellectual arguments – I freely admit I can only understand the narrative parts, and the maths is way beyond my scope of understanding, coming from humanities and all. All they have left is ideological intimidation. It is pathetic it works so well.

  21. Unknownsailor says

    Amie Wilkerson displays all the signs of a cult member. She should be fired forthwith from the University of Chicago for putting the desires of her gender studies cult above scientific inquiry.

    As to the rest of you, when are you going to realize that this cult is not to be reasoned or bargained with, nor should any claim cult members make be entertained. You would not accept criticism from a flat earther, nor should you accept criticism from an acolyte of gender studies.

    • Agreed. Interesting that Flat Earth societies are on the rise. A reflection of the way we are heading as a society?

      • Flat Earth claims seem more like a psyop to raise internest in classical physics – and a very effective one.
        But it’s a terrifyingly good symbol of the new dark ages – you’re absolutely right.
        I think it stems from the open-arms acceptance of new technologies. When the promise and expectations are high, the results are usually poor.

        • peanut gallery says

          Pfft, more round-earth propaganda! You ball-lovers are sheep! Sheep I tell you! Illuminati confirmed.

      • Miller Cross says

        “Interesting that flat earth societies are on the rise.” They have become global.

    • The difference being, and on this I have a strong opinion – no direct evidence, that FlatEarthers are trolls, very successful trolls at that, with maybe some true believers thrown in by accident. These people are a religious cult. Having lived through communism, and still living with its consequences, these people (and I call them that no because they would identify as such, but because they are behaving like they were) are devastating, and they leave scorched earth, not flat earth, behind.

      • And one more thing, communism always starts as an intellectual endeavor, It is propagated and disseminated by “intellectual elites”, only then through politics. In my country it was the highest hierarchies of intellectuals that always gave the most insidious support, cloaked in academic discussion. And it was just one step from firing dissenting people to putting them in prisons or worse.

        True, our region did not have the constitutional strength of the USA, nor very strong opposition. But it is still scary how similar this behavior is.

    • Bob McFee says

      The right is not anti science. We’re all for real science. That we are considered anti-science is because the left is in full projection mode. They are anti-science, thus they think the right is also. Actually, I think they are trying to smear us.

      Trump recently issued an executive order to abolish “secret science” which is not really science. If policy is going to be affected by the science, the science needs to be open to everyone for inspection. The only reason for “secret science” is because real science is lacking and can’t withstand a challenge. And, predictably, the left is screaming foul.

      • ccscientist says

        As an example of secret science: the science EPA has used for pm2.5 (small particulates), ozone, and other chemical regulations is not published, cannot be checked by anyone, and contradicts published studies (ie they claim harm from absurdly low doses).

        • David says

          I suspect this is a bot posting, if not,you should use a random text generator to help make more sense. Thing can be checked. Go put your exhaust from your car so it feeds into you house and see how you feel and as you car runs note if your health declines and family members die. But before you do see if you need to dust and there is a fine black soot on surfaces.
          Traditionally yanks use 4um for particulate matter regs but with increasing sensitivity of monitoring 2.5 is the norm in Australia. 4000 people die in Australia from silicosis, thought to be mainly building workers from concrete cutting. I hope you go do some checking

  22. Just Me says

    Disgusting. Academia is killing its own credibility. When even hard science falls prey to ideology…

    Meanwhile, the humanities and social sciences are still eating their own, they are actually discussing whether they should cite someone who is a major figure in their field, or ignore him because he is personally a jerk, a “serial sexist”, etc…., and so should not be cited…

    https://www.chronicle.com/article/Should-We-Still-Cite-the/244450?

  23. Andrew Mcguiness says

    MIsrepresentation, nepotism and bullying. This is frightening to read, the more so because it’s more and more common. Making the facts about what happened public is the last thing we have to hang on to, while we strive for scientific method and open discussion. People who push for censorship in the ways described in this article are *not* acting in good faith – know that and remember it.

  24. So girls cannot read and rationally respond to research that might make them uncomfortable, for whatever reason.

    If there’s a chance they encounter such a thing, they will “mean girl” mob you and shut you down.

    Conclusion: girls should not be allowed anywhere near the maths or sciences.

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  26. ccscientist says

    I personally know 2 state climatologists fired for their belief that the climate change threat is being exaggerated. An editor of a climate journal was fired for publishing the wrong research. As an editor of a paper on polar bears, I was threatened and the person went to the media to harass me, claiming that contrary work should simply never be done–15 years later the work holds up just fine.

    It is funny because the people who attacked the work in this essay don’t object to data showing more men with low IQ or other problems. They just want to assert that women are just as smart at the high end–but frankly I don’t see it. I move in technical circles and have never seen a woman who can hold her own in a technical discussion. Women in academia (real subjects, not “studies”) publish far less than men do.

    • Bob McFee says

      I’ve seen women who can hold their own technically. Several of them. They are especially fun to chat with. It is a mistake to use statistics to predict individual capability.

      • J.Ryall says

        Except the author’s work doesn’t claim that women are less capable. It says that there are fewer genius level women at one end, and fewer hopelessly stupid women at the other i.e. women tend to concentrate around the mean in terms of IQ.

  27. Comrade:

    This reminds me of a joke.

    Agency heads of MI5, the CIA and the KGB are having a competition and meet on neutral ground, on the edge of a big German forest.

    The contest is as follows: each of their parties should catch a rabbit, using their espionage skills. The party that manages to catch the rabbit the quickest, wins.

    First, the MI5 agents head for the forest. When they emerge eight hours later, they carry a live rabbit in a cage. “We posted lookouts around the forest, and after spotting the rabbit, we shadowed it until it showed us his hideout, we then just placed the cage over the entrance and waited for the rabbit to fall in our trap. Neat and simple.”

    The CIA team enters the forest and emerges four hours later, holding a rabbit carcass which seems to have been shot and badly beaten several times. “We used satellite surveillance to acquire our target, but during the tracking, the subject tried to escape, so we had to use drastic measures. Still counts.” Nobody objects.

    Now, it was the KGB’s turn. The four agents disappear into the forest, and return after only an hour. But they are not carrying a rabbit, but hold a bear between two of the agents. The bear is badly bruised, has a limp and keeps head held down, looking at the ground. Absently, he mumbles “I am a rabbit. My parents were both rabbits.”

    Congratulations on your Diversity Achievement.

    • Perhaps Quillette or some institution with some integrity should initiate a yearly awards ceremony for cowardly academics and administrators – Following the late Alan Bloom, it could be called the :”Dancing Bear Award”. .

      • Martin28 says

        I seriously think that Quillette should do awards. These would get a huge amount of attention, boost readership, and Quillette could back them up with so much detail. They could make fun of the oppressors and reward those who stand up.

        Maybe the Evergreen Awards for academic oppression and cowardice.

        Perhaps the Carlin Awards for bravery in the face of intellectual oppression. After George Carlin, who called political correctness fascism with manners and was never afraid to say what was on his mind.

        Top 10 would be best. One award per year would not be enough. This would be a great tactical move, and fun to boot.

  28. mike87122 says

    This story is infuriating. I despair for the future of science.

  29. Geoffrey Newbury says

    Academia:
    I do not think that word is spelt like you think it is: academentia.

    Pam: so maybe those persons who call for the repeal of the 19th amendment are correct in their understanding of the reasons why it should not have been passed?

  30. Anne Johnson says

    I am a female in the top 1% for intelligence, measured in both verbal fluency and mathematical ability. I have difficulty believing that the histrionic females of whom you write are truly within the top tier of intelligence for math—because a hallmark of intelligence in math is the ability to consider mathematical propositions dispassionately. Perhaps I am more of a sport than I imagine.

    Regarding your scientific article—it seems to be a simple and obvious proposition. The caveats are of course that your assumptions about populations are general and cannot be presumed to be accurately descriptive of any particular species. But then, you stated that clearly.

    Regarding the hysterical response your paper elicited…I am dumbfounded. I find nothing controversial in anything that you said—and fail to see how any educated reader could interpret what you say as positing that women are unsuited for the pursuit of careers in math and science.

    I wonder if some of the wailing and gnashing of teeth arises from the biological assertions you made; I.e., that women are more invested in child-rearing (a biological fact that today’s PC police tediously argue against) and that women are more selective (something obvious to every woman who has ever observed mating behavior).

    I despair at the reactions of these women, because they just cement in my mind (and I am sure, others’ minds) that women are emotionally labeled creatures incapable of detached and dispassionate thinking. Ugh.

    One final thought—you are a mathematician and approached the problem as one deserving of a mathematical explanation. I am a physiologist and an amateur geneticist. Have you talked to your colleagues on the biological side to consider how the male Y chromosome, missing quite a bit of genetic material, might play a role in variability?

    • peterschaeffer says

      Anne Johnson, It is well known that the standard deviation of talents is higher for men than women. Why isn’t clear. There is an easy evolutionary explanation for why this might/should be true. However, that doesn’t prove that the evolutionary explanation is correct. A completely different theory is that women have two X chromosome and men only have one. Having two X chromosomes tends to balance out extremes in women but allows them to show up in men. Note that this is just a theory (so far) and could be complementary to the evolutionary explanation.

      • Jack B Nimble says

        This discussion is missing any biological realism. Here are the major issues:

        Male heterogametic [XY] and male haploid [wasps, ants] sex determination systems lead to greater male variability due to exposure of mildly-deleterious variants, compared to diploid females. Should compare male heterogamety to, e.g., birds and butterflies, in which males are WW, females are ZW.

        Selection cannot act on any group-level trait like variability, except in the unlikely case of inter-group selection acting on highly-structured populations. The model proposed is group-selectionist. Humans are mostly outbreeding and don’t have the requisite population structure.

        Regarding parental investment, should compare species with greater female investment–like most vertebrate species–to those relatively rare species with greater male investment in offspring, like seahorses and polyandrous birds [https://web.stanford.edu/group/stanfordbirds/text/essays/Polyandry.html]

        There are lots of other non-selectionist hypotheses that should be considered. Here’s one: In live-bearing species, male embryos develop in an alien [that is, feminine] uterine environment compared to female embryos. Possibly as a result, the frequency of preterm male births is about 25% higher than for female births [https://reproductive-health-journal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1742-4755-10-S1-S2]. Completing fetal development outside the uterus may lead to greater phenotypic variability among adult males, compared to adult females.

        Bottom line–the paper in question should have included a broader literature review discussing these alternative explanations. Lacking such a review, the paper comes across as scientifically naive, as well as politically naive.

        • Martin28 says

          A scientific paper shouldn’t have to be politically astute, Jack. To take politics out of it is a major point of the scientific process. The politics is supposed to come after the science, and be informed by the science (although not necessarily entirely dictated by it). I don’t agree with your other naiveté point as well. The paper takes biology into account at some level. He starts with Darwin, and assumes one sex is more selective, which in humans is arguably a biological fact.

          • Jack B Nimble says

            @Martin28

            Because the author didn’t consider alternative explanations at any length, the paper is a example of ‘just so’ story-telling or post hoc theorizing in evolutionary biology [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-so_story ]. This abstract provides additional background:

            Evol Anthropol. 2016 Nov;25(6):276-287. doi: 10.1002/evan.21495.
            Explanations for adaptations, just-so stories, and limitations on evidence in evolutionary biology by RJ Smith

            “Explanations of the historical origin of specific individual traits are a key part of the research program in paleontology and evolutionary biology. Why did bipedalism evolve in the human lineage? Why did some dinosaurs and related species have head crests? Why did viviparity evolve in some reptiles? Why did the common ancestor of primates evolve stereoscopic vision, grasping hands and feet, nails instead of claws, and large brains? These are difficult questions. To varying degrees, an explanation must grapple with (1) judgments about changes in fitness that might follow from a change in morphology – without actually observing behavior or measuring reproductive success, (2) the relationship between genes and traits, (3) limitations on doing relevant experiments, (4) the interpretation of causes that are almost certainly contingent, multifactorial, interactive, hierarchical, nonlinear, emergent, and probabilistic rather than deterministic, (5) limited information about variation and ontogeny, (6) a dataset based on the random fortunes of the historical record, including only partial hard-tissue morphology and no soft-tissue morphology, (7) an equally partial and problematic (for example, time-averaged) record of the environment, (8) the compression of all data into a geological time scale that is likely to miss biologically important events or fluctuations, (9) dependence on a process that can only be inferred (“form and even behavior may leave fossil traces, but forces like natural selection do not”, and finally, (10) the assumption of the “adaptationist programme” that the trait in question is in fact an adaptation rather than a consequence of genetic drift, correlated evolution, pleiotropy, exaptation, or other mechanisms. Bold font added.

        • Martin28 says

          @Jack B Nimble If he was saying that his explanation is true, then you would have a stronger point. He’s not saying that, explicitly. He’s saying that there is mathematical evidence that the hypothetical higher male variability is real. That’s a different thing.

          • Actually, you guys are forgetting that this is an applied math paper, not an evolutionary biology paper. Hill proposes a model for the development of greater variability in males. A biologist may then look at the paper and write his/her own paper on why this is consistent with what we know about genetics. If it is somewhat consistent, then a more sophisticated model can be produced, and so ad infinitum, but the process cannot even begin until the first paper is published. Hill’s is that first paper.

        • ADM64 says

          Why should the author of a scientific paper in a nominally free society ever have to consider whether or not the article is politically naïve? That is a de facto acknowledgment that we lack genuine academic freedom. The more correct statement would be that people purporting to be academics should not be having hissy fits when someone says something that they don’t like. That many don’t speaks more to their lack of aptitude than anything else. The latter was not a shot at you – the points you’ve made seem reasonable and are argued on a scientific basis – but at those who forced the retraction of this paper.

          • Jack B Nimble says

            @ADM64

            Some scientists like Jerry Coyne think that scientists should do research on sensitive topics with no concern for the broader societal implications of the work. I disagree completely with that position.

            Example–it is possible to conduct a rigorous, quantitative-genetic analysis of variation in nose size and shape among Jews or among Blacks. But such work has no practical value and just feeds pre-existing racist tropes.

            See also the MACOS controversy for an example of how one scientifically rigorous but politically naive attempt at reforming science education in the US in the 1970s caused NSF to essentially pull out of funding science education proposals. Link: [https://computinged.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/the-story-of-macos-how-getting-it-wrong-cost-the-nation-and-how-we-make-it-better-the-next-time/]

            Bottom line: there is no such thing as a pure science that is independent of political and social issues. Scientists should resist political interference with their research and work for intellectual freedom, while recognizing that absolute freedom is neither possible nor desirable.

        • Ed Hagen says

          Jack,

          “Selection cannot act on any group-level trait like variability, except in the unlikely case of inter-group selection acting on highly-structured populations. The model proposed is group-selectionist.”

          This is incorrect. There are many theoretical studies on individiual-level selection for variability, specifically studies on disruptive selection, in which there is typically positive selection on *both* tails of a trait distribution. Here is a review article in TREE:

          http://zootis.zoologi.su.se/research/leimar/fulltext/Rueffler_etal2006.pdf

          A bigger concern for me (albeit having only skimmed Hill’s arxiv paper), is that his model seems to make the pretty strong assumption that the mean desirability values can’t respond to selection:

          “…among subpopulations of B with comparable average attributes…” (Hill, p. 2)

          If mean desirability could increase under sexual selection, that effect might trump selection on variability. But maybe I missed something.

          I agree the paper would be stronger with a brief review of competing theoretical models.

        • James says

          “Selection cannot act on any group-level trait like variability”

          Why not? It is not difficult for this layperson to imagine a gene moderating a mechanism by which the variation of the expression of other genres are constrained.

          • Jack B Nimble says

            @James

            Selection can act on any population where there is [1] variation in some trait, [2] differential fitness associated with the trait and [3] some genetic basis for the trait. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unit_of_selection

            To avoid confusion, selection among organisms is traditional Darwinian natural selection. All other proposed types of selection are non-Darwinian.

            Selection among genes in a genome MIGHT occur, but I’m skeptical of this idea because it greatly reduces organismal fitness.

            Selection among cell lineages in an organism can occur, e.g., between cancerous and normal cells.

            Selection among groups within a species can occur, but only if the groups don’t interbreed. Few if any animal or plant species meet that strict criterion.

            Selection among species can occur when there is differential extinction rates. This is emphatically NOT traditional Darwinian selection.

    • The answer to this is human values. People who identify as politically left only have one value, harm reduction. They see the world in black and white. People who identify as politically right see the world in full color and have five values that they use, harm reduction being only one. NYU professor Jonathan Haidt’s explanation: the two tribes have different moral palates, argues Haidt.

      Liberals and people of the left underpin their politics with moral concerns about harm and fairness; they are driven by the imperative to help the vulnerable and see justice done. Conservatives and people of the right value these things as well but have several additional moral touchstones — loyalty, respect and sanctity. They value in-group solidarity, deference to authority, and the protection of purity in mind and body. To liberals, those sincerely held values can look a lot like, in Dr. Haidt’s words, “xenophobia, authoritarianism and Puritanism.” This asymmetry is the fountainhead of mutual incomprehension and disdain.

      One of the most telling discoveries was that conservatives tend to be curious about what liberals think and why, while liberals see conservatives as inferior “other,” inherently incapable of thought. When faced with questions such as “One of the worst things a person could do is hurt a defenseless animal” or “Justice is the most important requirement for a society,” liberals assumed that conservatives would disagree.

      See: http://theindependentwhig.com/haidt-passages/haidt/conservatives-understand-liberals-better-than-liberals-understand-conservatives/

      • This is why people WERE always more likely to mature from left to right, rather than the other way around.

        With that maturity they gradually gained that extra perspective and wisdom to be able to recognize and accept those additional moral touchstones. Take the red pill, open the third eye, what have you.

        Used to be we only had to worry about academia interrupting that natural process. But now it’s stymied even after we move into our working lives – and fuelled 24/7/365 by Social Media propaganda.

        “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 20, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative when you’re 40, you have no head” may no longer be happening.

        Apparently, 12 million voters can be influenced by Social Media to vote Dem without them being aware that they HAVE been influenced.

        “We will not need to fight. It will fall as a ripe fruit into our hands” – Lenin’s prediction about the United States.

        Took a bit longer than he thought, but hard to argue we don’t at least stand on the precipice of Lenin’s prophecy coming true.

      • augustine says

        @ Jack B Nimble

        “Selection among groups within a species can occur, but only if the groups don’t interbreed. Few if any animal or plant species meet that strict criterion.”

        Unless I am misunderstanding you, this cannot be correct. Example: a gravid female of a mainland shrew species makes it to a faraway island. Now there are two groups of this species, each one with a different evolutionary pathway in front of it. Five million years later, the insular group has adapted to its island home by selection and adaptation, to the point that it is now a taxon distinct from its mainland progenitor, with which it never interbred.

        This scenario is not unusual for nesiotic plants and animals.

        • Jack B Nimble says

          @Augustine

          You are discussing allopatric speciation, sometimes called cladogenesis or lineage splitting [when we are unsure whether the 2 lineages actually qualify as separate species]. Genetic differentiation of isolated populations can occur by random processes as well as by natural selection, so the example doesn’t necessarily fit a group selection model. And if both lineages survive, group selection isn’t occurring at all.

          See also: Natural Selection and Random Genetic Drift as Causes of Evolution on Islands, N. H. Barton and J. Mallet, Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences, Vol. 351, No. 1341 (Jun. 29, 1996), pp. 785-795.

    • Andrew P says

      When you feel personally threatened by an idea, dispassionate discussion is impossible.

    • D.B. Cooper says

      @Anne Johnson

      I am a female in the top 1% for intelligence, measured in both verbal fluency and mathematical ability. I have difficulty believing that the histrionic females of whom you write are truly within the top tier of intelligence for math—because a hallmark of intelligence in math is the ability to consider mathematical propositions dispassionately. Perhaps I am more of a sport than I imagine.

      This line of reasoning fails on multiple fronts.

      First, it does not follow that because something is true for the whole, it must also be true for its constituting parts. Which is to say, if we were to grant the proposition that a hallmark of intelligence in math is the ability to consider mathematical propositions dispassionately; ergo, it is unlikely the histrionic females of whom you write are truly within the top tier of intelligence for math. I recognize that you qualified the statement (difficulty believing), but if you weren’t as bright as you give every appearance of being, I wouldn’t have wasted either of our time with a pedantic rejoinder.

      Second, while having a high intelligence (> +1.5 SD from μ) often accompanies – if not, underwrites – a profundity of thought; the ability to grasp, manipulate and master abstract principles/concepts with relative efficiency does not, necessarily, inoculate its proprietor from the base vagaries of the human condition, e.g., motivated reasoning, myside bias, etc.

      It may be self-evidently true that a dearth of intelligence (an earnest attempt at politically correct language, if ever there was one) attenuates alternate channels of sophistication, but we cannot and certainly should not infer a (specious) correlation between the ability to negotiate novel situations and the inability to propagate sophistry.

      The only reasonable inference I take from this situation is the standing refutation of the intelligentsia as a window of coherent truth that every histrionic academic (male & female) provides.

      Lastly, and this will likely come across as pedantic, but only b/c it is, what precisely do you mean by “intelligence in math?” I ask, because I have personally taken an IQ test as a young teen and to the best of my memory, there isn’t – or wasn’t at the time – a subtest that measured mathematics fluency/comprehension on the test I was given, i.e., Wechsler Intelligence Scale. I understand there currently exists number of “legitimate” tests in this market, so that may account for the discrepancy here. With respect to the one and only test I took, it was administered by a psychologist in concert with my school district after being nominated by one of my teachers for a school program. Entry to the program required a specific score, which is the long way of saying, I don’t have any reason to suspect the legitimacy of the test I was given. So, to come full circle, what do you mean by math intelligence? I remember there being a verbal comprehension subtest (among 4-6 other subtests), which I assume is the analog to your statement on verbal intelligence.

      Just to be clear, I’m in no way suggesting “math intelligence” is the stuff of leprechauns and unicorns. As I’ve stated, I know very little about intelligence tests themselves (aside from what I remember about the one I took many, many years ago), so my knowledge on the subject is limited to a handful of statements I’ve heard Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris and others make. It simply struck me as odd when I read your comment, b/c I don’t recall anything more than maybe basic arithmetic and/or number memorization (but I don’t believe the latter would really count as mathematics). At any rate, I enjoyed reading your comment. Thanks.

      • ccscientist says

        One of the problems with being brilliant, and I have known many brilliant academics, is that brilliance in their chosen field gives them the mistaken idea that they can be brilliant and always right in fields they have not studied. There are many things “so stupid only an academic could believe them”–just think of the many profs who have praised Castro or Stalin over the years.

    • @Anne Johnson, I’m female and also in the top 1% of intelligence (well, to be immodest, the top 0.1%). I too find nothing whatever objectionable about the paper. However, I think there is danger in implying that only intelligent people can parse the mysteries and subtleties of this scientific paper. I actually think that the vast majority of women would read the abstract and nod. In point of fact, I think working class women who are lower in IQ would be even more in agreement as they see firsthand the results of the lower end of the curve for men.

      This goes back to my point that social media & their echo chamber, the mainstream media, enables a very small minority of people to wield a hugely disproportionate amount of power. The woman who blugeoned the paper to nonexistence with the help of cronyism and cowardice represents, I think, a very small portion of women in general. Why she is able to wield this outsized despotic power is the larger question.

  31. Anne Johnson says

    Grrr. Auto-correct changed “labile” to “labeled.” Auto-correct is not auto-contextual.

  32. mapman says

    Now imagine what would happen if the author suggested something *actually* controversial – like, for example, an idea that on math, not only SD but also a mean value is slightly lower for females (making the differences at far tails much bigger). That certainly seems to be the case with SAT tests – year after year, highly statistically significant due to a huge N involved.

  33. Darij says

    This is nowhere near central to the topic, which is extremely painful for me to hear as a recent author of an NYJM paper. But…

    > I would not be able to republish anywhere else because I would be unable to sign a copyright form declaring that it had not already been published elsewhere.

    This leaves me a bit confused. Here is the copyright agreement that authors sign at NYJM (which is an open-access journal):

    “Copyright Agreement
    This Agreement, dated _______________ (date), is by and between the New York Journal of Mathematics, the “Journal”, and […], the “Authors”. In consideration of the following mutual undertakings, it is agreed:

    1. The Authors have created a work entitled […] (the “Work”) and own the copyright to the Work.

    2. The Authors hereby grant to the Journal a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, fully-paid up, royalty-free license to publish the Work in electronic form, paper form, or any other format or medium, at any time and in any context. The Journal shall also have the right to include the Work as part of its collection available on interlibrary loan.

    3. The Authors agree that they shall not publish the Work in any other Journal, whether electronic or otherwise, in the same or substantially the same form as the Work, without acknowledging prior publication in this Journal, and giving the URL for the Work’s home page in the home web of the Journal.

    4. The Authors agree to include links to the Work’s home page (in the Journal’s home web) along with any electronically available copy of the Work.

    5. The Authors warrant that they have the full power and authority to enter into this Agreement and to grant the rights granted in this Agreement.

    6. The Journal undertakes to publish the Work by placing it on the Journal’s web.

    7. This Agreement shall become effective and binding at the date of formal acceptance of the Work for publication by the Journal.

    New York Journal of Mathematics (Journal)

    Signed: […]

    Please fax completed forms, signed by all authors, to Mark Steinberger at 518-442-4731.”

    In principle, the moment the journal unpublishes a paper, item 6 is broken, which should void the whole agreement. Republication should be possible at least in another OA journal. Even if the authors break the agreement, there are no damages to show, so no litigation possible.

    The shit has already been stirred — there’s nothing to make worse by pushing the paper out into the open (though arguably it won’t be of that much use either, as it’s already on the arXiv).

    This comment thread is hit and miss, but Martin28 is spot on: Dismissal “for moral reasons” of papers like this pulls the rug out of other genuinely good research that is socially important, like climate science. *I* know to trust the general gist of climate change (though not every hyped-up headline) because I happen to know some climatologists and I have seen them blog (and the whole “data rescue” operation they did in 2016 is not something you would do if you wanted to hide something — I can’t imagine the social sciences crowd openly publishing their data en masse!). But if I wasn’t in academia and surrounded by academics, I would be getting to a much different conclusion based entirely on the behavior observable from the outside. I see people losing trust in the academic community, and frankly I can’t justify why they shouldn’t. Certainly, behaviors like the above by the editors of NYJM and Intelligencer (as well as the NSF, but no one expects better of them) heavily contribute to this loss of trust.

    • Anne Johnson says

      You are letting your emotions cloud your judgement on climate change.

      Read more widely and step away from the climatologists with whom you are friendly. I suggest starting with Anthony Watts at Wattsupwiththat.com and perusing some very old posts at Climate Audit by Steve McIntyre. Climate “science” is a PC sh**show.

      Common sense ought to tell you that anyone purporting to model a system as complex as climate, involving not just systems on earth, but also solar-system-wide, needs to be regarded with extreme skepticism. Sheesh.

      • Darij says

        @Anne Johnson: What I heard from people I trust is that measurements showing persistent temperature growth over the 20th century are real and fit the models, even surprisingly so as the models are indeed shaky. Also, while I used to dismiss the “global warming causes more extreme weather” as alarmism, apparently there are physical reasons to expect that, although the empirics here is still far from decisive. It’s hard to counteract the damage done by Mann’s loudmouthed BS, though — I perfectly see why reasonable people can end up on the no-GW (or no-anthropogenic-GW) side.

        • Bob McFee says

          Darij, you might want to look into climategate which demonstrates the same type of things this post does. Alleged scientists sought to block publication of skeptical papers, hide methods and data etc.

          The predictions of their models almost always run ‘hot’. They withhold data, code and methods. Observations show much less warming than predicted. When you run into so called scientists whose models fail to predict accurately warming temperatures, are not somebody you want to trust with making policy decisions.

          Last, skeptics don’t believe there isn’t warming or climate change. There has been more or less constant warming since the mid 1800s. What we argue is that man isn’t responsible for it and that the draconian methods of alleviating it won’t work because we have so little impact on it. As a challenge, why don’t you find someone who is familiar with the subject that disagrees that the world is warming and that climate changes. I don’t know any such people. I read wattsupwiththat regularly. It is the foremost skeptic site, and no one there disagrees that warming, on average, is occurring or that climate is changing.

      • Martin28 says

        We should be very skeptical of models. But there are also the facts of melting ice, which are pretty dramatic, and the changes in temperature, which are less dramatic. Science with integrity would make clear the difference between facts and speculation (which is necessary), and separate the science from the activism. But climate scientists don’t just have a stake in this, all scientists do. If the public sees blatant corruption and suppression in some fields, they will have no reason to trust studies, even honest ones. They will have no reason to take vaccines, if the Internet tells them vaccines cause autism and are funded by corrupt pharma companies, for example. And all reason goes out the window.

      • Daniel says

        > Common sense ought to tell you that anyone purporting to model a system as complex as climate, involving not just systems on earth, but also solar-system-wide, needs to be regarded with extreme skepticism. Sheesh.

        That’s true, but we do have some intelligence between us, and we should be able to model these complex systems so long as we apply enough diligence and rigor to the effort. I’m ultimately optimistic about humanity’s intellectual capabilities. The trouble is that verifying these complex models requires significant domain expertise, which most people lack, and therefore their acceptance depends on the *trust* lay people have in the diligence and rigor of researchers.

        These researchers are going out of their way to obliterate this trust. Without trust, we can’t take policy actions based on complex models, and if we can’t do that, technological civilization is toast.

        • Karen Straughan says

          @Daniel “That’s true, but we do have some intelligence between us, and we should be able to model these complex systems so long as we apply enough diligence and rigor to the effort.”

          I know someone who had a paper published in a reputable journal, modelling a small, lab-based microfluidic system with a half dozen boundary conditions. His model was predictive (increase the diameter of the tubules, oxygen transport across the membrane increases), but was still not adequate to accurately predict by how much after comparison with actual results from experimentation.

          And in fact, some of the predicted values seemed really off, and others bucked the expected trend altogether even within the model. This is almost certainly because of assumptions made regarding how the other variables would behave and interact with each other under the baseline conditions within a tiny, highly controlled, closed system.

          Imagine a gum ball machine in an empty space. You know exactly what the mass and shape of each ball is, and where it’s resting in relation to the other balls in the machine. You hit it with a baseball bat. You know the exact weight and hardness of the bat, and the force with which it was swung, and the exact angle it hit the machine. You know the flaws in the glass of the machine–you know exactly where the glass is a bit thicker than in other places, and exactly where bubbles in the glass exist, and how large they are, from manufacturing. You know the floor is completely flat, you know the atmospheric pressure, and you know there is no breeze whatsoever (other than that created by the bat).

          Now. Make a computer model that will predict the trajectory, final physical condition and final resting position on the perfectly flat and level floor in the empty space of each gum ball. Predict how many collisions between gum balls will occur, and how many times each will bounce, and how far each will roll, and which will fracture and which will not.

          Maybe that can be done.

          But now picture this. The gum ball machine is in the entranceway of a grocery store, between the two sets of automatic doors, situated among a rack of other candy machines. You don’t know very much about the other candy machines or the mass of their contents other than that they can be *assumed* to be *similar* to the gum ball machine. You know the shape and size of the space between the sliding doors of the store, but you don’t know when those doors will open or close, or the mass or speed of the people coming through them or whether those people will be pushing grocery carts when you hit your gum ball machine with the baseball bat. So you *assume* the average traffic for that given time of day.

          You don’t know what the weather is outside, so you can’t account for what the breeze will be like if and when the doors open, other than that you know there will be one and you decide to base your calculation on averages for that time of year. On the other side of the inside set of doors, there are racks of potato chips and doritos. You don’t know whether those racks are full or half empty, and you don’t know if there will be people standing in front of them or whether the flying gum balls will hit the bags of chips. And what if one of the chip bags has a leak and lost its air content? You don’t know that, either. So you *assume* the rack is full and you, by necessity, assume no one is standing there because predicting whether the person who may or may not be standing there is a toddler or an obese adult in a mobility scooter is impossible.

          What about the gum balls that bounce off something and roll out the outside door onto the cement and then into the parking lot? How many will be run over and crushed by cars? Or bounce off of cars and back toward the front of the store? I mean, you know the average number of cars that drive by every day, but can you predict exactly when they will, or what kind of vehicles they’ll be?

          As complicated as this system is, and as impossible as it would likely currently be to create a computer model that would accurately predict the precise trajectory, final resting location, and final condition of each and every gum ball in that machine, I would suggest that this system is less complex and more predictable than global climate.

          When the IPCC finally had to answer questions as to how and why their predictions were so out of line with the actual data, one of the reasons they gave to potentially explain the discrepancy was that the science is simply inadequate to make such predictions with any degree of confidence.

          I would suggest that it is.

        • Jan de Jong says

          That was yes to Anne Johnson, No idea how my reply ended up here.

          • @Jan: in case you were longer on Q., you would have known. Comments only appear under the issue if no-one else is commenting, if so, they could end up way below, and become incomprehensible for the reader, unless he is a detective of some sort. So, always better you ad the name of the author in your comment.

    • becomingworthy says

      I believe the issue is with the next journal he’d submit it too – at which he would have to attest that the paper is not previously published. Of course, I’m not sure that disappeared work would count as previously published; it’s probably never occurred to anyone to ask that question because this whole situation is so ludicrous.

      • Good point. It hasn’t been published, and he can honestly say that it hasn’t been published anywhere else. If the journal publishes his paper after another journal has, too late. Sorry. They original journal has no recourse.

        With the publication of this article, people can see the corruption in the academic world. I would like nothing better than to see the blockers and ideologues fired. After a proper investigation, of course.

  34. ga gamba says

    Well, so much for the idea floating around that STEM hasn’t been infected by the social justice magicians.

    Appears the only people willing and able to do honest work are the retirees. Please, don’t die.

    Professor Senechal suggested that we might enliven our paper by mentioning Harvard President Larry Summers, who was swiftly defenestrated in 2005 for saying that the GMVH might be a contributing factor to the dearth of women in physics and mathematics departments at top universities.

    Cynics may think you were set up for a fall right there.

    • D.B. Cooper says

      Appears the only people willing and able to do honest work are the retirees. Please, don’t die.

      It’s a strong field, but this may be your best work, yet. While some would consider appeals to the utility of retirees as a morally ambiguous (at best) reason for hoping they don’t die, you have the good sense to not confuse or conflate pretentious ideals with pragmatic self-interest. Good show, old boy.

  35. Absolutely infuriating. If it’s a bad finding, disprove it.

    Politicking the paper out of existence suggests very strongly that it’s correct and impossible to disprove, but just doesn’t conform to the “correct” worldview.

    This Amie Wilkinson has no credibility as a mathematician and researcher if she can’t adjust her worldview based on evidence. Based on the story it sounds like her daddy likely helped push her up through the ranks, and she is now using that power to snuff out the work of real professors.

    • “very real possibility that the right-wing media may pick this up and hype it internationally.”

      The evidence must be suppressed if it allows The Other to be able to make a point. See: http://archive.is/QRJ6m for the best essay I’ve ever heard of about this concept.

    • Just for the record, whatever you might think about how she behaved in this case, it is complete nonsense to suggest that she hasn’t reached her current rank on her own merits. She is a top mathematician, very well known for her extremely impressive research.

      • I have zero academic respect for anyone who behaves like this, and even less respect in general for a grown woman who calls upon her daddy to help her suppress someone else’s work when she doesn’t like it.

        She clearly is not dispassionate towards evidence, which is a mindset that destroys her ability to think critically and adjust her worldview based on experimental results. Not a good trait for someone who is supposed to be an expert in a hard science.

    • The whole reason this had to be spiked from the point of view of Wilkinson and her ilk (the half of the NYJM board that threatened to resign, and evidently her father) is that it is not a finding, but a theorem: it has a proof, not supporting evidence. The only way to avoid the implied critique of the feminist project that holds all outcomes that vary differentially by sex among humans are the result of male oppression, would be to show that the evolutionary dynamics of sexually reproducing populations are so unlike the hypotheses of the theorem that it does not apply even approximately to the real world circumstance. Unfortunately, it appears that the hypotheses are standard fare for evolutionary biology. (Which suggests the modest proposal that feminists should embrace creationism to save their social dogma.)

  36. Pingback: Academic Cowardice Reaches a New Low - NoPaperNews

  37. John Skookum says

    Another step on the path towards making universities nothing more than insignificant finishing schools for hysterical, emotionally brittle girls and boys who think they are girls.

    Men inclined towards intellectual endeavor and achievement must replace them with another institution entirely. Perhaps on-line journals in the cloud with a blockchain system for anonymous reputation management and peer review.

    • Anne Johnson says

      You are reinforcing the fears of the PC crowd. Women and men inclined to intellectual rigor and achievement must find a way to destroy the currently weak and unscientific academy.

      I will stipulate that fewer women,populate the ranks of the top 1% in STEM, but I will challenge the premise that we are absent.

      Further, those of us who are here have superior verbal skills. You need us.

      • peterschaeffer says

        AJ, The ides that women with strong math/science skills also tend to have strong verbal skills is evident in the literature. Men with strong math/science skills tend not to have strong verbal skills. This is one of they key reasons men go into STEM. They have to. Women (having more balanced skills) typically have better opportunities elsewhere.

        • Peter Kriens says

          This thesis always ignores other skills beyond verbal and IQ. For one, men tend to enjoy being more focused on a single task, often at the cost of a great many other things. A skill extremely Important if you want to compete at the top in a field that requires deep knowledge and/or experience one only gets spending tens of thousands of hours. I’m quit good verbally but I enjoy deep thought over talking about it. Using my verbal skills might make a more regular income but one can always hope to strike gold. A choice I recognize at many of my colleagues.

          • ccscientist says

            Peter, yes exactly. A male trait that is exaggerated in the autistic is perseveration–prolonged persistence on a task. I blame testosterone and 1 million years of spending hours chipping stone tools. I will daydream about my software or project while showering, while driving, while eating. My engineer friends say the same. Women are not like that and they don’t even know what we mean, but it is very handy if you do technical work.

      • Otorq says

        > … but I will challenge the premise that we are absent.

        Why do you use the first-person “we”? If you were included in the top 1% of mathematicians, surely you would have managed to publish *something*.

        • Anne Johnson says

          Why the animosity?

          1) If you read my other comments, you would see that I am not a mathematician. My PhD is in neuropharmacology.

          2) Being exceptionally verbal, I found a more lucrative and more satisfying career in private industry, specifically, in customer-facing positions, where my verbal skills earn me quite a bit of money.

          Which is the point that another commenter has made: Women with tremendous abilities in STEM also tend to excel verbally, giving them many more opportunities outside of the academy and technical areas of industry.

          I would posit that those of you who lament the state of affairs described by the OP would welcome the voices of women who are gifted scientifically and yet who are not threatened by the idea that men and women, as populations, differ in their range of abilities. But perhaps you are just an asshat. I am unsure about the relative distribution of those between the sexes.

          • Andrew P says

            Truth does not matter. If people feel personally threatened by a possible scientific truth, then they don’t want that truth discussed at all. Obviously, a lot of female math and science professors don’t feel secure enough in their own positions, or that of their colleagues, to discuss the issues raised by this paper dispassionately.

          • “But perhaps you are just an asshat.” That one made me spit out my coffee, well played.

            I suspect you are correct in your argument that women with exceptional STEM abilities also have above average non-STEM abilities making them in greater demand outside of the academy. But then, our current political climate demands equal representation in STEM (but not in elementary school teaching, nursing, etc.). It is simply a matter of some glamour being placed upon STEM above those. I wonder why there isn’t a greater mob decrying the lack of women in rap music or the NFL/NBA making their million dollar/week contracts? The tussle about the US Women’s soccer team died out quickly, I suspect once it was realized they were negotiated contracts with a different perspective than the men’s team in terms of base vs performance aspects and compensation from parent club. It wasn’t a windmill to charge at without hurting the concept of unionized labor.

          • Gary Lewis says

            I think, as an observer of both men and women for many decades, that the asshat distribution definitely skews heavily in favor of males. They at least demonstrate the propensity more frequently.

  38. joe forshaw says

    So I guess it’s incidents like this that prompted this recent exchange between Tyler Cowan and Claire Lehman?

    “COWEN: In general, intellectual life, but if you take, say, the United States as a whole, do you think it’s left-wing or right-wing political correctness that’s stronger and more destructive?

    LEHMANN: Yeah, it’s probably right-wing political correctness.

  39. The bitterest irony now for the censorists and bullies is that the paper will be read, and the hypothesis learned, by millions of people instead of a few dozen math wonks.If published, the paper would’ve remained in arcane obscurity. The author and paper are now martyrized, and might be used as propaganda by the “alt right”. What they desperately wanted to avoid.

    • Andrew P says

      Yes, millions may read it, but nobody will be filing grant applications to do serious follow up studies on human populations that could really prove the hypothesis with regard to humans.

  40. DevOps Dad says

    By feminist reasoning since men’s and women’s mental and emotional capacities are gender neutral or equal, there is no reason to mix the sexes in the workplace.

    Research laboratories, physical science departments, software engineering teams, military units, and even entire corporations can be made up of all males or all females.

    A healthy feminist society should encourage sex segregated cleansed workplace teams since mixed team males would only give rise to Patriarchy again.

    • Tarstarkas says

      You are showing your transphobia / sarc. And what about the other multiplicity of genders? It seems you’re phobic about them too. Are there enough dragonkin in Silicon Valley to form an R & D department, or even a call center? Let’s find out!

  41. defmn says

    Expecting courage from academic administrators is a sure path to disappointment.

  42. A Country Farmer says

    Can you please respond to this comment found on another news site:

    “The paper seems to have some egregious and basic errors.

    On page 2, it says (in discussing Special Case 1): “If sex A is relatively selective and will mate only with the top most desirable quarter of sex B, then all of the next generation will be offspring of the more variable subpopulation B1”

    However, if you look at the histogram in Figure 1, it’s clear that if sex A mates with the top most desirable quarter of sex B, then sex A is choosing most desirable mates who happened to be part of the subpopulation B1.

    That is, as diagrammed in the histogram, variability is not a function of the population any more, since the red rectangle noting ‘B1’ with desirability 3 to 4 is no longer variable. It would be absolutely incorrect to say that “all of the next generation will be offspring of the more variable subpopulation B1”.

    In other words, it’s like saying:

    “In Sack 1, I have a mix of of blueberries and watermelons. Sack 1 is varied in fruit size, and has a high variability. I’ve sorted them by size, and taken the most largest fruit and put them in Sack 2. Now Sack 2 is full of variable sizes of fruit, since it came from Sack 1, which had high variability.” “

    • Anne Johnson says

      No, you are confused. The variable population may consist of very small fruit and very large fruit (hence, the VARIABILITY), but the subset of desirable fruit consists of one size only. The bottom quarter of desirability is the other size. The middle-sized fruit, the less-variable fruit, gets overlooked entirely in favor of the most desirable of the variable fruit.

      What becomes necessary is incorporating genetics as part of the next step, which may suggest that variability is an intrinsic characteristic—and the desirable variable-types produce wildly variable off-spring, perpetuating the cycle.

      Then there is regression to the mean. And the fact that desirable genetic traits are subject to fashion. Etc.

      But all of those follow-on ideas were alluded to by the OP, and he in no way suggested that he was proposing any kind of complete explanation for variability.

      • Darij says

        +1; that’s also how I understood it.

        Now that I think about it, even if there is *no* regression to the mean, but rather equally strong across-the-board improvement from one generation to the next in both populations, B1 will still keep winning, because its upper tail will dominate most of B2.

      • Camila says

        So for the model to work, we need for the variability to be inheritable. ie, in the case of intelligence, it would require that a highly intelligent father (B1 high end) have a higher probability of having highly unintelligent offspring (B1 low end), than a medium intelligence father (B2). This is clearly not the case.

    • Darij says

      I’m not sure I am getting that comment correctly, but I think the underlying assumption is that even the top quintiles of B1 will inherit B1’s variability rather than their above-average desirability. I.e., the population can’t become any better (or worse) on average merely by breeding. I don’t know to what extent this assumption is realistic.

    • neoteny says

      the red rectangle noting ‘B1’ with desirability 3 to 4 is no longer variable

      Of course it is: the fact that you talk about “desirability 3 to 4” indicate that the upper half of population B1 (the contents of the red rectangle) are variable in desirability.

    • Camila says

      You are absolutely right. The variability in sack 2 will be strictly smaller than in sack 1, since this is how it was selected. I also see this as a big flaw. Please see my comment and code below.

  43. Gordon Smith says

    This is quite possibly one of the saddest things I have read in respect to the future credibility of science.

  44. W2class says

    The left seem to have decided that if they just bully enough people into submission, we’ll be living in an earthly paradise… And then Donald Trump gets elected.

  45. As an intellectual:

    Banning due to political incorrectness is not a rational counterargument (it is the argumentum ad baculum fallacy, basically) and has no place in any honest scientific endeavour.

    Not all truths are palatable, and thus I will say: Grow some effing balls, you simpering weak-minded Muggles. Come up with a rational counterargument, or GTFO.

    • Unladen Swallow says

      Why would they? The can use institutional power to preemptively stamp out their enemies. Why bother with a marketplace of ideas and the possibility of losing the debate when you can merely declare someone a bad person and have them censored? This is what ideological zealots have always done, they are not going to play by Marquess of Queensberry rules.

      • Andrew P says

        But they haven’t stamped it out, have they? This article exists and the paper is on arxiv. Far more people have read it than otherwise would have been the case (Barbara Streisand Effect). But what they DID do is to deter any other researchers from following up on this work, and attempting to prove the theory’s applicability to humans in a more rigorous manner. They made sure no one will file grant proposals to do such studies, at least not in the US.

  46. Peter Kriens says

    I’m not sure what the big deal is? Clearly the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has firmly concluded that pointing out any difference between the sexes constitutes sexual harassment, even if it has “scientific” support. Therefore, Sergei should have realized he was harassing his colleagues?

    Slowly the enlightenment is dimmed.

  47. Fascinating story. I can’t wait to read while I still can!

    I agree with the author and other commenters, but one interesting factor has not been raised yet. This information will be very dangerous when it gets out! People may be right to fear it quite intensely. I’m not saying it should be hidden, not at all, but just be mindful of how many people and systems will be profoundly confused and disrupted, perhaps even destroyed, by the spread of this variability concept.

  48. Gregory Bogosian says

    Bullying the editor of a journal into deleting an article falls under “academic freedom.” Left is down, up is right, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.

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  50. Andrew P says

    I’ll bet that more people have seen this paper as an arxiv than would have ever read it in an actual journal. A perfect example of the Barbara Streisand Effect.

    And the paper itself looks perfectly reasonable, and makes sense. But it is another example that science cannot be dispassionate when your own species is the subject of the research.

    • Except it seems only a subset of the species is being passionate. And it doesn’t make sense to me. The women complaining because statistically there are fewer at either end of the spectrum in many areas. Where are the men up in arms because there are greater numbers of men who have low or very low IQs?

  51. Richmond says

    Exactly correct, Harland. And painfully so.

    ‘Principles’ are quite contingent these days, more than ever before.

  52. badvlad666 says

    what possible difference does it make now? The left is well aware it doesn’t fight fair did it ever say that it would or did it repeatedly brag about how big its lies would be, how any means are justified and that it would use any means necessary, and then they proceeded to kill hundreds of millions.
    So just who are whining to?????? Cuck commiserating how touching. Quilette is as worthless as national review and the rest. Except they at least were founded before we understood certain facts. jews are enlightenment incapable, blacks and browns are civilization incapable, women are power in capable.Multiculturalism is a oxymoron, The Enlightenment had chesterton caveats for good reason the reasons just mentioned.The jew reinterpretation was an enemies attack not progress.
    To publish this posturing rubbish as if we dont know what we now know is either the height of cuck naivete or another insidious red herring, since its founded by a Jewess i tend to think its a distraction from an enemy

  53. I’m a woman (and former scientist). These despots do not represent women. Like so many other tyrants, they use whatever tool they can to grab power for themselves. In this case it’s pretending to care about, what exactly–women’s feelings? Whatever. It’s all a pretense. Most women would be totally fine with the article, and girls interested in science would simply view this as a way to explain a fact. Knowledge is power. And that’s the thing that scares the despots.

    Social media gives a strange sort of bludgeon to these limp-wristed narcissistic upper-class intellectuals. Their M.O. has *always* been to manipulate and work behind the scenes, because when confronted directly, they are quickly seen as powerless. (I think this is also why they loathe the working class/blue collar; they are terrified of physical strength and physical or common-sense intelligence, lacking both, and unable to manipulate it.) But here, using social media and the threat of social media exposure – and cronyism like the apparatchniks they are – they can viciously intimidate and repress knowledge so their own power remains strong.

    The bigger questions is how to they maintain their power? There have always been coward-tyrant-corrupt-narcissists. Why in this case do the scientific journals allow themselves to cave so easily? I would be willing to bet a great deal that at least 90% of the people involved loathe the apparatchniks and wanted the paper published.

    This is what is harder to figure out. Whose larger interest is being served here (I don’t mean the particular apparatchniks)? What is the mechanism that this power is being seized? The mainstream corporate media is certainly in on it, that’s one–these despots would lose a lot of power if the mainstream media ignored the outraged social media posts. I do think one reason the media doesn’t ignore is that it is easy news and sells. This feeds into a loop in which they are indulging in easy non-news – reposting tweets – and then having to justify their own lack of integrity by pretending they are doing this for a nobler cause. But I also think the top level people in the media are aligned to other top level people. I do think it’s inescapable to conclude that there is a corrupt oligarchy behind this in whose interest it is to destroy our democracy and the west (maybe leaving its surface semblance) so they can seize global non elected power. Anybody who doesn’t toe the party line is therefore a danger to their power. The permanent anger and fear and misdirected rage they sow is a classic tool of oligarchs and dictators. I’m not a conspiracy theorist but this seems quite blatant.

    • Dear d,

      Due to mere fact of assuming the existence of “corrupt oligarchy” that desires to “seize global non elected power”, you will be labeled “conspiracy theorist”. There’s nothing shameful in being one, and I think it’s time for us, “conspiracy theorists”, to appropriate the slur.

      Best regards,
      A.Z.

      • Bob McFee says

        Just because they call you a conspiracy theorist, does not mean there isn’t a conspiracy.

    • The author identifies apparatchiks associated with the local diversity and equality commissariat as the people responsible.

      Did you see the film “The Front”? Do you remember the patriotism consultant hired by the film studio who turned the screws on Zero Mostel?

      This time the government entity in back of all this is the Department of Education and Department of Justice’s civil rights divisions not the House Un-American Activities Committee.

      The actors are different but the story line is the same – conform or die. Soon there will be fewer but better academics of all sorts and in the end, like Winston Smith, you too will finally see 2+2=5 if the state thinks it’s important that you do.

      • Bob McFee says

        But, but, but…. 2 + 2 = 8192 for extremely large values of two.

    • Honest About Science says

      It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?

      There’s a generational scale breakdown in gender relations, because of institutionalized sexism favoring women and the absolutely awful things that have been done to goose the aggregate numbers into being “even”.

      Time and time we see that more free societies naturally segregate into different proportions of women and men in different careers; it’s only the stark societies in which one must absolutely compete for power or perish that we see men and women both forced into a few high power careers.

      Why would men believe that women actually have any interest in equality — or really anything besides hoarding as much political power along sexist lines as possible? That’s been the narrative for a generation, is the common memes you hear from women, and it shows up in a lot of measures — such as declining male test scores, declining graduation rates, a clear favoritism in which social issues to fix, etc.

      Trump is the predictable symptom of this deeply racist and sexist way of doing politics, and more broadly, of viewing the world. Why wouldn’t men hit back, eventually? Bannon was just well aligned to capture that genuine anger in the face of institutionalized sexism, and even Obama has been forced to admit that his identity politics lens, beamed across the country for the last decade, has been highly destructive to the social fabric.

      Perhaps if you actually care, you could try being outspoken on the issue: someone needs to stop the sexism tearing apart our society, and men just get called sexist for trying.

  54. Sergei says

    Time for a re-education sabbatical, Comrade at say, …Oberlin or Evergreen State.

  55. Pingback: Science As We Know It Is Dying - And So Is Academic Freedom - The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  56. You can re-publish it.

    An instantly pulled “acceptance” is meaningless IMHO in the legal meaning of it. I can go longer about meaning in law. But most lawyers & courts would consider this situation to consist “not been published yet” for the question.

    Anyway, brave of you. And kudos for telling the story and the investigations you did so skillfully!

  57. meerkat says

    After reading the article, I used Microsoft Academic to check the authors of each of the 46 technical publications that list Amie Wilkerson as an author(her page there also lists one non-technical piece which seems to be about women in mathematics). After some quick googling, it seems that of these 46 papers, just two have female coauthors(almost all the papers have multiple authors, which is typical of modern mathematical research). While Wilkerson may publicly talk a big game about women in mathematics, when it comes to developing her own ideas(and thus her career), she seems to really prefer working with the male of the species.

    The other thing about her conduct that struck me was that despite being a supposedly strong, independent woman of fifty(who also holds a position at one of the most prestigious universities on the planet), when it came time for her to wage her inquisition against Hill and Tabachnikov, she enlisted the aid of both her husband and (presumably elderly)father. By the standards of 2018, that strikes me as just a tad patriarchal.

    The rational, mature thing for the paper’s detractors to do would have simply been to let the paper be published and then submit their own response, preferably to the same journal. I’m not qualified to judge it, but if it contained some egregious mistake that somehow escaped the peer-review process, then when confronted with evidence of a past error, any reputable scientific journal would jump at the opportunity to correct itself. Journals publish errata all the time.

    • Imagine what a cuck her hubby must be.

      What I don’t understand is why we haven’t seen more lawsuits. Damore is suing. We need more. If they start losing, and losing large and loud, they’ll be listened to less.

  58. Pingback: Mortarboard mob "disappears" respected mathematician | Uncommon Descent

  59. tvtaerum says

    Science should allow the researcher to follow the data regardless of the inconvenient facts that may be observed: the earth is not the center of the universe; homo sapiens are not biologically separate;… But wait, how could it be possible that there are more male dolts and savants than female dolts and savants, given Xist RNA and dose compensation – couldn’t possibly be true.

    • ccscientist says

      being a savant is not that compatible with the usual life women lead–ie it is a disability for a mother because well-balanced and savant rarely go together.

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  61. Talk to Tucker says

    This story deserves national attention. Reach out to Tucker Carelson; he routinely runs pieces about the hypocracy and politicis of academia and Silicon Valley (he has had James Damore on many times), and would definitely give you a national platform to expose this unconscionable act of censorship.

    Rangers lead the way – you’re making us proud.

  62. Winona says

    It’s glaringly ironical that Prof. Wilkinson seemed to be unable to defend the interests of women without asking her father and her husband for help.

    • Conan the Librarian says

      @Winona:

      Wow. That IS a funny observation.

      And I didn’t think of that myself. Progress away from reflexive chauvinism!

    • Educated feminists today also don hijabs to fight oppression. You can’t make this stuff up.

  63. Walter says

    This is Galileo vs the Pope, with half of America playing the role of the Pope. Those who once mocked opponents by professing that “we believe in science” now — well, now they just look like dishonest, cowardly fools.

  64. Jirka says

    If we, tolerant and diverse society, declared that something does not exist, scientists can’t be allowed to study it. Logical, comrades! Do not ever try do deviate from the party line.

    • Honest About Science says

      I’ve had a number of scientists tell me it would be unethical to study the question of human “races” scientifically, especially about things like IQ, because it might reveal the wrong narrative.

  65. I am the editor-in-chief of Academic Questions, a quarterly journal published by Springer and distributed worldwide in print and digitally. Recently we republished Bruce Gilley’s “The Case for Colonialism,” which had been withdrawn from Third World Quarterly by the publisher after death threats against the efitor.

    Academic Questions is the journal of the National Association of Scholars and has been published continuously for 31 years. Part of our mission is to ensure that controversial ideas that have a legitimate scholaly basis are made permanently available in a public space.

    If Professor Hill wishes to publish his paper in Academic Questions, we would be glad to take it.

    Peter Wood
    President
    National Association of Scholars

    • prince says

      At last. A courageous publisher that will stick to the principles of academic freedom and truth seeking.

    • ga gamba says

      Mr Wood,

      Well done to you, sir. Thank you for having principles and a backbone. Best wishes to you and your publication’s endeavours.

      *****

      One of our salvations is our free-enterprise market economy where numerous publishers exist; consider it a check and balance to ensure people like Ms Senechal don’t run the whole show and squash heterodoxy and dissent. Budding socialists, capitalism does more than simply put money in people’s pockets and ‘create’ inequality; it’s also a safeguard providing numerous opportunities and paths for the exchange of products, services, and ideas.

    • Sydney says

      @Peter Wood YAY! I scrolled all through the comments HOPING that one of the cast of characters in this cartoon charade might show up. I brightened right up when I saw your comment! There is hope yet!

    • Thank you, Mr Wood, for standing up for free thought and free expression.

  66. Trevor Sedis says

    I find it interesting that so-called egalitarians (feminists, SJWs, etc.) forever focus on the cushiest, most status-larded traditional male bastions…demanding unearned legs-up to attain them. They never demand parity with the “crass cellar”– the dirty-dangerous-deadly jobs that men do. Nor do they affirmatively welcome males into traditional female bastions in the home (like being spared frontline combat during wars and getting custody/support post-divorce).

    The wonder is that Western men let it happen.

    • Honest About Science says

      Divide and conquer strategy:

      In much the way that the British carved up India and other colonial regions, they formed an alliance between women and discriminated minorities to loot white male holdings, giving out favorable positions to “equal out” the numbers.

      Stealing from the haves to give to the have-nots has always been a vote winner.

  67. Peuri says

    Standard feminist women’s studies tactics yo suppress politically incorrect studies unfortunately. Patai & Koertge talked about such behaviour in their Professing Feminism from the 90’s. It’s sad that this sort of thing gets in thr way of scientific progress. Wouldn’t more accurate knowledge help women more than incorrect information?

  68. Peter Wadeck says

    Is it any wonder that Islam is spreading throughout the West when White men cant even talk about thier differences with women. When a society of men without balls comes into contact with a society of men with balls, the society of men with balls will always win.

  69. Maria N Math says

    So sad that mathematical inquiry has become so terribly politicized. Thanks to RCP and Quillette for linking to this article where I and many others will find it. I heartily recommend another on the RCP site today, by Y. Hazony publisbed in NR, Liberalism as Imperialism.

  70. A few additional factors are especially striking. First, the arrogance of the people who set themselves above the truth and make themselves arbiters of what us lesser folks are allowed to know. Pride is indeed a fundamental evil. Amie Wilkinson is the prime example here, but this is the essential flaw in our current educational elite, too. Second, the skeptical view of science that is shown in the attack on this research–that science is not a matter of truth but of a power struggle to get one’s own preferred beliefs forced onto a population. Finally, the way this arrogance and fighting are carried out bureaucratically and the way the system is permeated by cowardice and falseness–and how rare courage and truthfulness really are. After all, even the author here is now retired–and so now able to speak more freely. If this article is truthful, then it’s hard to think positively about the future of universities and of our system of research and publication. I say this with profound sorrow.

  71. Sebastian Cesario says

    This is why I publish my Quillette articles under a pseudonym.

  72. The extremely unprofessional behavior of Prof. Wilkinson hints at deeper, still hidden, issues. Perhaps “Gender Gaps in Science: The Creativity Factor” (a Viewpoint column published in the Mathematical Intelligencer in 2012), by Professor Hill and a co-author, is relevant.

  73. Martin28 says

    “And so I wrote directly to Professor Zimmer, mathematician to mathematician, detailing five concrete allegations against his two colleagues. When I eventually received a formal response in late April, it was a somewhat terse official letter from the vice-provost informing me that an inquiry had found no evidence of “academic fraud” and that, consequently, “the charges have been dismissed.” But I had made no allegation of academic fraud. I had alleged “unprofessional, uncollegial, and unethical conduct damaging to my professional reputation and to the reputation of the University of Chicago.” ”

    Zimmer is staying out of this because Summers died on this hill. We are still paying for the fact that Summers was allowed to lose his job for telling the truth at an institution with a motto “Veritas.”

  74. ralphie buffalo says

    Stalinism in action, you ain’t seen nuttin’ yet, and it will end up just like commie science, a quagmire of lies, already probably halfway there

  75. If your account is accurate, you were treated unfairly and your detractors acted against science. It’s very distressing that this occurred. However, you shouldn’t have included a comparison to confederate statue removal approvingly, since it it was a good comparison, it would reflect poorly on you. The confederate statues were put up as ideological expressions in support of slavery and racism. It’s not anti-scientific or anti-history or anti-fact to remove pernicious ideological statements from public spaces. It’s good civic policy.

    • Maria N Math says

      Forensical please reread Prof Hill’s ref to the “Confederate statues” comment . That was not his comparison but a poor attempt at an excuse made by the editor to explain, why she was rejecting his paper. Totally inappropriate comment on her part.

      • Yes, it was Senechal’s comment, but he conveyed it as though he concurred. He hinted at no disagreement with it. She was expressing dismay about the rejection, that it was not based on scientific grounds, To then add the Confederate statue removal comparison would mean she was saying the statue removal was an undesirable act, just like the paper rejection.

  76. meerkat says

    The main problem with the current “Women are discriminated/discouraged from going into/excelling at STEM” narrative, is that it requires its adherents to believe that there is something uniquely misogynist about the STEM community, both in academia and industry.

    Think about it. When women first started to enter the workforce and higher education en mass fifty years ago, women were about as underrepresented in law and medicine as they are in STEM today, if not more so. But now women are extremely well-represented in these fields. From what I’ve read, they outnumber men among the youngest cohorts. So in order to believe that in 2018, women are being held back in STEM by sexism, you pretty much have to believe that engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians are sexist in a way that lawyers and medical doctors are not, or at the very least, haven’t been in decades.

    And yet, I’ve never seen a shred of evidence to suggest this is true. I’ve never even seen the question brought up by anyone else, even though the whole narrative requires this to be true. Actually, it’s this very fact that makes me positive that it isn’t true. The fact that the equal-outcome feminists aren’t sponsoring massive studies to prove the pillar on which their claims rest is the equivalent of Einstein telling Eddington in 1919 not to bother doing his eclipse experiments to confirm general relativity.

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  79. Steve says

    Modest proposal:

    Simply oblige 48% (or whatever the correct ratio is) of males who test over IQ 180 to identify as female.

    The perfect postmodern solution to a postmodern problem.

    • Conan the Librarian says

      @Steve

      I laughed till I cried. Postmodernism hoisted on its own petard…

      Not to be immodest, but I volunteer. Women always treat me like a friend anyway, so I’m losing nothing. Maybe I’ll have some luck as a lesbian (?)

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  81. Deep Cove says

    No matter how bad things become in general, the worst corruption comes, again, from Chicago!

    • The case is especially disappointing because Chicago in principle holds to the highest standards and expresses those standards clearly and frequently. This sets Chicago apart from the cowardly decline in other universities. That’s why its behavior in this case–and another–is so disheartening.

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  84. Paolo Scussolini says

    This story is appalling. As an academic I am disgusted. I hope this never reaches my fields, i.e. climatology and environmental studies. Nevertheless thank you Quillette for giving voice to this. I particularly appreciate the choice of the author and of the editors to make the names and surnames of the people involve known. People should know.

      • Paolo Scussolini says

        You are very ill-informed. I suggest you to read Wikipedia on the climategate, or at least, something outside of the conspiracy theory bubble. It was a desperate attempt to seed mistrust in climate scientists. Quite a miserable one at that.

        • MikeW says

          Wikipedia is certainly not a reliable source for something like this.

    • And that’s the fundamental problem. When there is a “right answer” and all evidence not agreeing with the answer is suppressed, it casts doubt upon all other valid academic research.

      Climate change is certainly a field where I would suspect there are multiple Amie Wilkinsons running around disappearing work that doesn’t conform to the proper narrative. Maybe it’s not the case, but incidents like this certainly don’t give one confidence in the academic system.

  85. mbsrrs says

    What we are observing here is the “institutionalization” of social “instrumentalities” as noted by Carroll Quigley in his classic “The Evolution of Civilizations” (pp. 101-103).[Reprint available at Liberty Fund]

    “Instrumentalities,” include those generated by society for the dissemination of information, analysis and learning. Quigley notes: ” Every such instrument consists of people organized in relationships to one another. As the instrument becomes an institution, these relationships become ends in themselves to the detriment of the ends of the whole organization.” He also observes: “But every such social instrument tend to become an ‘institution.’ This means that it takes on a life and purpose of its own distinct from [its originating function]; in consequence, the purpose of that [function] is achieved with decreasing effectiveness. In fact, it can be stated as a rule of history that ‘all social instruments tend to become institutions’ ” (bracket text added).

    Note the various relationships here, including NSF, the several “publishers,” and the usual(academic) suspects.

    What now are the “ends” of what have become those several “institutions?”

  86. Buzz Ricksens says

    Hate to say it but you probably should’ve started looking at academic journals abroad as soon as you encountered the first turbulence. It’s not as though the Russians or other nations with strong military-industrial complexes and/or developed industrial bases don’t have broad and fruitful mathematics work going on in their considerably less ideologically captured academies.

    Still would’ve been citable, too.

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  88. M. Kelly says

    well, if women fear the gender dis-equality of GVMH (and would like to have a higher % of idiots and geniuses amongst themselves), then simply declaring themselves male will will solve that problem at low cost – voila – instant idiots and geniuses. It would also open up the joy of being male with no need for prostate exam. Or as A. Einstein once said, “here, hold my beer, this oughta work.”

  89. If you can’t republish, it seems to me that a civil suit might be helpful. Am I wrong?

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  95. ccscientist says

    As another example of how politics is overriding science, read the essay in “When Einstein walked with Godel” about Ada Lovelace and the article putting forth the ideas for the first program for a computer. He points out that she never wrote another article, that she could not even seem to grasp introductory calculus from a tutor, that the paper was actually ghost written by Babbage to try to stir up interest in his computer project, and that it was full of mystical stuff. Yet she is held up as a model of a genius woman.

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  99. GMVH is most likely true. I even find that to be almost a no-brainer from relatively ample anecdotal observations.
    Analogously, if I am allowed to be politically incorrect, I would also agree that Caucasians/European descendent are more intelligent and creative than most other cultures. (Remind you, I am a person of color, but not afraid of admitting the obvious from the ample historical anecdotes and statical evidence).

    However, here is the trouble with talking about these topics: You alienate a group of people who you would like to be an integral part of the society in every aspect (assuming you do not want to go back to the medieval ages of slavery and misogyny). Just as you would not write papers about how handicapped people are less physically capable than other people — even if you back it with empirical data and strong mathematical models — although it is most likely a no-brainer.

    I understand the matter of academic freedom and the freedom of stating the truth without fear of persecution. But it’s not a black or white situation here. Sadly, some truths are better not spoken of.

    • John Staddon says

      “Sadly, some truths are better not spoken of.”But which, and who shall decide? This is a very dangerous position…

      • Why John? I do it all the time, in the middle of family, friends and sometimes even colleagues. Has to do with inner civilisation and politeness. I must admit here, I didn’t read all the comments, simply too many, so maybe I’m not the first here o say so!

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  102. @Subh

    You make a reasonable point. However, I would point out that the reason why research is important is to counter sinister and destructive ideologies such as intersectionality, which argues from purely non-empirical grounds that all inequalities are caused by oppressive white males. See, everyone would be perfectly content to simply look he other way, but it’s the leftist identitarians that force the issue.

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  104. Some science regarding gender disparities is still being published and discussed.

    A prime example is the discovery by scientists that a woman’s fart (gaseous emissions) smells worse than a man’s fart.

    • Please share this citation so that I may badger and ridicule my wife with the empirical evidence.

  105. An Actual Biologist says

    The first sentences of Hill’s paper — the paper, and this article — seem to contain an obvious mistake. He confuses Darwin’s statement that males are more differentiated from the form of the young/other related species, with the statement that males are more variable than females. The former is a standard observation and the basis of Darwin’s sexual selection theory and 100+ years of research. The latter is a much more subtle claim, I don’t know that Darwin ever even considered it — certainly the quote Hill provides doesn’t show this:

    ‘In his research on evolution in the 19th century Charles Darwin reported “Throughout the animal kingdom, when the sexes differ in external appearance, it is, with rare exceptions, the male which has been the more modified; for, generally, the female retains a closer resemblance to the young of her own species, and to other adult members of the same group” [11, pp. 221].’

    So, a pox everyone’s house who should have recognized this during “peer” review etc.

    Signed, An Actual Biologist

    • Martin28 says

      @ An actual biologist
      If the male is more differentiated from the other adult members of the same group, I don’t know why that would not be related to greater male variability. What you are stating is an assertion.

      • It could be related, but that’s irrelevant to my point. Hill provided a Darwin quote and claimed it said Darwin was observing greater make variability. But that quote does not say that. There may be a different Darwin quote that does, but then the response should be “oops he misinterpeted the original quote, here is a quote that shows what I want.” The whole thing suggests amateurishness, as does the refusal to simply acknowledge the mistake.

  106. 2dogs says

    Doesn’t formal publication, even if it was later “disappeared”, still mean that the paper is citable?

    A steady stream of citations for this paper may be the answer. Can we at least get a Wikipedia article for it?

  107. An Actual Biologist says

    Another silly statement in the arXiv paper:

    “The theory of differences in gender variability introduced here could help explain how current greater or lesser variability might depend on the past selectivity factor of the opposite sex, and pertains equally to any sexually dimorphic species and either sex. Moreover, if this selectivity theory has some validity, then gender differences in variability are time dependent whenever the two sexes’ tendencies in selectivity are evolving. If gender differences in selectivity have been decreasing and are now less significant in some species than they were in prehistoric times, then this theory could also predict that the gender difference in variability in those species has also been decreasing. One recent meta-analysis found empirical evidence of exactly that trend in humans, reporting “The gender difference in variability has reduced substantially over time within the United States” [47, p. 8].”

    Um…changes in gender differences in variability over a few decades are not evolution!!! Evolution is (minimally) changes in allele frequencies in the population over time. Cultural changes — which even the cited source says are the cause of the changes in gender differences in variability — ain’t evolution.

    So, a competent reviewer would say: this paper fails Evolution 101, reject.

    • John Staddon says

      Not correct, I think. The Grants and others have shown rapid changes (in their case in beak size in finches on the Galapagos) within a few years. Besides which, I think Hill’s point is the logic of his argument not its fit to any particular data set,

      • An Actual Biologist says

        Um, no. Finches breed every year, and the major selection events are mass-death events like droughts killing half the population. Human don’t produce a new generation each year, and they haven’t been subject to selective mass death events in the USA, let alone mass death events effecting something subtle like intramale variability in academic ability.

        Hill is, idiotically, proposing an evolutionary response, *in humans*, to explain the claimed reduction in gender difference in the United States.

        It gets worse when you look at his ref 47, which is just some heterodox academy blogpost:

        [47] Sean Stevens and Jonathan Haidt. The Greater Male Variability Hypothesis – an Addendum to our post on the Google Memo. https://heterodoxacademy.org/2017/09/04/
        the-greater-male-variability-hypothesis, 2017. Accessed Nov 12, 2017.

        You have to dig through the blogpost to get to the actual primary references on the question of changes in male/female variability in the US over time — and, indeed, they are basically just talking about changes *since the 1980s*. This is barely time for 1 generation of genetic change, if that (depending on the timespan of the study), which is a ridiculous timescale for some cultural change to have some selection effect on some meta-trait like male vs. female variability in a species.

        The obvious conclusion is that culture has a massive impact on things like male & female variation in academic ability — itself a deeply culturally-contingent thing to measure in the first place.*

        Why didn’t Hill cite the primary literature directly like a normal academic? Why did he not even note that the blogpost itself clearly stated the massive cultural impact on these variables, in the very sentence after the one he quoted? Why did he go for a very silly evolutionary speculation instead?

        Why didn’t he or his defenders recognize these obvious problems before launching an all-guns-blazing the-PC-police-are-after-us defence?

        An Actual Biologist

        * And also pretty obviously, if big changes in these variables have occurred in the recent history due to cultural reasons, it is pretty dubious to start invoking genetic differences to explain inequality.

        • Martin28 says

          @ An actual biologist. So if you were a reviewer of the paper, you would have had that criticism, but you weren’t. What does that have to do with this article or the issue of his paper being pulled in the way it was due to behind the scenes politics?
          *Hill does not invoke genetic differences to explain inequality.

  108. The worst thing about Prof. Wilkinson’s behavior is that it seems to support the most simplistic stereotypes about women’s emotionality/irrationality.

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  110. As a layperson with an interest in higher education, I find this scary. When the group identify takes over something as concrete as mathematics and science, we are in trouble. What is worse is that the reaction of Amie Wilkinson and others makes sense when one considers that each sees herself as Women, and not as one woman.

    The thinking goes:
    I am Women. The research paper says there is less distribution among women than men. OMG! I must be in the middle of the curve, and not the strong mathematician my peers and I think I am! I”M UNDER ATTACK FOR BEING FEMALE!

    Perhaps Ms Wilkinson didn’t have this reasoning, but she thought other women might. If so, she is showing herself to a sexist of the worst kind. The idea that females are such delicate flowers that they are destroyed by a raindrop is offensive. This coddling and protecting women harkens back to Victorian Era, except I think it is probably more pernicious now because women are supporting the idea that we are too fragile to handle ideas.

    I’m going over the Patreon and donating to Quillette right now. Self-education is quickly becoming the best option, and Quillete is offering an important service

    • Chad Jessup says

      Appreciate you making those points. I was raised around some tough ranch women, and none of them thought themselves too weak to venture into male-dominated fields (those which did not require upper body strength). Sadly, the actions of Amie Wilkinson, her husband, and others reveal their weak backbones, which unfortunately results in a two-bit fascist approach to “undesirable” thoughts.

  111. Time to learn Chinese. Its great to see the destruction of institutional science and engineering in the name of egalitarian superstition. Everything must be torn down and destroyed, and the highways and railways returned to the jungle.

  112. Remember when those of us who hitched our wagons to reason and empiricism were welcome on the political left? How disheartening it is to see so many otherwise intelligent people subordinate reason and science to ideology and tribalism.

  113. Martti_S says

    We thought that Enlightenment was an event but in fact it is a process that is not quite done yet.

  114. Buttocox says

    No offense to the author and he’d probably agree but the arxiv paper is mathematically trivial and rather unexceptional. It’s hilarious to me that the people, if the side of the story we’re reading here is fully accurate, wanted to censor it in some way. It would have barely gotten any notice if they hadn’t so it’s basically shooting themselves in the foot.

    Also, Summers doesn’t seem to have resigned just for reasons of political correctness but likely also others like the whole Andrei Shleifer situation. It’s weird not to even mention that when you mention him in relation to the Damore case as “he TOO” and create that association when not even mentioning that huge factor.

    • Daniel says

      I am a free speech advocate and a mathematician, so I was very open to Professor Hill’s message. It sounded very one-sided, though, so I researched the story a bit more. Here is how I reconstructed the escalation of events:

      1. Hill and co-author write semi-serious pop-sci article with toy model explaining variability hypothesis. They send it to Math Intelligencer’s Viewpoint column, a quite appropriate channel for it.

      2. Feminists torpedo the publication. I assume there’s no traditional peer review at Viewpoint, both the acceptance and the pressured rejection were decisions by the editor-in-chief.

      3. Hill is outraged. Igor Rivin NYJM editor shares his outrage, and as a gesture, he decides to right the wrong by publishing the paper even though it’s completely inappropriate for NYJM, which publishes super advanced theoretical math. (The paper is high school level applied math, not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

      4. Rivin rushes the paper through peer review, possibly with a combination of A. enlisting reviewers who share his outrage, and B. not informing the rest of the editorial board.

      5. The editorial board finally becomes aware of the decision, now they are outraged, because the paper is completely inappropriate for NYJM. They threaten Rivin and the editor-in-chief (who was largely absent during this for health reasons) of everything if the paper gets published in their journal.

      6. The feminists from Step 2 jump into this fight, too.

      7. The editor-in-chief is finally pressured into making the paper disappear, and decides that “memory-holing” it is better than a retraction that’s humiliating for all involved.

      8. Hill disagrees about the memory-holing being a good solution.

        • Daniel says

          Sure, I had no chance to figure this out from afar. I collected pieces of information on Hacker News and Gowers’ blog, and this was the simplest story that I could come up with that was consistent with all these little pieces. The important part that I could easily verify myself is that the paper is completely different in genre and level of math from the ones usually appearing in NYJM. Also, the paper’s toy model lacks both an interesting math theory around it, and extensive experimental evaluations. I don’t know any paper that would publish it in this form, and I have written papers of this “toy model” genre.

          Do you intend to share your side of the story? If not, maybe correct a substantial piece of incorrect information in my timeline above? (By substantial, I mean something that fundamentally changes the internal logic of what the actors’ motivations were.)

        • Daniel says

          Addendum: I’ve originally posted this timeline at Gowers’s blog, and there someone who participated in the hoopla on the “feminist side” challenged a crucial point. According to her, there was no push to censoring the Mathematical Intelligencer:

          > I would like to urge everyone to please not take Ted Hill’s narrative at face value. Most of the “feminist activists” he suggests were trying to “censor” his paper did no such thing, and were merely calling for a same-issue rebuttal in the Mathematical Intelligencer.

          > These are mathematicians as committed to free speech as anyone here. It is not the fault of someone who wanted to write a rebuttal (with scientific criticisms and all) that the journal freaked out and made the wrong call of pulling the paper.

          I assume this is NOT the incorrect claim of my account that you hint at but do not specify. I really humbly ask you to visit Tim’s blog and straighten this out there.

          • I was not involved in the Math Intelligencer phase (somewhere in this comment thread there is a long post by a Ronald Fox that speaks to the Intelligencer phase more), so I will concentrate on the NYJM phase that I am familiar with. Mark Steinberge that (Editor in Chief) did, indeed, become very ill, but this was some months after the “main” events. The publishing strategy of NYJM is (or at least has been) “whatever the editors find interesting”. New editors (and I was reasonably new at the time) bring their own interests to the table, so while the paper may have been different from the NYJM run of the mill, that is not an indication of any irregularity. The fact that the paper is short and punchy is a plus, and the referees agreed – it actually has a lot more mathematical content than most applied math papers. It also speaks to an interesting scientific issue, and these would combine to make it a much followed-up on paper (which would be very good for the journal). The referees (who were extremely qualified) were completely in agreement (and there were two, rather than the usual one, and the agreement from EIC is not typically needed at NYJM; full editorial board is NEVER consulted, to my knowledge). The paper was refereed quickly because it is short and reasonably elementary. You are correct that I was very unhappy about the censorship, but one cannot right all wrongs. In this case it seemed like a good opportunity for NYJM (which is not the Annals) to get a good paper which would greatly enhance its standing (through many citations, etc), and where the authors were motivated to publish. Sort of “academic capitalism”.

            Does this clarify things any? I know you are trying to figure out what is going on, and I really appreciate that.

          • Nice reconstruction attempt, Daniel. Prof. Rivin says he wanted it because it was an interesting paper, not to right a wrong. My guess is that part of “interesting paper”, though, is that people would actually read it and react, unlike with most academic papers. Fair enough, in my opinion— it’s acceptable for a journal article to be interesting. Certainly more people know of the NYJM now, though it’s backfired on its reputation.
            As for step 5, though, the NYJM editorial board, I think you’re wrong. They were not outraged because it was inapprporiate subject matter, or a mediocre paper. People don’t get excited about mediocrity. They were outraged because they thought it was an evil and inappropriate paper. Their moral beliefs were a necessary condition for them to intervene in that highly unusual way, and perhaps were also a sufficient condition— that is, it is quite possible that they woudl have retracted acceptance of even an innovative paper using group theory and surgery to say something novel about male variability.

          • This is more for @erasmuse – there is no reply button there. My belief (but just that, I have no direct evidence) is that the motivating factor for the board to do what they did was not “outrage” but fear. They were afraid that they would be accused of non-PCness and so ostracized by the community.

  115. Lawrence Domash says

    Perhaps if Prof Hill’s paper had been entitled “Men Statistically More Likely to be Idiots than Women” it would have sailed through.

  116. How appalling! Humans behaving precisely as predicted. The source of all this angst is nothing more our generalized refusal to see ourselves as we are. Treacherous, deceitful, violent and filled with a blinding pride. And all of this in the face of some simple statistical facts. Good luck.

  117. seen_this_before says

    This has happened before. It was very similar in Soviet Union, in 1948. Some academics, not-so-skilled, but looking to improve their career status, led by Trofim D. Lysenko, convinced upper management of communist party that genetics is a pseudo-science, and “Weissmanizm-Morganizm” is an imperialist lie with the goal to confuse and mislead “Soviet Agrobiology”. Trofim offered to Stalin quick improvements to USSR agriculture (devastated by WW2 as much as by “collective farms” and forced exiles of skilled workers prior to WW2). One example was transfer of better properties to offspring via conditioning, ie you feed the cow well, then the offspring will surely have more valuable meat, and this property is nicely transferred to next generations, for the benefit of the communist party.
    The apogee was the meeting of VASKHNIL, national Agricultural Science academy. Trofim comes to a podium, and before starting his speech, mentions that comrade Stalin read the text and approves. And then states all of his usual nonsence, and thrashes all the (reasonably advanced) genetics research in the country. Then everybody agrees and criticizes genetics and geneticists – they do not want to get arrested by MGB. Interestingly, there was ONE person who stood up to all that nonsense during the meeting, a WW2 veteran ranger, he was wounded in combat and lost one eye, Rapoport (incidentally, he was the one who discovered chemical mutagenesis).
    All geneticists in the country (!) lost their research and teaching positions as a result. Research was devastated – except in the atomic bomb bioeffects program, where it was considered too important, and shielded from Trofim.
    Result: major setback for science and agriculture (the sore spot of USSR from beginning to end); Stalin died, Lysenko eventually fell out of favor with Khrushev, common scientific sense prevailed.

    Let’s see how it turns out here. I am not too optimistic so far: in centralized USSR, death of Stalin allowed corrections of some (only some) of the horrific wrongs. Here, we see a very large interconnected network of people who think they have been wronged, they are extremely vocal and upset, so anything they see that even slightly reminds them of their problems, they make sure it is hunted down, and they can get ahead. The sitting bureaucracy wants one simple thing – lack of trouble – so that each bureaucrat safely stays at their bureau comfortably. It is therefore easier for the management to cave in to the angry, than to figure out right from wrong (see above for UChicago&Springer). Next step, the angry will eventually become bureaucracy. Then the society is ruled by ideology, not reality, with rulers perhaps not as knowledgeable but from the correct social strata, just like in that USSR.

  118. ZimbaZumba says

    Two thoughts come to mind:-

    1. Galileo

    2. Streisand Effect.

  119. Mathematician says

    I know a little bit about this case, first-hand.

    This account, unfortunately, is designed to reinforce the standard anti-PC narrative, that people on the “academic left” don’t want open debate. But it fails to mention that Sergei turned down the WIM lunch offer, which was intended to allow such debate with the math department, and it also fails to mention that Ted Hill turned down an offer by the Intelligencer to engage in a “Round Table” discussion, where a greater variety of voices could weigh in on this debate.

    Perhaps these decisions by the paper’s authors were more nuanced than that, but such omissions from the Quillette article seem purposeful. Hill doesn’t want to in any way compromise the simplicity of the narrative. (Maybe, because he doesn’t respect his audience enough to be able to process the nuance and still come out on his side.)

    Similarly, Hill doesn’t provide a link to the original paper that initiated the firestorm, only to his much-revised version which is, indeed, less offensive. This is also dishonest, because the implication is that the reaction was to the revised work. Here is the original link to the arXiv version of the original paper, which to my knowledge most closely resembles what was accepted by the Intelligencer:

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1703.04184v2

    This is version 2 on the arXiv, but there have been many revisions since then. Hill also fails to note that these papers have, since they were posted, been continually publicly available on the math arXiv, where they are scheduled to remain in perpetuity. No one, to my knowledge, has challenged the availability of the work on the arXiv (free for anyone to see at any point). The issues many of his colleagues took was with the scientific legitimacy of the work.

    Finally, and most disappointingly, Hill fails to mention that there were a huge number of men and women who opposed the article, all mathematicians, and many asked the Intelligencer for the opportunity to publish a rebuttal in the same issue. He puts all the blame squarely on Amie W and her “team,” in an effort to make the objections sound 100% driven by a hysterical woman. But this ignores all the scientific objections that were also raised, including the naivete of the biological assumptions, the lack of mathematical sophistication in the model, and the disconnect between the modeling and the gender-focused “spin.” Many people advised the editors of the journals in question that the paper was, to put it mildly, scientifically embarrassing. This is not a PC argument, but a desire not to lower standards and compromise the mathematical reputation of the journals.

    In summary, Hill’s narrative is, unfortunately, fundamentally dishonest. Legally accurate, perhaps (though even here there’s at least one outright lie that I can identify), but filled with omissions that simplify the storyline and allow only one interpretation of the selected facts.

    • ndwork says

      Your statement that the paper is “scientifically embarrassing” is your opinion, and you are (of course) welcome to it. However, it is the editor and reviewers who decide whether or not a paper meets the merits of their journal. Other mathematicians are, of course, welcome to write a rebuttal to any paper and have it published in that same journal (going through the same process of peer review). To have an article accepted for publication, to publish it, and then to erase it is a violation of a contract.

      The idea that a non-recorded roundtable where one is given 15 minutes to present an idea published in a mathematical paper and then have to face a round of accusers is ludicrous. (Imagine giving Andrew Wiles 15 minutes to explain his proof of the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture and then having to listen to a roundtable of criticisms. It’s clear that the 15 minutes are only available so that the inviters could say that they gave the authors a chance.) This is far from academic integrity. Hill states that he sent an email and asked the criticizers for their criticism of the mathematics of his work. This is far better. If its true (as he says) that they never responded to his email, then he did far more than his due diligence.

      You state “there’s at least one outright lie that I can identify” but don’t state what that lie is. This is a cowardly ad hominem attack.

      The rest of your argument is opinion based rather than factual. Your argument is invalid.

    • According to this article, this paper was dealt with in extremely unusual way that very much resembles censorship for ideological (in this case, far-left wing political correctness) reasons. Do you deny that it was dealt with in very strange way?

      “No one, to my knowledge, has challenged the availability of the work on the arXiv (free for anyone to see at any point).”
      Article didn’t complain that his paper was unavailable on arXiv. Article complained about something different. Nice strawman.

      “But this ignores all the scientific objections that were also raised”
      When you say “also”, it really, really does not help your case that it was not ideologically motivated.

      “This is not a PC argument, but a desire not to lower standards and compromise the mathematical reputation of the journals.”
      This is exactly zero information content sentence. Of course you would deny “PC argument” charge” if you protest this paper because of objective scientific reasons. And if you protest because of ideological reasons, you wouldn’t admit it anyway, hiding it behind arguments like “not to lower standards and compromise the mathematical reputation of the journals”.

      • Mathematician says

        I certainly agree that the editors of both journals handled things poorly. It was a highly unusual situation, and the editors (all mathematicians) probably lacked experience with this kind of thing. Hill is right to call them out on this. But the full story of the opposition to this paper is far more interesting and complex than what his article suggests. A missed opportunity.

        • ndwork says

          Where is the “full story” written? If it’s not written, how do you know about it?

        • c young says

          The allegation is that a paper that would have been published prior to the Damore affair, was pulled because it became politically sensitive post the Google scandal.

          This is either true or false. If it is true it is simply a disgrace.

          Your acknowledgment that it was the ‘the gender-focused “spin”‘ of the paper that caused it to be suppressed, seems to indicate that this is fact true.

          The special and complex circumstances you refer to are irrelevant projection. You seem to be throwing up chaff in an attempt to exculpate yourself from your own role in this, presumably weighing in against the paper for your own politically motivated reasons.

    • I too am very familiar with the details of these events. The events cited in the first paragraph are totally different from reality. the statement:

      “it also fails to mention that Ted Hill turned down an offer by the Intelligencer to engage in a “Round Table” discussion, where a greater variety of voices could weigh in on this debate”

      is the opposite of the truth. Ted not only was eager to attend and said so to the editor AND also volunteered to provide $10,000 to underwrite the event. An email about this exists!

      Other remarks made by Mathematician are similarly false. Perhaps Mathematician would like to identify (her)self so we can better judge the motivation behind making these false claims.

      The beginning of the penultimate paragraph:

      “Finally, and most disappointingly, Hill fails to mention that there were a huge number of men and women who opposed the article, all mathematicians, and many asked the Intelligencer for the opportunity to publish a rebuttal in the same issue.”

      Ted had no way of knowing this, if true, since he was NOT PRIVY to correspondence to the editor. Indeed the editor didn’t even have the courtesy of informing him that the accepted paper was being rescinded. How is it that Mathematician is privy to this private correspondence? When the editor finally did report some of the reasons she used to justify rescinding the paper, she expressly noted that content details had nothing to do with it. So why would Ted mention that the editor had substantive reasons to fault the content when no such arguments were ever made by her to him?

    • Some of the points of the “Mathematician” (who is too cowardly to show his name) have been addressed in other replies, but s/he does not address the main point: The paper went through the standard channels in both journals (actually, through much higher than normal scrutiny at NYJM at least), and in both cases the standard channels resulted in acceptance and (in NYJM) in publication. There are no scientific reasons to unpublish an article (various wrong papers known to be wrong remain published in very prestigious journals), but if there were, they might be plagiarism or incorrectness. Neither is alleged in this case, and this is the crux of the matter. The rest, as Hillel would say, is commentary.

    • o/t in an academic context, but I was struck by this line:

      “Hill doesn’t want to in any way compromise the simplicity of the narrative.”

      Like the simplicity of “immigration good unless you’re a racist hater”, or “don’t question the climate science”, or “blacks are oppressed because white privilege”?

      I hope you apply that condemnation of “simplicity” to other uncompromising, unnuanced narratives floating about these days.

  120. I see the story is being followed at Libertarian Economics Social Sciences Facebook. More h journal referees are pro-logic libertarians, and this seems an attempt to circumvent them by the far-left.

    I remember when the ‘controversial hypothesis’ was assumed by far-lefty academics… then the switcheroo to confuse or divide IMHO…

  121. Mr Hill,
    your theory reminds me the well known Heisenberg uncertainty principle and, since you are dealing with probabilities, perhaps they are really connected.

    Suppose that a system has two characteristics, which would correspond in physics to two observables which cannot be fixed simultaneously.
    Then, trying to reduce the spread of one, will increae the spread of the other. No way to achieve otherwise.

    So if one exerts a pressure to reduce the uncertainty on one feature by *any* process (not only sexual) which selects the samples in a narrower range, other characteristics are doomed to show increased variability.

    Perhaps the probabilities associated to biological systems obey to the same formalism of quantum observables. I would not find this astonishing at all: such formalism is quite general.

    This reasoning leads me to another thought: over-selection over one characteristic, will necessarily produce excesses in another characteristic and, on the negative side, will increase the probability to generate “monsters”. Which means that your analysis implies the need of some tolerance, if monstruous effects have to be limited. Racial selection, e.g. would theoretically be obviously dangerous.

    Do you have any comments on the above?

  122. Francine Long says

    Has anyone put forth a petition to condemn the actions of Amie Wilkinson , Leland Wilkinson, Benson Farb, and others involved in this suppression of scientific facts? I think many people would sign it, including me.

  123. I read this paper and I thought that I know what I will see in comments. Ravings and rants of republicans and other right/far-right loons, misogynists, cranks, climate change denialists, anti-vaccine people and other science trolls out of woodwork.

    Not to mention pushback of far-left and left in academia, since it is obvious one.

    I was not disappointed. Yay, humanity.

    I personally am not interested in left or right-wing narrative, but truth, so often warped for political and ideological purposes.

    Disclosure of my bias: I am on left (as much as it means anything whatsoever nowadays). Not far-left one, I do not want to have anything to do with commies or racist hurricanes, attack helicopters or whatever gets excited PC crowd nowadays.

    • Looking for truth in societal matters (where values is name of the game), is looking for palmtrees on the northpole!
      Lysenko made the mistake to endorse values in biological science.

  124. Harrison Bergeron says

    As a former academic ( I work in private industry now ) I can not tell you how profoundly disturbing this is. Universities are becoming the book burners that they were supposed to protect us from.

  125. Leylaw says

    Professor Hill may also have a breach of contact action against Mathematical Intelligencer. He may also have a claim against Professor Wilkinson and her father for tortious interference with a contract. It appears the wife and father interferred with his contract with MI, and the husband interferred with his contract with NYJM.

    • I do law-and-econ and agree that there’s definitely a contract action here, and perhaps a tortious interference. It would be for trivial damages, to be sure, unless the jury gets emotional. But the great thing about lawsuits is that (a) they establish the truth of what happened, and (b) they have the “discovery” process, in which each side gets to demand all relevant documents, and (c) there is cross-examination under oath at trial. See the possibilities?

  126. Honesty Is Rare says

    @Paolo Scussolini:
    Politics have indeed corrupted climate science to the point of uselessly unreliable at best and actively harmful at worst. Dr. Richard Lindzen documented myriad subversions of the scientific process in his article, “Climate Science: Is It Currently Designed to Answer Questions?” here:

    https://arxiv.org/pdf/0809.3762

    Be warned, it starts out with a bit of dry contextual exposition, but it details the abusive tactics ideological environmentalists have used to control the field, manufacture consensus, and permanently squash any lines of inquiry that may threaten it. Not only does Lindzen name names much like Hill does, but his expose covers a much broader array of bad-faith incidents and processes to demonstrate how deeply ingrained and systemic the problem has become.

    I have never seen a more important or eye-opening paper go so ignored.

  127. If this may happen in applied math already, what can be expected in anthroplogy, for instance? How much worse the situation may be in general in the natural sciences, not even mentioning social sciences and humanities? This pathetic case of ideological censorship should be escalated (will “Nature” be a right place to discuss it?) and made known to every scientist and to the general public. If the new iteration of “lysenkoism” cannot be stopped right now, at least it should be called by its name and exposed so that everybody could recognize its existance.

    • About that anthropology Yigal: in the 1980s the anthropologts and sociologists decided unanimously that in Homo sapiens, there exists nothing like races, we now are all one species, and one race. Racism solved.

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  129. Honesty Is Rare says

    As an aside, I encourage everyone here to familiarize yourself with Dr. Lindzen’s aforementioned paper and amplify it. Share it with your friends and colleagues alongside Hill’s story, especially if you’re a disillusioned academic, as some here seem to be. The voracious intrusion of dogmatic ideology into science and academia needs to be recognized and confronted in its entirety to be stopped and reversed. It may not hurt for academics here to identify each other and network either, because the cabal preys most effectively on isolated voices.

  130. Dan Strickland says

    It’s not clear what parameters you modeled, so I’d like to suggest you try the standard physiologic measures that are readily available – blood pressure, heart rate, serum lipids, liver enzymes – that sort of thing. Some years ago I co-authored a paper on heteroscedasticity of prostate-specific antigen with age (https://www.goldjournal.net/article/S0090-4295(99)80158-7/abstract). One of our co-authors, Dave Corbin, a gerontologist, remarked, “All these physiologic measures vary more with age. Doesn’t everyone know this?”
    Well, no – but our article raised no fuss. Maybe looking at the same sort of measures by both gender and age would be informative.

  131. Hardly surprising that this has happened.

    Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the LSE, posted a Psychology Today article that offered an explanation as to why Black women are rated less attractive compared to other races. The article was taken down because it offended Black readers, with some Black students going as far as trying to get him sacked from his job.

  132. Two thoughts –
    #1. How about a public debate between Hill and Wilkinson (Amie) on the topic? I’d like to hear – or read – both their voices
    #2. the downloads and reads of Hill’s paper should be published – they offer another indicator of the irrelevance of academia and academic publishing

    • Because suicide is indicative of some form of stress or mental illness, either of those is an inability to regulate the self. People who typically suicide, I’d assume, have some form of depression. The inability to get up from that state can be tied to low intelligence. Likewise it can also be tied to high intelligence too. The links go both ways to be honest, but the likelihood of a high intelligence person coming out of a deep state of negativity and a low intelligence person doing the same, I’d believe (maybe wrongly) that the high intelligence person has a better chance with opportunity than the low-int person.

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  134. John Mahon says

    Tyranny comes in many forms. In truth an individual has little leverage when dealing with a collective.

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  136. Camila says

    I have a question about the article, which hopefully the author or someone who has read an understood it can answer. Clearly the model demonstrates that the variable subpopulation of B (ie B1) will be favored over B2, provided A is ‘selective’. But I don’t see how this explains the question: why males (ie Bs) are more variable than females (As) in certain species and qualities. Yes, the variable subpopulation of B’s will grow, but, according to this model, only the ‘high-end’ B1’s. And so you will have a perhaps larger, but less variable population of B1s in the next generation.
    Example: Two populations of male birds, for example on different nearby islands. Population B1 has very slow flyers and very fast flyers, and B2 has all average speed flyers. Females are free to choose from either island. All this has shown is that, assuming the females prefer fast flyers, then the population on island B1 will become larger. But it seems to me that the diversity of the island will decrease, as only the fastest flyers will reproduce. Unless you assume that fast flying fathers have an increased chance of producing very slow sons.

    • Camila says

      Here is some Matlab code related to my comment. If you run it you’ll get a plot that shows a) that the population of B1 grows with respect to B2, as predicted by the author, and b) that the variability in B1 plummets.
      ——————————–
      clear
      close all

      generation_size_init = 1000;
      mu_init = 50;
      sigma1_init = 40;
      sigma2_init = 20;
      num_generations = 15;
      p = 0.3;

      % initialize
      mu1 = nan(1,num_generations);
      sigma1 = nan(1,num_generations);
      mu2 = nan(1,num_generations);
      sigma2 = nan(1,num_generations);
      B1_generation_size = nan(1,num_generations);
      B2_generation_size = nan(1,num_generations);

      mu1(1) = mu_init;
      sigma1(1) = sigma1_init;
      mu2(1) = mu_init;
      sigma2(1) = sigma2_init;
      B1_generation_size(1) = generation_size_init;
      B2_generation_size(1) = generation_size_init;

      for k=1:num_generations-1

      % create the populations
      B1 = sort(normrnd(mu1(k),sigma1(k),B1_generation_size(k),1));
      B2 = sort(normrnd(mu2(k),sigma2(k),B2_generation_size(k),1));

      % selection
      worst = min([B1;B2]);
      best = max([B1;B2]);
      cutoff = worst + (1-p)*(best-worst);
      B1_fathers = B1(B1>cutoff);
      B2_fathers = B2(B2>cutoff);

      % assume for simplicity that offspring are like fathers
      if numel(B1_fathers)>0
      [mu1(k+1),sigma1(k+1)] = normfit(B1_fathers);
      end

      if numel(B2_fathers)>0
      [mu2(k+1),sigma2(k+1)] = normfit(B2_fathers);
      end

      % each father has 10 offspring
      B1_generation_size(k+1) = numel(B1_fathers)*10;
      B2_generation_size(k+1) = numel(B2_fathers)*10;

      end

      figure
      subplot(311)
      plot(1:num_generations,[mu1;mu2],’LineWidth’,2)
      ylabel(‘mu’), grid

      subplot(312)
      plot(1:num_generations,[sigma1;sigma2],’LineWidth’,2)
      ylabel(‘sigma’), grid

      subplot(313)
      plot(1:num_generations,[B1_generation_size;B2_generation_size],’LineWidth’,2)
      ylabel(‘size’), grid
      legend(‘B1′,’B2’)

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  138. I have noticed that more girls than boys excel in math in high school. Could it be that once they get to the college level, that they don’t want to pursue a degree in something that they don’t like? As far a science, aren’t more girls in med school than boys?

  139. Peter from Oz says

    I’m not sure if anyone else has pointed out the simple fact that now Professor Hill has published this article his paper will get far more exposure than it would have done in an obscure journal.
    So the lefties have in fact shot themselves in the foot, as we all now know that science supports the idea that men as a whole will be better at maths.

  140. Camila says

    The math here is fine, but what traits does it actually apply to? Read the article and notice that the variability of the overall trait (not only the value of the sample) must be inheritable. So, for example, height is not represented. A tall man is not more likely than a medium height man of having a short child. Similarly with intelligence. Smart guys are not more likely than average smart guys of having stupid kids.

  141. “Which is to say that I understand the importance of the causes that equal opportunity activists and progressive academics are ostensibly championing.” Are you sure you want to continue to (pretend to) understand them after they showed so much lack of understanding towards us? I. personally. decided to quit after the Tim Hunt story. Enough is enough.

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  144. I never went to university, so I am relatively uncontaminated. My naïve query is: climate change – who gets most money out of it?

    • Better question: who gets money out of denying climate change? How much money is at stake for the deniers of global warming, versus the advocates of global-warming-is-real?

      What I love is how all the conspiracy people think it must be the scientists and their pitiful little salaries and grants that are the ones motivated by money, whereas the fossil fuel industry with trillions at stake is treated with no suspicion whatsoever.

      • bitchilly says

        have a read of the jagdish shukla incident and disabuse yourself of the notion of “pitiful” little salaries and expenses.
        https://www.dailysignal.com/2016/03/02/house-probe-reveals-audit-detailing-climate-change-researchers-double-dipping-with-taxpayer-funds/

        a backwater science discipline made mainstream by msm alarmism (most often not justified by the actual science) politicians that see yet another opportunity for shunting more tax payers money to their friends and family and that pinnacle of achievement sought after by many(often those less capable) in academia ,prestige that comes from being at or near the top in the new empire that has just been built.

        compare numbers of climate scientists today to thirty years ago. how many more hours of research today compared to then, how many more billions of taxpayer dollars spent not just on the science but on old tech like wind that we abandoned long ago due to fairly obvious constraints on its usefulness? yet the sensitivity estimate to a doubling of co2 is the same as 100 years ago. all that time ,effort and money spent on nothing, absolutely nothing of use to the human race. you should all be ashamed.

        stop and think for a minute, every single academic alive today has the fossil fuel industry to than for where they are. every single one. the institutions of learning were built off the back of the fossil fuel industry as was civilisation as we know it today.those decrying the fossil fuel industry while flying to climate conferences the world over and telling other people how to live utterly disgust me.

        no one should buy the oft touted transfer of wealth from the rich nations in the west to the poor in the east.it is a trope designed to enrage and deflect focus from the standard modus operandi of our own politicians and societal elite taking as much as they can while paying lip service to the rules the majority live by.

        there are many, many pressing and immediate environmental issues we should spending money addressing. reducing our output of co2 that so far appears to have done nothing more than green the planet is not high on my priority list.

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  146. Does anybody know: are the standard IQ tests concocted by men or women psychologists (or over-representation of the one regards the other)? I can imagine that, where some clever feminist psychologists make the tests, that women would score much higher than men. Next subject: a test made up by the Hottentots. Intelligence is the ability to solve problems, of course, but what type of problems? How to find out where the antilope has gone in the bush? Who is the smartest kid here?

    • Peter Kriens says

      I understand that IQ tests are normalized to give 100 over the population with special care that the average is identical between males and females. The ratio can be shifted by adding more verbal tests to give the females the upper hand and more spatial/hard math to give the males the upper hand. Remember how in Holland in the seventies many math problems became much more verbose? Instead if calculating the square root of 6561 you got a story of a woman that went to a flower shop and bought … you get the drift.

      What a good IQ tests is measuring is called the ‘g’ factor. This is the measure for doing things explicitly with your rational brain. For example, counting backwards from 100 with 1 extra for each step: 100, 99, 97, 94, … These tests tend have very similar outcomes even if you can practice. A high g factory improves people’s abilities in almost any field.

    • Speechiepsych says

      Generally the IQ test is regarded as a pretty poor test of intelligence. Pick up a textbook in cognitive psychology, or psychometrics and you’ll find almost half of it is devoted to the problem of operationalising, standardising, and measuring intelligence. A vast number of theories of the best measures are still in contention. What is clear, is that no tests exist which can claim to measure intelligence independent of socio-cultural factors, and this includes gender differences across the board in re socioeconomic status. (A lot of current thinking tends towards the idea that most intelligence tests actually measure how similarly someone thinks to the people who designed the test.)

      For instance, speech studies have demonstrated the preference of greater articulation and numerical specifics when adults speak to young/infant males than females. In reality, ascribing something as complex and culturally specific as intelligence to genetic variance seems to me to be a pretty hefty challenge, disentangling all of the confounds and covariates could take lifetimes.

      For that reason I really think it’s so important to have these sort of publications out there, I can’t see any way that they would support the simplistic ideas being suggested once subjected to cross-disciplinary scrutiny, but they could certainly add pieces to the puzzle and stimulate further debate on the variables involved in the issues of gender representation at the core of the controversy

  147. That was entertaining, but perhaps I am missing something: is this about academics trying to shut down a paper advancing a hypothetical mathematical model because they have a problem with the model? Or is it the biological data the models are based on that academics find far more troubling? In either case, why shoot a mathematical messenger over a phenomenon that has been observed and studied since the time of Darwin?

    For those who haven’t read the paper: “The goal here has been neither to challenge nor to confirm Darwin’s and other researchers’ observations of greater male variability for any given species or any given trait, but rather to propose an elementary mathematical theory based on biological/evolutionary mechanisms that might serve as a starting point to help explain how one gender of a species might tend to evolve with greater variability than the other gender.”

    Hill’s paper cites 26 studies in support of the hypothesis he models here, along with a covering assertion by expert Stephanie A. Shields: “By the 1890’s several studies had been conducted to demonstrate that variability was indeed more characteristic of males…The biological evidence overwhelmingly favored males as the more variable sex.”

    The level of censure directed towards this paper is off the scale with respect to ostensible shortcomings with Hill’s mathematical modelling and suggests the actual targets are the data.

    In that case the outrage directed towards a paper focused on mathematical modeling is entirely misconstrued.

    Not least if we are in to expurgating mathematical models from scientific literature on the basis of how people may react to them – that’s a short step from expurgating the data the models are based on, along with the careers of most competent scientists.

    This smacks of a new form of Lysenkoism – now with Western characteristics.

    • Jack B Nimble says

      @Rob G

      As a non-mathematician, I recommend that people read the thread here:

      https://gowers.wordpress.com/2018/09/09/has-an-uncomfortable-truth-been-suppressed/#comments

      for criticisms and observations on Hill’s paper by mathematicians, who can put the paper in a proper mathematical context.

      It seems that the editor of the original journal [Mathematical Intelligencer] only sent the MS to one reviewer. That’s the lazy approach: no need to choose between possibly divergent reviews, less paperwork to process, etc. Getting a paper accepted under those circumstances is little better than a coin toss!

      To me, no one involved in this controversy comes off looking very good. This mediocre paper isn’t worth fighting over.

      • One reviewer is the norm in mathematics. Reviewing is unpaid work, and if done rmeticulously, as it usually is (often very hard work!), finds up if the mathematics is OK or has flaws. Opinions from different reviewers might diverge only on the importance of the paper.

      • c young says

        Pull the other one.

        The paper wasn’t suppressed because it was bad. It was suppressed because the Damore controversy happened between the time it was accepted, and the moment it was published.

        It was rejected for reasons of politics.

        You clearly don’t want this to be true, and that has lead you to dig out blog posts to the effect that it was rubbish anyway, but this is entirely irrelevant.

        Delude yourself, but no one else.

      • bitchilly says

        it might not be a good review process but if the paper went through the same review process as other papers the journal accepts then i am sorry, your argument holds no water. even if the paper turns out to be utter junk it was accepted for review. what happened subsequently was the issue and i am astounded you have no issue with this.

      • Ronald Fox says

        Tim Gowers dramatically changed his stand on this on September 13, stating

        “I now see that [Hill’s] selectivity hypothesis, which I said I found implausible, was actually quite reasonable. If you look carefully at my previous post, you will see that I actually started to realize that even when writing it, and it would have been more sensible to omit that criticism entirely, but by the time it occurred to me that ancient human females could well have been selective in a way that could (in a toy model) be reasonably approximated by Hill’s hypothesis, I had become too wedded to what I had already written — a basic writer’s mistake, made in this case partly because I had only a short window of time in which to write the post. I’m actually quite glad I left the criticism in, since I learnt quite a lot from the numerous comments that defended the hypothesis.”

        https://gowers.wordpress.com

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  149. Vanessa Smith says

    This makes me ashamed to be a woman. If open debate and discussion is shut down then we will never progress on anything useful to the human race. I was wondering if the Russians (university) would be interested in this Paper. Because of their history, they seem to be more open now than the West !!

    • Please don’t be ashamed to be a woman. There are close to 4bn women on this planet, and probability tells us that they span the spectrum of human qualities. As for the Russians, there is no doubt that a Russian journal would publish the paper, but notice that the author (Professor Hill) was once a US Army Ranger in Viet Nam. How would you feel in his place about being unable to publish the paper in the US?

    • bitchilly says

      vanessa, the issue isn’t women or men. this happens increasingly in many other areas, not just science. it is small mindedness on the part of individuals that suffer from god complex regardless of sex .

  150. CatoRenasci says

    It seems to me that feminist hysterics – there’s really no other word to describe the behavior – in response to any paper or view they don’t like demonstrates precisely why many reasonable people have opposed the creep of political correctness and ‘female’ behavioral models of ‘cooperation’ and collectivism.

    It’s also the reason I’m hanging onto my several thousand odd volumes in a wide range of fields, including not incidentally mathematics. One simply cannot trust much of anything published after about 1990 without prior knowledge of the field, and, in many fields, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to obtain sound basic works written before the political correctness wrecking ball began striking the university in earnest.

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  153. Jack Smith says

    What I do not understand is why the right wing hates women so much? Maybe a dumb question and obvious but I just do not get it?

    Damore hated women and now we find out he is deeply involved with the alt right. What am I missing?

    • Daniel says

      LOL. You’re still lying about Damore. Nobody believes these lies. They just discredit you.

    • Honesty Is Rare says

      Did you even read Damore’s essay, or are you just continuing the uncharitable telephone game about what it said?

      People have characterized Damore as saying his female colleagues were unqualified, when he did absolutely no such thing. For that matter, his essay wasn’t even “anti-diversity” so much as advocating a different approach toward fostering diversity that may achieve better results and fewer frustrating side effects than affirmative action-like “positive discrimination” policies.

      Damore decried the left-wing echo chamber surrounding diversity conversations and argued that the low numbers of women in tech may have less to do with anti-female discrimination and bias during upbringing, education, and hiring, and more to do with tech fields unnecessarily presenting an image of work culture that is less appealing to women than men. He cited well-understood differences between male and female preferences to describe why, and argued allowing more diversity of thought would foster better solutions.

      For instance, women have a stronger preference toward working in groups and with other people over working solo in a corner on a problem, and programming work has a bad reputation (partially reality, partially image) for looking more like the latter. Damore’s suggestion was to approach diversity more indirectly, by reshaping and reframing tech culture to both become and appear more collaborative. For instance, focus more on pair programming, etc. and deemphasize solo work, and make more effort to let the outside world know how social programming can be, and the field may draw more women.

      Aside from challenging left-wing orthodoxy in the first place, Damore made one fatal error: He casted well-known differences in preferences by gender as biologically influenced rather than solely environmental. Regardless of how likely he is to be partially correct, voicing this perspective is absolutely forbidden in our culture…and he did so needlessly, because it was entirely tangential to his primary thesis.

      It was this transgression of PC norms that Damore’s critics latched onto as an excuse to not only ignore his main point, but to shamelessly mischaracterize it and smear him. In the end, Damore’s pro-diversity intentions did not matter, because someone found an excuse to excoriate him. The vast majority of people parroting the phrase “anti-diversity screed” must not have even read the paper, instead believing whatever awful narrative was constructed or grown by the outrage mob.

      I do recall at least one critic who actually did read Damore’s paper: Some self-congratulatory opportunist criticized Damore in the harshest terms as a poor engineer for treating coding as a solo endeavor in the first place, and cited all of the ways Good Software Engineers (TM) collaborate already, as if Damore wasn’t aware and did not already participate in those processes…when his whole point was 1. to make them more prevalent, and 2. to better advertise them to young girls to make the field seem more inviting. I won’t waste my time finding this guy’s blog post; let it suffice to say, the author missed Damore’s point on purpose to score points kicking him while he was down, and there were plenty of people eager to high-five the Lord of the Flies.

    • Michael Foley says

      There is nothing to indicate that Damore,or the right wing for that matter,hate women. Ridiculous argument.

    • Parmenides says

      @Jack Smith
      Are you a troll or very very forgetful? I’m sure others answered below. The right wing nor the left wing hate women, you both look at things from a different colored lens. But your inability to see that is probably telltale of how you look at things objectively.

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  163. KGB agent says

    Sergei,

    Has anyone asked you about my infamous extra-evil quote yet?

    “As a matter of principle,” she wrote, “I support people discussing controversial matters openly … At the same time, I think it’s good to be aware of the effects.”

    The more I read it on spinoff articles and chat sites, the more wicked and sinister I myself started to feel! (This is truly my KGB agent moment, à la Unbearable Lightness of Being, remember? Very surreal.)

    But seriously, without revealing my name publicly, if anybody asks could you at least fill in the “…” for them? And just a bit more of the context? I think it makes a difference. Here’s what was in my original message to you, which I sent to you privately, as a friend (and not as a representative of any organization):

    “As a matter of principle, I support people discussing controversial matters openly – and I am not afraid of confrontation. I think Google made a mistake in firing the author of that memo, for example. At the same time, I think it’s good to be aware of the effects.”

    I was trying to be frank, not creepy. And I wanted to have a real discussion with you about your paper. And you know I was never in favor of outright censorship. But in this article, it sounds like maybe I was.

    Even though my name is not attached to this, I still feel like I need to defend my “character’s” character in this story! Help me out here?

    — KGB agent wannabe

  164. Adam Epstein says

    First they came for the Google memo bro, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Googler.

    Then they came for the Daily Stormer, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Nazi.

    Then they came for the hate bands, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Spotify subscriber.

    Then they came for the deepfakes, and I did not speak out – Because I did not get my pornography from Reddit.

    Then they came for the proponents of the variability hypothesis, and I did not speak out – Because I already had a permanent academic position.
    .
    Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

  165. Because I am here on Quillette, and not in a university or family with sisters and women friends, the following thought experiment:

    Some facts:
    – Women only once won the Fields medal, it’s always men that gain
    – Women are not less intelligent than men, that’s what we have agreed on, so it must be, it’s also in the human rights bill

    How to deal with that? There are 2 ways out of the fly bottle:

    1)The larger male variability in IQ, as explained above, already ushered in by Darwin, and again popularised by Peterson.
    2)The psychological fact that women are less prone to do and master mathematics, too dull, girls don’t like being an egghead.

    So, no difference in IQ, equality = guaranteed, everybody happy, no need to quarrel and no bad looks.

    But….. I would say, is that not all too easy? Is it not a pacifier? The urge to be nice and friendly?
    Another possiblity: there is a difference in cognitive ability, IQ,because female brains are smaller, and structured differently.
    Even in typical women fields, such as cooking and fashion, men are by far the best cooks and designers. Men are the best chess players. Are there female well known composers, painters, scientists? Of course maybe one or two, but you can’t say that it’s fairly divided.

    • >>because female brains are smaller, and structured differently.
      So, how does it feel to live in 1901?

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  167. Anyone who suppresses truth for the sake of ideology is an enemy of civilization. The effect of the things they demand (often in the desire to usher in an ideologically perfect Utopia) will impose disease, destruction and death on the rest of us.

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  169. Eratosthenes Prime says

    Just like Galileo was treated by the Inquisition.

    Enemies of truth, enjoy your day. History shows that you will lose.

  170. Welcome to Goolag! says

    Greetings from the EU! Looks like this story is going international. Streisand effect, if you like. Certainly the aggressive Leftist bigots, who wanted to sweep the actual scientifically proven facts of a long known phenomenon under the carpet simply because those did not fit their political agenda, have achieved the opposite effect. Until recently I had no idea how dire the situation is in the USA with this rampant “Liberal” madness, where simply stating a fact is a crime punishable by attacks and harassment by extremists. The last two years or so have been quite shocking, with all this aggressive hysteria and erratic behaviour on behalf of the Left. An eye opener, really. USA used to be known for its freedoms, and mainly the freedom of speech. But look at it now. No wonder Trump got elected, people must be tired of this never ending nightmare.

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  172. Короч писька рулит и все 👆там мужики подтверждают 😎

    • Welcome to Goolag! says

      Isn’t it fascinating how the whole society is kept in fear by those kind people simply … suggesting things?

    • Read the last sentence in her statement:
      ‘Invoking purely mathematical arguments to explain scientific phenomena without serious engagement with science and data is an offense against both mathematics and science. ‘

      Hill didn’t claim to explain the scientific phenomena. He demonstrated a mathematical model that is consistent with a particular hypothesis about the phenomena — a far more modest claim. Wilkinson’s reply is a Cathy Newmenesque, “So you’re saying” type statement that is tremendously unfair to Hill.

  173. So over this! says

    “MAH FREEZE PEACH!” <> This isn’t an issue of free speech.

    You need to stop whining and fix your damn paper… you know, like a real academic. Because it was a terrible paper! Unlike most of these commenters, I have actually read it.

    First, you assumed the GMVH was just universally true and talked about it in the context of **human intelligence.** You don’t study biology nor human intelligence. Why would you even write that?! Biologist have shown GMVH to exist in a variety of contexts, but it also doesn’t hold in many others. It’s NOT universally true! If you actually did your due diligence in your literature review and, perhaps, collaborated with some actual, credible biologists and psychologists, you would know what is known, what isn’t known, and avoid such sloppy implications. Seriously, what were you thinking?!

    Second, you built this model assuming GMVH is true and then showed that it could come about if females were more sexually selective than males. Ok, fine. But then you seem to imply that this is true of human sexuality. What?! That’s not even true historically for humans–it’s a very modern thing for women to get to have any say in their mates and that isn’t even universally true now. You can’t even say that the forces determining a woman’s sexual partner are more selective than men. Seriously, don’t say shit if you don’t have a reference for it. You’re not some undergrad.

    There was nothing wrong with the model or the simulations or anything. What was wrong was what you wrote. It was bad because you wanted to make some kind of political statement about people and that made it completely unacademic.

    Now, you’re trying to push this narrative that you were wronged by the left. I’m guessing this is to sell your book.

    I got a lot of from this article. How people kick up controversy by recharacterizing the reactions of others to fit a narrative that is publicly appealing and how the public will just take you at face value because they want a boogie man to hate. And how too many mathematicians feel qualified to assess papers referencing research in other fields that they know nothing about. That last one hurts the most–I’m so embarrassed for many community that these people exist.

    The silver-lining is that, overall, pushy mathematicians made it their business to stop its publication.

    Seriously, fix your damn paper before you go whining to the press like this. The only person stopping its publication is your own stubbornness in keeping such stupid commentary about human intelligence. It’s not your field and you can’t just assume things to be true because you want them to be. That’s not how academics works
    —–

    For the record, I’m none of the people mentioned in this article or alluded to. I’m not faculty at Penn State or University of Chicago or wherever I’m just a researcher who found this article.

    And shame on all the commenters who just took this authors word at face value. That is the most un-academic thing I have ever heard of. You have no business criticizing academia if this is how you behave.

    • The paper says: ‘Our goal here is neither to challenge nor confirm the VH,’ which is in direct contradiction to your main point. The rest of the paper is consistent with that statement.

      Your side-point, ‘There was nothing wrong with the model or the simulations or anything,’ however, is correct.

      • So over this! says

        When I read this a while ago, it was version 2. I don’t even know if this is public anymore given the withdrawal of some of the names. I see it is now version 9! The content I am referring to comes from that version, which was, frankly, really bad.

        My comment about not collaborating with people in other fields, especially biology, still holds. I think ti completely divorce itself from the problematic previous versions, it needs to contain a more robust literature review.

        • OK, I can’t speak about version 2, so it’s entirely possible it was a lot worse.

    • Emblem14 says

      Signal Boost to this comment. Any criticism of the ham handed repression of this paper needs to be considered in full light of the quality of the paper itself. Without due consideration to the best case for why this paper should have been spiked, one cannot stake a position that spiking it was merely an ideological maneuver. To make such a case without a full accounting of all sides and perspectives just reveals a different brand of ideological tribalism.

      Most of the commenters here are indeed taking the author’s side of the story at face value and jumping to conclusions based on their own reflexive prejudice. The war frame is truly corrosive to truth seeking.

    • Welcome to Goolag! says

      I have noticed that the same people who ridicule “MAH FREEZE PEACH!” are the ones who routinely indulge in harassing and attempting to shut down the others.

      The common way to dispute an academic claim used to be to write a paper proving it wrong. The Maoist ways of literally destroying the life of your opponent for ideological reasons, harassment and mob violence are indeed more the sign of Mao’s China or early Soviet Russia.

      Do you think those two diversity officers indulged in their covert blackmail, or Wilkinson recruited her family members to threaten her opponents, or herself launched the harassment campaign in social media simply because they saw the mathematical model as needing improvement? Or was there something more, and something much more sinister than that?

      • So over this! says

        First of all, *every comment* you have posted here (including the name you have chosen) is ridiculing and an attempt to marginalize a viewpoint that is counter to this narrative you want to construct. So… everything you hate, you happen to be doing. Welcome to the internet!

        Second, this is NOT how academia works. It’s not a free-for-all where everyone is allowed to publish whatever in a journal and people “engage” with argument no matter how stupid. We are all too overworked for that kind of nonsense. We rely on peer review; meaning that other researchers evaluate the merits of what is being written and determine whether it is worthy to be published. This was unconventional, but it was definitely a kind of peer review. Unlike whatever this is.

        Notifying the NSF is not “blackmail”; Wlkinson, Farb, and everyone else are intelligent people who are capable of thinking for themselves. I don’t even know them, but I definitely don’t believe in some kind of sinister plot to take down this researcher. Moreover, the burden of proof is on you in suggesting such nonsense.

        I’m done with all of this. I won’t be responding to a bunch of consiracy-theory peddling crackpots who are looking for a reason for form a mob and see it in this story of a “poor” professor emeritus who can’t publish work that is outside his scope of expertise and, rather than collaborate with experts, chose to write write a this piece here where the readership is crazy enough to harass all the people named.

        I’m so disgusted by all of this.

  174. “Over the years there has undoubtedly been significant bias and discrimination against women in mathematics and technical fields. Unfortunately, some of that still persists, even though many of us have tried hard to help turn the tide. My own efforts have included tutoring and mentoring female undergraduates, graduating female PhD students, and supporting hiring directives from deans and departmental chairs to seek out and give special consideration to female candidates. I have been invited to serve on two National Science Foundation gender and race diversity panels in Washington.”

    I stopped reading right there.

    You bought into the false feminist frame with nonsense talk about women being discriminated against. You even had the nerve to claim that women are being discriminated against today,

    Women have privileged access to higher education over men, it is that simple,

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  176. Emblem14 says

    If a scientific study suggests that there is a reason other than sexism and discrimination for a lack of female representation at the upper echelons of a prestigious social position, women have legitimate reason to feel threatened by this *even if it were true*. Such an explanation can serve as inadvertent cover for discrimination, (especially if decisions to discriminate against women are covert and plausibly deniable), because any observed inequalities can be hand-waved away by the “no discrimination” thesis, which, in effect, can function as camouflage for discrimination.

    The threat is made worse when people assume the cause of the observed inequality is univariate, and there is no way to easily determine the full extent of other variables at play or in what proportion different variables are responsible for the observed outcome.

    This is not to excuse the political repression of controversial scientific postulates. Just why certain people are hypersensitive to certain arguments and where the temptation to repress comes from.

    • Welcome to Goolag! says

      These “certain hypersensitive people” are simply making matters worse not only for the group they mean to protect, but for everyone. As you see, they attempt to hide the truth, attack individual liberties, destroy lives and disrupt the very fabric of society. They are a danger to society. The “Liberal Fascists” (or sooner Bolsheviks for that matter).

    • c young says

      The church had legitimate reason to feel threatened by Gallileo’s theories *even if it they were true*, to be precise, they had *more* reason to feel threatened if they were true.

      And that’s exactly why the systems that support science have been designed to ignore pressure from individuals, groups or entities that feel threatened by theories under discussion.

      • Emblem14 says

        I think a good rule is if you make a case that, if true, could threaten the legitimate interests of people who are only trying to get fair treatment on an individual level, and could be used as ammunition by people who seek to conceal unfair treatment, the burden of proof should be high. Make the case, but make sure it’s strong and can stand up to harsh criticism.

        Too often, people make arguments that threaten others’ interests based on sloppy reasoning or even pure speculation. In my view, that’s irresponsible.

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  179. The irony that struck me the most was that the paper was dismissed in what appears to be strikingly honest project as radical pseudoscience.

    Somewhere in this polarised debate between PC and free speech, only recently something the right embraced with gusto, we are missing a reasoned discussion about something essential: what are the limits of what we can subject to scientific inquiry.

    We see these limits everywhere – we know them when we see them, so to say. Insurers should not be able to access their clients genetic maps, and the racist biology of a century ago is, for good reason, out of bounds.

    But as we cannot define these limits clearly, controversy ensues around the blurry areas – although often not around the scientists themselves, but around those that draw on the results to inform social debate, such as James Damore, Haidt, and Jordan Peterson.

    That is because these truths are not only uncomfortable, but – after the internet brevity and polarisation imperatives strip them of nuance and clarifications – liable to political overinterpretation. An 80 / 20 preference correlated with sex gets interpreted as an absolute that justifies the status quo or even regression. In reality, however, gender differences overall tell you very little about the likelihood of a specific candidate to qualify for a specific job, after you control for all other factors.

    If you look at household income, health, and education, women are, nowadays, well ahead of men and, hence, not a socioeconomically disadvantaged group on average. So on the gender issue, I think we can handle this kind of research.

    But blacks in America are disadvantaged on all those metrics and more. The question, then, is, should we condone this kind of intelligence distribution research to be done to compare different races? Couple that with the consensus that intelligence is largely biological, and the conclusions are unconscionable. Murray tried an indirect version of that a few decades back.

    So there is a line we should draw there somewhere. I am not sure where. But as long as there is no attempt at a discussion on how to draw them, we will not be able to progress.

    • Emblem14 says

      Excellent comment.

      Gets right to the root of how any movement supporting maximal free inquiry must guard against being hijacked by quacks and cranks. Gatekeeping is necessary, or too many people’s good sincere work will be smeared with the stain of others’ recklessness and well poisoning.

      Maybe a a line-drawing practice is best applied not by cherry-picking taboos but through a clear procedural approach that demands high standards and strict accountability for anything that falls short of that..

    • Peter Kriens says

      I do not see how you can draw any line? If the existing black/white/asian/jewish IQ gap is explainable by genes should we not know this? If that is true then we not only waste enormous amounts of money on counter-productive measures? Not to forget that today we might be blaming the wrong people (sexism and racism) for the discrepancies we see? Should we consciously close our eyes for facts while the rest of the world has no qualms? How do you prevent that taboos can actually make people more radical because discussions fester in the dark instead of being openly countered? (Pinker’s argument as I understand.)

      I am an engineer and if there is one thing I learned that to be effective you have to take the facts serious. However uncomfortable they sometimes are.

      However, the most important aspect is who will decide where those lines are? How can we prevent that group from becoming tyrannical?

      Science should have no taboos and the politics should deal with the actual facts, not make believe.

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  183. “Meanwhile, Professor Wilkinson had now widened her existing social media campaign against the Intelligencer to include attacks on the NYJM and its editorial staff. As recently as April of this year, she was threatening Facebook friends with ‘unfriending’ unless they severed social media ties with Rivin.”

    It would be great if someone could get a bunch of these screenshots and share them with the world.

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  188. Reductionist says

    Thanks for an amazing article, Dr. Hill. I’m in academia (psychometrician) and would like to help – how can I do so?

  189. Face the music, loser:

    Statement addressing unfounded allegations.

    This statement addresses some unfounded allegations about my personal involvement with the publishing of Ted Hill’s preprint “An evolutionary theory for the variability hypothesis” (and the earlier version of this paper co-authored with Sergei Tabachnikov). As a number of erroneous statements have been made, I think it’s important to state formally what transpired and my beliefs overall about academic freedom and integrity.

    I first saw the publicly-available paper of Hill and Tabachnikov on 9/6/17, listed to appear in The Mathematical Intelligencer. While the original link has been taken down, the version of the paper that was publicly available on the arxiv at that time is here.

    I sent an email, on 9/7/17, to the Editor-in-Chief of The Mathematical Intelligencer, about the paper of Hill and Tabachnikov. In it, I criticized the scientific merits of the paper and the decision to accept it for publication, but I never made the suggestion that the decision to publish it be reversed. Instead, I suggested that the journal publish a response rebuttal article by experts in the field to accompany the article. One day later, on 9/8/17, the editor wrote to me that she had decided not to publish the paper.

    I had no involvement in any editorial decisions concerning Hill’s revised version of this paper in The New York Journal of Mathematics. Any indications or commentary otherwise are completely unfounded.

    I would like to make clear my own views on academic freedom and the integrity of the editorial process. I believe that discussion of scientific merits of research should never be stifled. This is consistent with my original suggestion to bring in outside experts to rebut the Hill-Tabachnikov paper. Invoking purely mathematical arguments to explain scientific phenomena without serious engagement with science and data is an offense against both mathematics and science.

    Amie Wilkinson
    Professor of Mathematics
    University of Chicago
    September 11, 2018

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  191. Stuart Waugh says

    Dr. Theodore P. Hill,

    I suggest you just publish the article on your own blog. Ms. Wilkinson will guarantee it is widely read in both the scientific community and the wider community by attacking it. Far more than it ever would have gotten collecting dust in an official publication.

    Wilkinson radicalism is free publicity (she gives away her religious zealotry with an ad hominem dig “loser”). So use it.

    Clearly the issue is more complex and involves many more factors than have been considered by policy makers and the public. It is something that has to be re-examined and better understood to have more effective results. It’s clearly more than some “evil demons” (in certain men) at work, rather a complex interaction of various elements, some societal, some biological, some environmental. The simple model is broken, and so a new perspective is worth a look, even if only a small piece of it or even none of it is determined ultimately to be useful.

    This idea that the public in a democracy cannot handle information and that it has to be managed by self-appointed gatekeepers is appalling. The gatekeepers strike me more as the dedicated elite cadre in the communist model, or the special elect in religious terminology (e.g., the mullahs in Iran, the Dominicans in the Inquisition, etc) than like the common people the claim to be protecting. People like Wilkinson, while thinking they are acting in the greater good, are in fact actively enforcing orthodoxy and injecting political activism into what should be an academic debate. And as we all know the back and forth of academic debate and gathering of evidence over time is the only way to substantiate or refute a theory. Orthodoxy and suppression never lead to anything good.

    • Peter Kriens says

      I think the statement of Wilkinson starts after the word ‘loser’. I doubt that the poster of the statement is Amie Wilkinson.

  192. Atavisionary says

    Sorry for your rude awakening to political correctness and the activist left. Never a fun experience. You should read “Smart and Sexy” by Roderick Kaine. It carefully explains that the variability you notice is likely do to X-linkage of the relevant traits. That is, the traits are on the X chromosome which gives a more variable expression pattern to males. Anyone interested in the topics of gender differences in intelligence will do themselves a big favor by reading the book.

    • “It carefully explains that the variability you notice is likely do to X-linkage of the relevant traits. That is, the traits are on the X chromosome which gives a more variable expression pattern to males.”

      A fine hypothesis…but it contradicts Hill’s. If you don’t get this, you need to learn mire biology.

  193. So the truth comes out. Hill’s narrative, published uncritically and apparently with minimal fact-checking by Quillette, is false in important respects. In particular, it appears Rivin, the NYJM editor, is a hard-core right winger and apparently shirked proper peer review in order to publish this piece of scientific junk in an inappropriate journal. Then Hill had a little hissy-fit when the editorial board reversed Rivin.

    I asked Lehman if, during their ‘fact-check’, they had looked at Hill’s website motherfunctor.org, which might give them a perspective on his credibility. She never replied.

    If Quillette wants to retain a shard of credibility, they need to investigate the procedures that let them published an uncorroborated first-person complaint from a aggrieved rejected author, and consider retracting this disgraceful piece. Otherwise most of us in the middle will consider Quillette simply FoxNews with delusions of grandeur.

    • Emblem14 says

      As someone sympathetic to a great deal of what quillette is (theoretically) trying to do, it’s really disappointing that there’s an increasing tendency for them to be overly credulous of contributors who are pushing the “house narrative”. They don’t seem to put a premium on a thorough vetting process. This isn’t the first time one of their published pieces has been called out for omitting relevant information that might complicate the narrative.

      I really loathe the editorial philosophy of justifying the propagation of nakedly biased stuff as a supposed “counterweight” to other nakedly biased stuff across the media landscape. As if having competing hyperpartisan echo chambers is a good state of affairs. Publishing well reasoned content that can stand up to both charitable and uncharitable scrutiny and criticism is apparently a too difficult task.

      They’ll continue to lose credibility among their less partisan readers by publishing weak and sloppy pieces. Getting taken advantage of by people with axes to grind is not impressive. I hope it doesn’t take a rolling stone type episode to knock some sense into them.

    • NotInItForTheMoney says

      Gerard, you are completely missing the point. Facts here are apparent – paper accepted twice in two different journals after accepted normal review process. Then killed due to pressure from outside ideologues with no business meddling in standard editorial process.

      • The review process for MI is anything but ‘normal’ (assuming that such a thing exists); it’s not really a conventional journal. Their withdrawal of a paper after a request to publish a response reflects that. And there is a conflict between what Hill wrote and what Wilkinson wrote. She says all she requested was that responses be considered. I find her more credible.

        The process at NYJM was anything but normal. Rivin, the editor invited the submission, even though it’s a paper that’s outside the scope of the journal. Atr this point, his politics, which are right-wing, are every bit as relevant as Wilkinsons’. And taking 3 months to produce the alleged referee reports for the editorial board looks really bad; they make it look like they were generated after-the-fact. He should have been able to turn them over to the editorial board within 24 hours, if he had actually seen to it that the paper was properly reviewed.

        And the paper really wouldn’t have survived legitimate peer review. I’m not unqualified to review the mathematics, but I’ll defer to Tim Gowers on that.

        https://gowers.wordpress.com/2018/09/13/additional-thoughts-on-the-ted-hill-paper/#more-6405

        As far as the evolutionary biology goes, I’m a little more qualified, and it’s hopelessly naive

        As I’ve written elsewhere, when I post outside my normal field, I seek out specialized journals in that subfield, and hope for tough reviews, because I know there are some things I just don’t know. And when an editor gets an m/s in a field outside te journal’s normal scope, standard procedure is to decline to consider and suggest submission to a more suitable journal. Both authors and editors failed here.

        Anyone who’s ever published has encountered editorial decisions they dislike. I had a paper rejected once by an editor after two highly positive reviews. He didn’t understand the math, and showed it to a chum who didn’t understand the math either (in fact, it’s now a commonplace method; they were just not up to speed). So what did I do? I screamed and cursed for 24 hours, and then sent it to another journal.

        • What is the “conflict between what Hill wrote and what Wilkinson wrote” that you speak of? Or do you doubt Hill’s claim that Prof. Wilkinson enlisted the aid of her father — a claim that appears to be backed up by the senior Wilkinson’s letter, inadvertently forwarded to Hill?

        • Gerard, you have been mudslinging here and on Gowers’ blog, and I respectfully ask you to stop. NYJM’s scope under the late editor in chief Mark Steinberger was “whatever the editors find interesting” – when I was invited to the board, that was made extremely clear. My interests are quite eclectic, which was well-known to the Editor in Chief of NYJM and whoever bothers to consult my Google Scholar listing.

          When there is an applied mathematician on the board (as was true in the early 2000s) there were applied papers published, when there wasn’t, there were not.

          There was absolutely nothing sketchy about the vetting process for the paper, indeed, it was far more thorough than usual (since the EIC and I knew about the Intelligencer contretemps).

          Professor Hill’s site (motherfunctor.org – I actually had not known about its existence before reading your comment ) is dedicated to freedom of speech in the academic setting. How is this in any way a bad thing? Are you opposed to the freedom of speech?

          As pointed out by many, your bringing in my and Hill’s alleged politics into the mix just makes you look partisan (which you are, so thank you for the honesty, I suppose).

    • Broad smears are not gonna work. Nobody here has ever heard of a paper being ‘unpublished’ in the manner it was, and the shock has traveled the world at this point. Hill has offered an explanation for such a remarkable occurrence. His detractors have no alternative explanation. Furthermore, slamming him or Rivin as right wing or sexist only strengthens their credibility by providing evidence of motive.

      • NotInItForTheMoney says

        Exactly right, AB.
        And I find it interesting that those in (evolutionary) biology field are having more problems with the ‘merit’ of the paper. First, this is not a point of this discussion. Debating the paper merit on biological basis is very different than on mathematical, modeling basis, which is what this paper simply provides. As a non mathematician, biologists generally have harder time sticking to the strictly defined parameters of the problem, and clear limitations defined in the publication already. Publish a clear counterargument… That is how scientific discussion should evolve. Not under the influence of people with clear ideological agenda who have nothing to do with the editorial process. Don’t forget the NSF part of this story. It is also in line with how people forget that only scientific clear arguments count, not self serving ideology. In my opinion, that is a more troubling part, that a scientific institution as large as NSF can be pressured into pulling their name just by somebody mentioning the words ‘gender differences’.

        • I’m curious: are you a mathematician? Have you ever published a scientific paper? When you opine that “biologists generally have harder time sticking to the strictly defined parameters of the problem”, that’s based on what experience or evidence?

          Gowers, who’s a Field medallist, calls it a toy model. Are you challenging that?

          Regarding NSF; the work was not proposed in the grant that Hill’s coworker submitted. Tabachnikov’s grant was awarded to study the mathematical modeling of vehicle traffic problems. It has nothing to do with gender differences. And he isn’t even a co-author on the original preprint.

          Have you ever held an NSF grant? Under what circumstances should a piece of published work be acknowledged in an NSF grant? Do you know?

          • NotInItForTheMoney says

            GH, you are deviating from the central discussion here…. but I will answer.
            No, I am not a mathematician, just have been around them all of my life.
            I have trained in physical chemistry and biology, and do research in biomedical sciences. I have published very well and for a long time, but what is your point anyway?
            Toy model … if you follow applied mathematics marriage with biology for the last twenty years, you will notice that for a model to be correct, it does not need to be very intricate or complicated. In fact, some of the models in the field of systems biology explaining genetic networks, signaling networks or even hepatitis C spread in the population are extremely simple (which also highlights their elegance), so called “toy” models.

            Regarding NSF: did you read the passage in the text –
            “The ostensible reason for this request was that our paper was unrelated to Sergei’s funded proposal. However, a Freedom of Information request subsequently revealed that Penn State WIM administrator Diane Henderson (“Professor and Chair of the Climate and Diversity Committee”) and Nate Brown (“Professor and Associate Head for Diversity and Equity”) had secretly co-signed a letter to the NSF that same morning. “Our concern,” they explained, “is that [this] paper appears to promote pseudoscientific ideas that are detrimental to the advancement of women in science, and at odds with the values of the NSF.”

            Have you ever heard of colleagues in same Department writing secretly to a funding agency criticizing accepted work as pseudoscience? Moreover, have you ever heard of a funding agency pulling recognition of research based on such actions? This is preposterous.
            If we ask around how many people use funding for additional research project and then recognize funding agencies for that work support, I believe you will get your answer. No agency pulls recognition for accepted reviewed scientific work, especially due to secret communication by colleagues from the same department who are completely unrelated to the editorial process.

    • mike87122 says

      Gerard, you may have some good points, but when you call someone a “hard-core right winger” and say things like Quillette is “simply FoxNews with delusions of grandeur”, you lose credibility because you just sound like a political partisan.

  194. Evolutionary biology has been highly mathematical back since Haldane’s days. It’s well past the stage you can apply a model as primitive as the one Hill applied, based on long-discarded group selection ideas and unrealistic assumptions. I *still* don’t see any evidence you’ve presented to bolster your claim that biologists generally have harder time sticking to the strictly defined parameters of a problem.

    So, since no one knows you’re a dog on the internet, I checked out some papers on
    the mathematical modelling of hepatitis, where you claim the models are extremely simple.

    This was the first one I turned up. Oh look, it’s not in the New York Journal of Mathematics, it’s in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Most of the citations seem to be in the epidemiological literature. The authors are all epidemiologists.

    https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/34/6/1329/707548

    So here’s the second one I found:

    https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050074&type=printable

    Yep, all professional epidemiologists. Can it be the field of mathematical epidemiology isn’t actually dominated by amateur mathematicians who scrawled together a model over their coffee break, oblivious to the status of the field? (And actually, the model looks quite sophisticated to my untrained eye).

    No, I haven’t seen of my colleagues writing to NSF to complain (though we still only have Hill’s word for this). On the other hand, none of my colleagues have been publishing lame-ass models to justify their political preconceptions. I certainly know that NSF is now being very careful to check that papers claiming funding under a grant really were funded by and are related to the grant. This, ironically, is a result of the GOP politicization of the ‘shrimp on a treadmill’ and similar cases. I know this because my wife worked for NSF for the last three years. So you’re wrong about that.

    • …but come to think of it, this is staggeringly hypocritical. All NSF did is ask that work that clearly was not funded by NSF not acknowledge funding by NSF. Which is actually has always been the rule, although until recently honored more in the breach than the observance. There is absolutely no negative consequence to Tabachnikov or Hill that their paper does not acknowledge NSF.

      But meanwhile the American Right has spent the last ten years politicizing the entire grant-award process. They’ve been trying to defund NSF’s political science division for over a decade. They routinely pick on any proposal that looks politically contentious or is just hard for them to understand and haul the director before Congress to explain it. They even tried to introduce a crowdsource program that let the public select NSF grants for elimination. They tried to micromanage NSF in 2016 so they could eliminate funding for poli. sci. and geosciences. They attacked science education at NSF for funding education of climate change. Trump tried to zero out EPA extramural funding. And so on.

    • Is it really correct that the NSF only wants to be credited with papers on topics listed in the grant proposal? I thought the custom was to give the NSF credit for everything you did in the general area while you were receiving their money, even if it wasn’t listed in your proposal, because the NSF summer salary or course release money does help and the NSF likes getting credit for research.

      • Ronald Fox says

        My first NSF grant was awarded in 1973. The monitor came down to visit me. They decided to fund me (for the next 30 years as it turned out). Their initial decision was based solely on my likelihood of success at whatever I chose to do. Only later did panels come into existence and proposal specifics became important.

    • From my perspective as a software engineer who has implemented the models of expert specialists, I have learned that it pays to always be ready to ask, “does this model make sense? Does this conclusion ‘seem right’ “? I always do an important calculation several different ways, and will even step outside the paradigm on occasion, looking for an analogous situation for which someone may have constructed a different model.

      My wife gives me grief about this, saying I should just accept ‘mainstream’ thinking from the specialists, that it is arrogant of me to criticize their math or their phenomenology, but the first thing I learned about computers was Garbage In, Garbage Out, and the second was Garbage In, Gospel Out.

      Academic pedigree does not mean much to me, any more, as the history of science is replete with examples of herds of specialists happily marching off in the wrong direction.

      • Concur. As a soon to be former graduate student in STEM, it boggles the mind how much bullshit passes through the filter. I don’t have much faith in the peer review system anymore when I see how people actually read other scholars’ works. Which is, not very carefully at all. I don’t think they’re incentivized to. They have their own research to do, classes to each and papers to write, and it’s not like they’re well paid for their intellectual labor of peer review. By the time they’ve taken care of their intellectual priorities I’ve mentioned above, I’d be astounded if they have any left at all for peer review. They’re probably doing it sleepy and frazzled. I don’t see this system encouraging careful reviews, all things considered.

        In short, if you’re going to rely on something academics do, if your livelihood or profitability depends on it, DO YOUR OWN THINKING. Actually read their stuff. Really. It can save you a ton of money.

    • Ronald Fox says

      Gerard says: “No, I haven’t seen of my colleagues writing to NSF to complain (though we still only have Hill’s word for this).”

      The complete file of all documentation, including the many pieces of correspondence with the NSF, will soon be available from Ted Hill. The NSF material may be delayed a bit while their failure to fully comply with FOIA requirements is adjudicated. Have no doubt that activists writing to the NSF to complain occurred.

  195. Scott Campanaro says

    This is just one more death-rattle from the soon to be cold corpse of the ‘University-system’… without Free Speech and Spirited Debate there is no academy, no learning, no rigor… just a bunch of snowflakes living in a collectivist echo chamber. A far cry from my uni days in the ’70s.

    so. very. sad.

    • Surprised it took this long, really. In a system protected by tenure and completely removed from the profit incentive and a publish or perish culture, you’d expect it to encourage group think and corruption and ass kissing. If you get an ideologue in this privileged position, he or she can campaign against you all day long with zero repercussions all day long unlike people with real jobs. Surprised it took this long for them to come out of the woodwork, given the model we have.

  196. jibalt says

    Most of the comments here reflect political ideology and not an interest in science or adherence to the scientific ethic.

  197. Indie Wifey says

    Where, feminists and leftist warriors, is the notion in all this empowerment activism, that women have capacity to 1) get it 2) deal with it 3) go for it a) because of or b) in spite of?
    All this warrioring only leans to suggestion (and perpetuation) of weakness and need for outside championing.
    We wind up with damsels in wolf’s clothing; anger and affrontedness are not evolutionary but reactionary.

  198. Christy Dolph says

    I really appreciate the details provided by Gerard Harbison here. To me it sounds like 1) the journal that ultimately published this article (and then redacted it) is pretty sketchy and it’s possible there actually was no real review process for this paper and 2) a mathematics journal should have never agreed to referee this paper, which is ostensibly just about ‘logic’ applied to evolutionary biology but is written by a mathematics person who clearly knows nothing about evolutionary biology. I went and read his actual paper and I’m pretty sure the hypothesis would be laughed out of any evolutionary biology journal, because it doesn’t make sense in terms of how even the most simple gene pool selection scenario would work. Not to mention that, based on this quillette article alone, this mathematician clearly has some horribly unexamined misogynist cultural narrative informing his ‘logic’. You can’t make something correct just by repeatedly insisting it is ‘logical’. In fact, attempting to add the luster of ‘science’ to an analysis that has clearly failed to grapple with the social and political context and framing of the question at hand is a dangerous trap for both scientists and the public to fall into. And finally the most paranoid part of me thinks it is possible that this author and this journal orchestrated some parts of the ‘redaction’ to generate anger about ‘PC culture’ and how the radical left is supposedly oppressing everyone’s freedom. Obviously we need to take considerable care before we start jumping into conspiracy theories like that. But I don’t think such a thing is outside the realm of possibility, and this whole situation kind of smells bad.

    • The only part of your comment that makes sense is “the most paranoid part of me.”
      The rest is complete BS.

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  206. Burton Voorhees says

    I can relate an interesting experience that I had in 1990. I had been interested in the question of women in mathematics in the mid-80s and had researched a variety of different approaches to this, both genetic and cultural. I felt at the time that there was obviously a strong cultural element but that the size of effects measured, combined with research on the effect of testosterone on developing brains, and other correlated effects also indicated that there could well be an innate gender related difference. Then I thought of another possibility and came up with a scale different attitudes:
    1. “Girls can’t do math.” (junior high)
    2. “Well, it’s a statistical effect, there are a few girls who can do math very well so we ought not to discriminate against women who want to go into math.” (university level)
    3. “It’s all a cultural effect and we need to change the culture.”
    4. “Cultural effects are strong, but there are innate gender related effects as well, go back to 2.”
    5. What is math?
    It’s the #5 that got me interested: suppose for sake of argument that there are subtle gender related cognitive differences, in a statistical sense. Let’s also suppose that high level math is very difficult. But let’s also include not only a cultural but a historical perspective: it is undeniable that historically, mathematics has been developed almost entirely by men. Does that mean that what we currently understand as mathematics contains an inbuilt bias that favors cognitive skills at which males tend to excel? And if so, does this suggest that there may be areas of mathematics that simply have not been developed in any depth because they rely more on cognitive skills where females tend to excel?

    In a question period after a 1990 presentation on cultural related gender differences by Mary Catherine Bateson, I mentioned this idea. When I finished the person sitting next to me looked at me and said: “No offense, but that is utter nonsense.” That person was Saunders Maclane–clearly he, at least, found it interesting.

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  208. You could give a shout out to Joe Rogan and come on his podcast.
    People like Jordan Peterson and Bret Weinstein were able to benefit from his awesome platform to spread the word about their theories and findings – maybe you could do the same.

  209. Ockham shaved. Atlas shrugged. says

    A truly terrible tale. Have we really come to this?! Surely the best way to defeat the results of this paper would be for the feminists academics to write a counter paper that disproves your theories? Engage with the work academically, criticise it, tear it apart, but let it stand on its own and let it be criticised. Instead we have arrived at a point of no-return. We see a problem in society, we would like to attempt to understand it through rational, logical reasoning, but we can’t because it might be offensive to some people. This is lunacy!

    The best advice would be to publish it in China or Russia, get a translator and rewrite it in Chinese or Russian. I’m sure the paper would be well-received there, even by female academics. While those two countries are paradoxically seen as totalitarian regimes, I think academia in the West is giving them a run for their money. Eventually the market will dictate the direct this lunacy takes as many people have just had enough. Either a split will occur between the left and right and new universities will form based on more traditional values, thus countering the onslaught from this Marxist drivel, or we will see a brain drain in the West, the likes of which are currently unimaginable. I think that unlike in the past when many geniuses fled the regimes of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, the great minds of the West will in the near future end up in China, India, Brazil and Russia.

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  211. Tom Golden says

    Thank you Sir for standing up for the truth. I can understand having been working to teach around issues of men and women and their different ways to process emotions. Feminists don’t like this. But it is based on research, the testosterone flood in utero, testosterone priming, precarious manhood and much more. Research be damned! The feminists cling for their lives to the silly notion that all differences are due to socialization. And the white knights will skewer you if you dare challenge their easily disproved nonsense.

    Gynocentrism runs silent and it runs deep. I would encourage all to be sure to watch the documentary The Red Pill. It tells the story.

  212. As a female graduate student in mathematics I downloaded Professor Hill’s paper in order to read and support it. For me, it’s not even a question of whether or not it’s true, although a priori it rings true. Why am I not threatened by it? My success in the field so far has proven that no matter what the science may say, none of it disproves that I, individually, can succeed in mathematics. Isn’t that what matters?

    This is a matter of principle. I know that these bullies purport to speak for all of us, but I would like to reiterate again and again, lest these people gain any sort of moral credibility (not that speaking to advance the interests of women as a group, if you speak falsely or censor others for your cause, should confer any moral credibility. That’s another issue), that THEY DO NOT SPEAK FOR WOMEN. They speak for themselves and their supporters.

    I wish Professor Hill every success in his career. Stand strong against these people. The very credibility of academia is being undermined by their actions, and not unjustly. When the public sees this kind of tantrum and bullying, they rightly infer that perhaps our pronouncements are not always scientific and question whether or not their taxpayer dollars should go to funding people who fuel this kind of debacles or send their children to us for their education.i

    • It’s really quite easy (and the same as it has been in many totalitarian dictatorships): some of the bullies feel insecure because they have been promoted way above where they belong, because of a fake narrative. If the narrative is exposed, so are they., Notice that they are NOT working for you (it’s harmful to you), but to protect their own self-esteem. Just do your own thing, and that way you will be able to respect yourself (and be respected by others).

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  214. Virgo Kuusk says

    This is simply appalling – the far-left is worse than I expected.

    Remember the names involved in this Stalinist behaviour: Amie Wilkinson, Benson Farb, Diane Henderson, Nate Brown. These Social Justice Warriors pretend to be scientists! Absolutely pathetic and morally corrupt individuals. They don’t deserve to be called scientists. Remember also the names of these universities that protect and support these totalitarian SJWs. Avoid these universities as academic institutions.

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  216. Rivin sends an email requesting the article 10pm on a Friday. Hill receives the referee report before 8am on the Sunday.

    36 hours is a quick turnaround for a paper that is very much multi-disciplinary. The referee report is only four paragraphs too.

    • longtail says

      Interesting quote from the referee’s report: ““It might be worth having a mathematical biologist look at the proposed model and provide comments. I can say, though this is not my field, that the consequences of the model are correctly derived.” A referee would usually be in the same field, no?

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