‘Cell’ Magazine Goes for Woke: ‘Science Has a Racism Problem’

A scientist with staring eyes pours liquid from one test tube to another in a laboratory scene from an unknown German film.
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The woke editors of the prominent science journal Cell have published a mea culpa, accusing their entire discipline of racism.

“We are the editors of a science journal, committed to publishing and disseminating exciting work across the biological sciences,” the editors write. “We are 13 scientists. Not one of us is Black. Underrepresentation of Black scientists goes beyond our team — to our authors, reviewers, and advisory board. And we are not alone.”

“It is easy to divert blame, to point out that the journal is a reflection of the scientific establishment, to quote statistics,” they declare. “But it is this epidemic of denial of the integral role that each and every member of our society plays in supporting the status quo by failing to actively fight it that has allowed overt and systemic racism to flourish, crippling the lives and livelihoods of Black Americans, including Black scientists.”

“Science has a racism problem,” they assert, apparently concluding that underrepresentation of a given ethnic group must necessarily equate to an unrecognized bias against that group. This glaringly unscientific conclusion would mean that, in the editors’ minds, any field with an ethnic representation that does not perfectly mirror the overall population must be unconsciously racist.

Rap music, for instance, which is dominated by people of color, would therefore be racist and anti-white. Many professional sports, where blacks are proportionally overrepresented, would also be racist.

In their self-condemning screed, the Cell editors point to the history of human genetics, “a field that has been used repeatedly as scientific rationale for the definition of human ‘races’ and to support inherent inequalities.”

“Proponents of eugenics use the alleles we carry as reason to declare racial superiority, as if expression of a lactase gene has bearing on one’s humanity. Race is not genetic,” they state.

This last statement is patently false, since all physical traits — such as skin color — are genetically determined. Whether one wishes to call such differences “racial” is merely a question of semantics, not of fact.

Much of the 1,000-word essay is a look back at historical abuse of blacks at the hands of white scientists. One would think that their examination of conscience would focus more on current practice—to see whether such abuse continues today — rather than seeking to awaken feelings of guilt for other people’s actions.

The editors also encourage their readers to “ask why Black women are five times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy, or why Black infants are twice as likely to die as white babies born in the US.” If they were truly curious and truly interested in black lives, the editors might ask why black babies are three times more likely than white babies to be intentionally killed in the womb through abortion.

Over and over, the editors repeat their mantra that “science has a racism problem.” One wonders how science as such can be racist. One would think that professional thinkers might realize that while scientists may be racists, science itself cannot.

Racism is based on beliefs and prejudices, which are the proper domain of human individuals.

The Cell editors ultimately commit to more affirmative action to prioritize a black presence in science, apparently unaware that hyperattention to race is the cause of racism, not its remedy. Calling attention to race, making it the key to personal identity, is itself profoundly racist.

Scientists have been suffering a crisis of public credibility, in large part because of their confusion, fatally flawed modeling, and self-contradiction during the global coronavirus pandemic.

If scientists would focus a little more on doing good science and a little less on virtue signaling, they would do themselves good and society as well.

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