WSJ: Progressive Academics Reject Science


An op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday argues that it’s progressive academics, not conservatives, who reject science.

An op-ed published on Monday from Heather Heying, the wife of embattled Professor Bret Weinstein and former faculty member at Evergreen State College, argues that the academic left rejects basic principles of science.

“The left has long pointed to deniers of climate change and evolution to demonstrate that over here, science is a core value,” Heying writes. “But increasingly, that’s patently not true.”

Heying details her experience as a faculty member at Evergreen State College. This year, she and her husband Bret found themselves at the center of a national media story after a swarm of student protesters derailed one of Bret’s morning class sessions over his criticism a controversial activism event. The backlash came in spite of the fact that both Heying and Weinstein consider themselves to be progressives. In fact, Weinstein told Tucker Carlson during an interview that he considers himself to be a “deeply progressive” person.

She condemns diversity efforts on campus, arguing that, despite their well-meaning intentions, only serve to silence those who disagree with the progressive orthodoxy:

Despite the benevolent-sounding label, the equity movement is a highly virulent social pathogen, an autoimmune disease of the academy. Diversity offices, the very places that were supposed to address bigotry and harassment, have been weaponized and repurposed to catch and cull all who disagree. And the attack on STEM is no accident. Once scientists are silenced, narratives can be fully unhooked from any expectation that they be put to the test of evidence. Last month, Evergreen made it clear that they wanted two of its scientists gone—my husband, Bret Weinstein, and me, despite our stellar reputations with the students they claimed to be protecting. First, they came for the biologists . . .

Heying placed the majority of the science denial on a particular and increasingly popular brand of leftism called “postmodernism.” She argues that adherents to the postmodern ethos reject the standards of evidence introduced by science and instead rely on the personal experience of those considered to be oppressed:

Postmodernism, and specifically its offspring, critical race theory, have abandoned rigor and replaced it with “lived experience” as the primary source of knowledge. Little credence is given to the idea of objective reality. Science has long understood that observation can never be perfectly objective, but it also provides the ultimate tool kit with which to distinguish signal from noise—and from bias. Scientists generate complete lists of alternative hypotheses, with testable predictions, and we try to falsify our own cherished ideas.


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