Big Science is leftism’s pet, and the sexual revolutionaries keep it on a choke chain.
Look at the fawning title of an editorial on New Scientist: “Science is catching up with society on transgender issues.”
This is not speaking truth to power. It is the Stockholm Syndrome.
Like the Senator running to the front of the crowd to tell them he is their leader, New Scientist has sensed which way the winds of leftism are blowing and has hoisted its sails. “Society has made great leaps in its acceptance of transgender people,” the subtitle reads. “Science has a big part to play in keeping the momentum going.”
Is that science’s job?
The truth is, Big Science (the institutions and their media outlets) have become willing co-conspirators with the Sexual Revolution, part of the Left’s greater revolutionary goals. If you doubt it, look what happened to two researchers who dared question the wisdom of letting children pick their own gender. On his daily podcast The Briefing for Oct. 11, Albert Mohler described the “public shaming” and “thought coercion” that took place when two researchers from Johns Hopkins, Lawrence Mayer and Paul McHugh, rather timidly offered evidence in The New Atlantis that didn’t promote the current orthodoxy regarding transgender rights. It pointed out that most young children grow out of transgender feelings, and warned of psychological harm to children pressured into sex change operations.
That didn’t sit well with the LGBT activists. Next came “a round of criticism that was meant to shut down the conversation,” Mohler says. In a sense, the moral revolutionaries yanked the choke chain via the Human Rights Campaign, a leading LGBT advocacy group, pressuring Johns Hopkins to disavow Mayer and McHugh for their “report” (scare quotes theirs) or else face a very public lowering of the hospital’s score on their “Health Care Equality Index.” (This index is, essentially, a measure of how closely a hospital toes the line on so-called transgender rights.) In a manner reminiscent of Marxist tactics in the former Soviet Union, the two professors were to be exposed, shamed and brought into conformance with the party line. Mayer writes in the Preface that he sensed this was coming:
In the course of writing this report, I consulted a number of individuals who asked that I not thank them by name. Some feared an angry response from the more militant elements of the LGBT community; others feared an angry response from the more strident elements of religiously conservative communities. Most bothersome, however, is that some feared reprisals from their own universities for engaging such controversial topics, regardless of the report’s content — a sad statement about academic freedom.
Mohler says that New Atlantis issued a lengthy report in response to the criticism. It is not clear if that report is Mayer’s Preface or the editor’s video clip embedded in the Preface. Both go out of their way to say the science is not settled, and that nothing was intended to disrespect those in the LGBT community. After justifying his scientific credentials, Mayer himself goes on to say, “I dedicate my work on this report, first, to the LGBT community, which bears a disproportionate rate of mental health problems compared to the population as a whole. We must find ways to relieve their suffering.”
Update 10/13/16: On FRC’s Washington Watch for 10/13/16, Adam Keiper from The New Atlantis described the Human Rights Campaign’s blatant attempt at squelching academic freedom. They not only tried to intimidate Johns Hopkins, they got their facts wrong about the report.
Big Science occasionally will “worry” about ethics in some of the radical trends; Nature recently wrote, “‘Three-parent baby’ claim raises hopes — and ethical concerns.” The worries are usually short-lived as culture drags science along, like a puppy dog on a leash, into the Brave New World.
Wesley J. Smith, a bioethicist, often writes on Evolution News & Views about the linkage between science and the cultural Left, showing how scientific institutions routinely trot along with the Left’s radical goals like trained puppies on a leash. One can only imagine the consequences if any scientific journal or university published views of conservatives.
This is what has happened to science, that once-noble hope of following the evidence where it leads. Many individual scientists do great work. They don’t necessarily feel good about what is happening. Their institutions, however—aided by the media—have become obsequious, compliant lapdogs of the Left, useful idiots doing their bidding.