A couple hundred academics are decrying the appointment of Dr Noah Carl at the University of Cambridge because he expresses views that hurt their feelings.
Full open letter: ‘No place for racist pseudoscience at Cambridge’
We write to express our dismay at the appointment of Noah Carl to the Toby Jackman Newton Trust Research Fellowship at St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge. A careful consideration of Carl’s published work and public stance on various issues, particularly on the claimed relationship between ‘race’, ‘criminality’ and ‘genetic intelligence’, leads us to conclude that his work is ethically suspect and methodologically flawed.
These publications, drawing on the discredited ‘race sciences’, seem nothing more than an expression of opinion on various social matters. As members of the academic community committed to defending the highest standards of ethical and methodological integrity in research and teaching, we are shocked that a body of work that includes vital errors in data analysis and interpretation appears to have been taken seriously for appointment to such a competitive research fellowship.
We are deeply concerned that racist pseudoscience is being legitimised through association with the University of Cambridge. This fellowship was awarded to Carl despite his attendance at, and public defence of, the discredited ‘London Conference on Intelligence’, where racist and pseudoscientific work has been regularly presented. Carl’s work has already been used by extremist and far-right media outlets with the aim of stoking xenophobic anti-immigrant rhetoric. In a context where the far-right is on the rise across the world, this kind of pseudoscientific racism runs the serious risk of being used to justify policies that directly harm vulnerable populations.
We are also concerned that the appointment process for this fellowship was not carried out with the degree of academic rigour, diligence and respect for principles of equality and diversity that we would expect from a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.
We call on St Edmund’s College, the University of Cambridge, and the Newton Trust to issue a public statement dissociating themselves from research that seeks to establish correlations between race, genes, intelligence and criminality in order to explain one by the other.
We also call on the University of Cambridge to immediately conduct an investigation into the appointment process that led to the award of this fellowship. Such an investigation, which should be independent of St Edmund’s college, must involve recognised experts across relevant disciplines, and include a thorough review of the appointee’s body of academic work.
The letter doesn’t make any mention of specific references to specifically discredit his work, just vague accusations of “racist pseudoscience”. Ironic given that science is the exact place where ideas should be presented and rigorously attacked to see if they stand up to the scrutiny or not. Instead, as always, they’d rather just mute people and speech they do not agree with.
Study into race and IQ is always going to be a touchy subject. It also happens to be one of the most important areas of scientific research we could possibly be looking into right now. Rather than vilify it, we should look honestly at the data, even if it’s not what we want to see. It could dramatically improve everything from the way we approach the educational system to coming up with better ways to place those of lower cognitive ability into roles and jobs that maximize their potential and allow them to still have self-worth and feel they are contributing members to society. It certainly bodes better than the current alternative we have of people on welfare spinning their wheels not getting anywhere.
This is the danger of SJWs infesting all institutions in our society. Getting to some deeper truth is never at the forefront for them. They’d rather can the whole topic altogether rather than potentially hurt someone’s feelings discussing uncomfortable topics.