“They Might As Well Put Bones Through Their Noses”— the Corruption of Scientific American, by John Derbyshire

A once great periodical has deteriorated into just another peddler of politically correct garbage. From John Derbyshire at unz.com:

Earlier: It’s Official: Even Hard Science Entering New Dark Age

[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com]

Recently I had things to say about wokeness at the fine old magazine Scientific American. Their September issue had run a long article, headlined Reckoning With Our Mistakes, in which the editors groveled, rent their garments, heaped ashes on their heads, and flagellated themselves with guilt over shamefully un-Woke things the magazine had published back in the 19th century.

All that was bad enough—distressing enough, I should say, for an old science geek like myself who, in his youth, looked to Scientific American for instruction and amusement on science and math topics, delivered in a spirit of objective enquiry.

Now here came the October issue. For the first time ever in the magazine’s 175-year history the editors [Editor in Chief Laura Helmuth Tweet her] have endorsed a Presidential candidate. [Scientific American Endorses Joe Biden | We’ve never backed a presidential candidate in our 175-year history—until now, October, 2020]

Can you guess which one? Of course you can! Quote:

The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science.

There follow several hundred words about how ineptly the Administration has coped with the COVID-19 pandemic, with some supplementary remarks on healthcare in general and environmental issues. Then this concluding paragraph:

Although Trump and his allies have tried to create obstacles that prevent people from casting ballots safely in November, either by mail or in person, it is crucial that we surmount them and vote. It’s time to move Trump out and elect Biden, who has a record of following the data and being guided by science.

What exactly are those obstacles to voting that Trump has tried to create? The online version of this Scientific American editorial has a link to a Chicago Tribune story headlined Cook County GOP Sues to Block State’s Enhanced Vote-by-Mail Efforts ,by Rick Pearson, August 10, 2020. Back in June, you see, the Governor of Illinois signed a law to expand mail-in voting. Of course, this meant expanding opportunities to corrupt November’s election [Confessions of a voter fraud: I was a master at fixing mail-in ballots, by Jon Levine, NY Post, August 29, 2020]. A conservative legal group, the Liberty Justice Center, has tried to block the law.

The Scientific American editorial is, in short, just cut’n’pasted from Biden campaign talking points.

For more on the ongoing corruption of American science by ideology, see Heather Mac Donald’s article Conformity To A Lie in the summer issue of City Journal.

Heather quotes the revolting statements of self-abasement issuing from college presidents and faculty heads about how they must strive harder to purge their institutions of “systemic racism” and “white privilege.”

Some science-relevant extracts from Heather’s article:

  • The dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, Albert (“Al”) P. Pisano [Email him] pronounced himself “absolutely dedicated” to turning the engineering school into an “anti-racist organization.” Doing so “crucially includes unconscious bias work we must do within ourselves,” he added. How that work will interact with research on nanoparticles and viral transmission, say, was unspecified.
  • The chairman of the earth and planetary sciences department at the University of California at Davis, announced an “anti-racist reading group” for faculty and students. The group’s purpose was to confront the “structural racism that pervades” the field of geology. Such structural racism in the study of igneous rocks is apparently so obvious that the chair did not bother to elaborate further.
  • The American Astronomical Society held color-coded Zoom meetings, one for white astronomers to “discuss direct actions to support Black astronomers,” one for black astronomers to “talk, vent, connect, and hold space for each other,” and one for “non-Black people of color to discuss direct actions to support Black astronomers.” See AAS Endorses #ShutDownSTEM, #ShutDownAcademia & #Strike4BlackLives, AAS website, June 9,

This kind of thing is what has led VDARE.com’s Lance Welton to say, repeatedly, that science is entering a new Dark Age:

To my mind, nothing is worse than this corruption of science.

Objective, reasoned scientific inquiry is the crowning glory of Western civilization.

These solemn declarations of guilt and repentance are a regression to what came before: superstition and witch-doctoring.

These so-called academics might as well put bones through their noses.

FOOTNOTE: But let’s raise a glass to Betsy DeVos over at the Department of Education.

In that piece by Heather Mac Donald that I mentioned, one of the college presidents confessing his institution’s sinful racism is Christopher Eisgruber, President of Princeton University. President Eisgruber [Email him] has, Heather tells us,

ordered the school’s top faculty and administrators to submit plans on how they will “combat systemic racism within and beyond the University.” Every aspect of Princeton will be reexamined with a “bias toward action,” Eisgruber said.

So Princeton University is, according to its president, addled with “systemic racism.”

That caught the eye of Betsy DeVos, or one of her underlings.

The Department of Education has sent a letter to Eisgruber reminding him that Princeton has received more than $75 million in federal aid during his seven years as president on the understanding, repeatedly confirmed by Princeton, that Princeton complies with the 1964 Civil Rights Act by being scrupulously non-discriminatory. [Princeton’s “systemic racism” captures the government’s attention, By Paul Mirengoff, PowerLineBlog, September 17, 2020]

How, the Department wants to know, can that square with those confessions of “systemic racism within … the University”?

They have opened an investigation.

Yesssss! The weasel is caught in its own trap!

Here’s a toast to Secretary DeVos! And please, let’s see more of this.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

7 responses to ““They Might As Well Put Bones Through Their Noses”— the Corruption of Scientific American, by John Derbyshire

  1. About time the issue of political propaganda inserted irrelevantly into publications high lighted. The Scientific American example seems particularly blatant, but I have been annoyed by similar material in New Scientist, How it Works, health magazines, gardening magazines, and current affair magazines aimed at teens. It seems that you can’t get away from it. PC political viewpoints expressed everywhere and in every issue and completely irrelevant to the subject. Is every publication under the boot of the establishment? Much as I am interested in politics and social issues I want to choose where I read it and not have narrow minded bigoted dogma shoved at me in every venue.


    • I canceled my subscription to National Geographic for that reason.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I cancelled also but not primarily for that reason. I liked to pass my copies on to my sister’s grand- children but too many articles of an unsuitable nature, articles with nothing to do with geography, would have upset them. I am no wimp but they would have upset adults too. The National Geographic used to be a wonderful magazine.


  2. “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”
    —Sir Edward Grey

    I opened one of the very few magazines that I have enjoyed for years and years, The October issue of the very well established “Sky and Telescope”.
    I was confronted with an editorial by the editors and staff of “Sky and Telescope” who proceeded to not only self flagellate for their own Sins and systemic Racism, but they volunteered that flagellation for my own obvious White Supremacy and guilt for the sin of not being Woke enough.

    Since I am clearly guilty according to the staff of Sky and Telescope magazine, I knew that I must of course cancel my subscription since they would have been soiled by accepting my racist monies.

    I just wish I knew of some way to help the pure and enlightened “Sky and Telescope” so that they would no longer suffer the burden of having any more racist monies soil their hands or bank accounts.

    I am but a single man, and will do all in my power to right the wrong of past injustices, and do all in my power to make sure the true believers are never again tainted by resources that were ever touched by those who have not been enlightened.

    MSG Grumpy


  3. The Staff at “Sky and Telescope” Did NOT lower themselves to support or rebuke a political candidate though…

    No, they are far too enlightened to delve into the base political debate of the peasants.

    No, they took the high road and simply and eloquently pronounced their support, defense, and admiration of:

    Burn, Loot, and Murder

    MSG Grumpy


    • Gee, what kind of unenlightened souls object to their cannibalization by the intellectual and moral betters who insist that it’s their duty to be eaten?


  4. This kind of nonsense is everywhere. I love historical fiction, but am sick of writers that compare the Third Reich to the Trump administration. Apparently they are so consumed with hatred they can’t tell the difference between a flawed human and an evil monster. I can’t help but wonder what country Trump has invaded, or what race he has attempted to eradicate.


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