I started this commentary back in 2018, and for whatever reason got sidetracked and didn’t finish it despite being almost done. Doing some spring cleaning on the site, I rediscovered the draft and have finished. It is still pretty much just as relevant since the same things continue to happen today.
Theodore Hill, (mostly) retired mathematician, penned an article in 2018 titled Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole. [archive here] The gist of the story is that he wrote a paper detailing a mathematical model about the greater variability males demonstrate among many traits compared to females. The most culturally important of those being intelligence. Of course, feminist “mathematicians” and other “scholars” came out of the woodwork like cockroaches and got approval of the paper rescinded from one journal, then later got the link to the paper from another journal removed after it had already been published. Leftist bias in academia is well known, so we shouldn’t be surprised. Leftists have no love of truth.
Of course, this is very closely related to my book, Smart and Sexy, which details this robustly demonstrated finding with respect to intelligence and further shows the most likely explanation to be X-linkage. That is, many brain genes are on the X, so you get different patterns of expression of those genes in men and women. I won’t detail it more here, buy the book, but suffice it to say there is a lot of strong evidence for the idea. Find reviews here.
Let’s take a look at what the feminists did to erase the existence of this paper, guilty of detailing a truth about the natural world:
[Co-author] Sergei [Tabachnikov] sent me a weary email. “The scandal at our department,” he wrote, “shows no signs of receding.” At a faculty meeting the week before, the Department Head had explained that sometimes values such as academic freedom and free speech come into conflict with other values to which Penn State was committed. A female colleague had then instructed Sergei that he needed to admit and fight bias, adding that the belief that “women have a lesser chance to succeed in mathematics at the very top end is bias.” Sergei said he had spent “endless hours” talking to people who explained that the paper was “bad and harmful” and tried to convince him to “withdraw my name to restore peace at the department and to avoid losing whatever political capital I may still have.” Ominously, “analogies with scientific racism were made by some; I am afraid, we are likely to hear more of it in the future.”
the National Science Foundation wrote to Sergei requesting that acknowledgment of NSF funding be removed from our paper with immediate effect. I was astonished. I had never before heard of the NSF requesting removal of acknowledgement of funding for any reason. On the contrary, they are usually delighted to have public recognition of their support for science.
They gave some lame excuse for the request, but here is the real reason:
A Freedom of Information request subsequently revealed that Penn State WIM [Women in Mathematics] administrator Diane Henderson (“Professor and Chair of the Climate and Diversity Committee”) and Nate Brown (“Professor and Associate Head for Diversity and Equity”) had secretly co-signed a letter to the NSF that same morning. “Our concern,” they explained, “is that [this] paper appears to promote pseudoscientific ideas that are detrimental to the advancement of women in science, and at odds with the values of the NSF.”
Let’s call anything I don’t like “pseudoscience.”
The lovely ladies weren’t done yet, however:
[The] same day, the Mathematical Intelligencer’s editor-in-chief Marjorie Senechal notified us that, with “deep regret,” she was rescinding her previous acceptance of our paper. “Several colleagues,” she wrote, had warned her that publication would provoke “extremely strong reactions” and there existed a “very real possibility that the right-wing media may pick this up and hype it internationally.” For the second time in a single day I was left flabbergasted. Working mathematicians are usually thrilled if even five people in the world read our latest article. Now some progressive faction was worried that a fairly straightforward logical argument about male variability might encourage the conservative press to actually read and cite a science paper?
In my 40 years of publishing research papers I had never heard of the rejection of an already-accepted paper.
Thought-commissars are getting sloppy I guess. Not sure if I qualify as “right-wing media,” but it is definitely worth pointing out leftists suppressing anything and everything they don’t like.
Why was the accepted paper transitioned to rejected?
[Senechal] had received no criticisms on scientific grounds and that her decision to rescind was entirely about the reaction she feared our paper would elicit. By way of further explanation, Senechal even compared our paper to the Confederate statues that had recently been removed from the courthouse lawn in Lexington, Kentucky. In the interests of setting our arguments in a more responsible context, she proposed instead that Sergei and I participate in a ‘Round Table’ discussion of our hypothesis argument, the proceedings of which the Intelligencer would publish in lieu of our paper. Her decision, we learned, enjoyed the approval of Springer, one of the world’s leading publishers of scientific books and journals. An editorial director of Springer Mathematics later apologized to me twice, in person, but did nothing to reverse the decision or to support us at the time.
Set up a committee to determine the “truth.” Everyone’s opinion is equally valuable, right? Sounds promising….
Amie Wilkinson, a senior professor of mathematics at the University of Chicago, had become aware of our paper and written to the journal to complain. A back-and-forth had ensued. Wilkinson then enlisted the support of her father—a psychometrician and statistician—who wrote to the Intelligencer at his daughter’s request to express his own misgivings, including his belief that “[t]his article oversimplifies the issues to the point of embarrassment.” Invited by Professor Senechal to participate in the proposed Round Table discussion, he declined, admitting to Senechal that “others are more expert on this than he is.” We discovered all this after he gave Senechal permission to forward his letter, inadvertently revealing Wilkinson’s involvement in the process (an indiscretion his daughter would later—incorrectly—blame on the Intelligencer).
You have got to love those affirmative action hires. This Wilkinson launched a nice hate campaign against the journal. She sounds like a pretty nasty excuse for a human being:
Long after the Intelligencer rescinded acceptance of the paper, Wilkinson continued to trash both the journal and its editor-in-chief on social media, inciting her Facebook friends with the erroneous allegation that an entirely different (and more contentious) article had been accepted.
Facebook drama, women love it. Even “esteemed” fake mathematicians.
Hill’s co-authors got spooked by the SJW witch-hunt and pulled away from the paper. You can just smell the academic freedom. So free it hurts.
Faced with career-threatening reprisals from their own departmental colleagues and the diversity committee at Penn State, as well as displeasure from the NSF, Sergei and his colleague who had done computer simulations for us withdrew their names from the research. Fortunately for me, I am now retired and rather less easily intimidated—one of the benefits of being a Vietnam combat veteran and former U.S. Army Ranger, I guess. So, I continued to revise the paper, and finally posted it on the online mathematics archives.
Diversity committee. How delightfully Orwellian. Don’t crime-think in college kids, its not good for your career. Sarcasm aside, Hill sounds like a pretty stand up guy. No wonder feminists hate him.
Later, Hill got contacted by editors at The New York Journal of Mathematics after they heard of the brouhaha and arranged to get the paper published there. That didn’t last long though. A certain busybody found out and sabotaged that as well:
Three days later, however, the paper had vanished. And a few days after that, a completely different paper by different authors appeared at exactly the same page of the same volume (NYJM Volume 23, p 1641+) where mine had once been. As it turned out, Amie Wilkinson is married to Benson Farb, a member of the NYJM editorial board. Upon discovering that the journal had published my paper, Professor Farb had written a furious email to Steinberger demanding that it be deleted at once. “Rivin,” [an editor interested in publishing the article at NYJM] he complained, “is well-known as a person with extremist views who likes to pick fights with people via inflammatory statements.”
I doubt that. Although if he had, I wouldn’t blame him. He is dealing with real scum-of-the-earth types here. They don’t really deserve polite treatment. It continues:
Farb’s “father-in law…a famous statistician,” he went on, had “already poked many holes in the ridiculous paper.” My paper was “politically charged” and “pseudoscience” and “a piece of crap” and, by encouraging the NYJM to accept it, Rivin had “violat[ed] a scientific duty for purely political ends.”
Is he a troll or a devoted reactionary with an agenda? Make up your mind.
if the deletion were permanent, it would leave me in an impossible position. I would not be able to republish anywhere else because I would be unable to sign a copyright form declaring that it had not already been published elsewhere. Steinberger replied later that day. Half his board, he explained unhappily, had told him that unless he pulled the article, they would all resign and “harass the journal” he had founded 25 years earlier “until it died.” Faced with the loss of his own scientific legacy, he had capitulated. “A publication in a dead journal,” he offered, “wouldn’t help you.”
What mature adults we have peer-reviewing all our scientific papers. Really boosts your faith in the whole scientific endeavor. Trust the science though, right? Especially with respect to untested vaccines.
Colleagues I spoke to were appalled. None of them had ever heard of a paper in any field being disappeared after formal publication. Rejected prior to publication? Of course. Retracted? Yes, but only after an investigation, the results of which would then be made public by way of explanation. But simply disappeared? Never. If a formally refereed and published paper can later be erased from the scientific record and replaced by a completely different article, without any discussion with the author or any announcement in the journal.
Very unprofessional. This woman really has a screw loose.
Meanwhile, Professor Wilkinson had now widened her existing social media campaign against the Intelligencer to include attacks on the NYJM and its editorial staff. As recently as April of this year, she was threatening Facebook friends with ‘unfriending’ unless they severed social media ties with Rivin.
There is a part of my book where I discuss the extreme male brain theory of autism. Basically testosterone during fetal development changes the brain, and focuses men on systemizing. Understanding mechanisms and systems. Without it, there is a focus on verbal development and language processing. The originator of the idea refers to it as “empathizing” reasoning in contrast to systemizing. Though as this article proves (as well as personal experience) you could also call it Machiavellian reasoning. Social manipulation and navigation is undeniably more developed, typically, in women than in men. The underhanded shit these cranky feminists went to to sabotage this paper supports the idea.
As part of the extreme male brain theory of autism, Simon Baron-Cohen proposes that there exist two dimensions by which humans can interpret the way the world works. The first dimension, empathizing reasoning, involves interpreting the goals of conscious agents and general theory of mind. Empathizing reasoning allows efficient inference of mental and emotional states in others and promotes the drive to respond with appropriate emotion and physical actions to those states. It must be noted that actual “empathy” does not necessarily have to play a large role in this sort of reasoning. It could just as easily and perhaps more accurately have been called “Machiavellian” reasoning. The major thrust of this form of reasoning is understanding the emotional states of others and responding to those states well; whether this knowledge is used to sympathize with others or pursue raw self interest is secondary.
It sounds to me that female acuity at this form of reasoning was the downfall of Hill’s paper, and likely Western civilization if something isn’t done about it quickly.
He goes on to explain an email exchange with the President of the University of Chicago, the boss of Wilkinson and a mathematician in which he tried to get some redress. In short, he got terse official letter responses from basically a secretary and politely got told they don’t care what she did, go deal with it. This being ironic since he was recently praised as being the “free speech” university and university president. He got just above a form letter from the sounds of it.
Over the years there has undoubtedly been significant bias and discrimination against women in mathematics and technical fields. Unfortunately, some of that still persists, even though many of us have tried hard to help turn the tide. My own efforts have included tutoring and mentoring female undergraduates, graduating female PhD students, and supporting hiring directives from deans and departmental chairs to seek out and give special consideration to female candidates. I have been invited to serve on two National Science Foundation gender and race diversity panels in Washington.
Here is a mistake. No matter what you have done and what you profess your beliefs to be, you aren’t going to be exempted from the struggle session. “I’m not the real sexist” is not an effective argument. It might be true, but it is going to help you.
Which is to say that I understand the importance of the causes that equal opportunity activists and progressive academics are ostensibly championing. But pursuit of greater fairness and equality cannot be allowed to interfere with dispassionate academic study. No matter how unwelcome the implications of a logical argument may be, it must be allowed to stand or fall on its merits not its desirability or political utility
It might have just been an attempt to try to sympathize with his opponents and gain some in return. Hard to say how sincere he is about it given what he was trying to publish. Either way, though, citing your past progressive credentials will never help you so it isn’t even worth bothering with. Especially when you are this close to getting it.
Educators must practice what we preach and lead by example. In this way, we can help to foster intellectual curiosity and the discovery of fresh reasoning so compelling that it causes even the most skeptical to change their minds. But this necessarily requires us to reject censorship and open ourselves to the civil discussion of sensitive topics such as gender differences, and the variability hypothesis in particular.
Nice in principle, but leftists don’t play by Queensberry’s rules. They don’t operate in good faith. These people aren’t mathematicians, scientists, educators or anything else remotely close to whatever their titles say on paper. They are entryists whose main priority is destroying anything which doesn’t fit their political aims. Playing by the “fair” rules is a recipe for consistent and continual losing. And no one likes being on the losing team. The only solution is to completely eject them from the community without mercy.
This sort of thing is happening in “science” all the time. At least on anything that the eye of Sauron has set its gaze towards. This is the rule, not the exception. Gnon ensures the truth always wins in the long term, and usually with a heavy toll, but in the short term lies will spread across the world while truth is still tying its shoes.Find other great dissident right content with the two Atavisionary RSS feeds: Atavisions and Prolific Atavisions. In addition, download the free ebook Smart and Sexy to learn what, how and why there are biologically based cognitive differences between the sexes