Thursday, August 26, 2021

Woke Astronomy

 8/23/21 Minding the Campus:

A cosmic storm is roiling the Astrophysics community. Focused on the name of a NASA space telescope, the controversy is one more in a decade-long whirlwind of accusation that has made clear to straight white men that their days of pursuing science free of guilt and obeisance are decisively over.

As an academic field, Astrophysics became ‘woke’ years ago and is now one of the most rigidly doctrinaire of the hard sciences. It has seen numerous purity campaigns against non-believers, first against insufficiently feminist-compliant men. A blog called Women in Astronomy promotes indignant tales of female suffering, profiling young women shattered when men expressed sexual or romantic interest, or deeply hurt when researcher Matt Taylor, whose team put a space probe on a comet, appeared on television wearing an ‘inappropriate’ shirt.

It gets worse from there, reminding me of the physicist Pauli:

Quite recently, a friend showed him the paper of a young physicist which he suspected was not of great value but on which he wanted Pauli’s views. Pauli remarked sadly ‘It is not even wrong.’ 

If that does not make sense to you: you can prove something right, or you can prove something wrong, but there needs to be some claim that is even provable. 


  1. I was a Sky & Telescope subscriber for 35+ years. They went woke after the 2016 election, so I dropped them. I told them why, I was vilified for it.

  2. Another magazine that is woke is Scientific American. Sad...