Massimo Pigliucci started a new blog Scientia Salon, which is already bearing fruits. I enjoyed this essay by Alan Sokal (yes, that Sokal) about academic postmodernists and extreme social constructivists. In the 80s and 90s there were many such academics claiming that science was entirely based on prejudices. Interestingly, Sokal claims that they have now backed off from the most extreme views, particularly because they were upset at the way the Bush regime used postmodernism to justify its anti-science policies.
Sokal’s primary citation for this is “Why has critique run out of steam? From matters of fact to matters of concern” by sociologist of science Bruno Latour in 2004. I thought it was worth a read. [Read more…]