Published in Physical Review Physical Education Research, affiliated with the American Physical Society, the authors “synthesize literature from Critical Whiteness Studies and Critical Race Theory to articulate analytic markers for whiteness, and use the markers to identify and analyze whiteness as it shows up in an introductory physics classroom interaction.”
History is replete with many dreadful scientific theories that have been supported by “research”. Phrenology, the existence of canals on Mars, the Earth-centered universe, and gold-from-lead are just some of the numerous examples of mankind trying to convince itself that fiction is fact.
There has been a recent entry to this collection of infamous scientific speculations: “Observing whiteness in introductory physics: A case study”, which has just been published in Physical Review Physical Education Research (PRPER). The publication is affiliated with the American Physical Society and is “a fully open access journal that is sponsored jointly by American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, the APS Forum on Education, and the APS Group on Physics Education Research.”
The first clue that this supposedly scholarly paper is a hot mess of distorted fact and opinion-presented-as evidence comes as the authors identify their genders in the heading section. Dr. Amy D. Robertson (Research Assistant Professor of Physics, Seattle Pacific University) is the first author.
More interestingly is the second author, W. Tali Hairston (who is a PhD candidate in Education, based on his LinkedIn profile). His biography indicates he is the Director of Advocacy, Organizing, & Development at Seattle Presbytery, pursues equity-inclusive learning, and is the owner of Equitable Development LLC.
Therefore, the conclusion of the piece that more equity must be inserted into science education, the last area of educational instruction to be conquered by wokeness, must be questioned immediately. Clearly, it is in Hairston’s fiscal interest to offer consulting services to academia in the name of “equity”.
To provide additional insight into Hairston, here is a clip of him discussing “Racial Justice, Equity & Privilege as we follow Jesus”.
The paper’s introduction descends down into the next layer of academic hell. The authors “synthesize literature from Critical Whiteness Studies and Critical Race Theory to articulate analytic markers for whiteness, and use the markers to identify and analyze whiteness as it shows up in an introductory physics classroom interaction.”
In a nutshell, these two strive to prove that numbers, calculations, whiteboards, and debate are all markers for whiteness. How?
The “researchers” use a six-minute video clip of 3 students (two young women and one young man, all of whom are scientifically aware enough to know their real gender. They are collaboratively working through a Energy interaction diagram.
The data analysis section of this work is nothing more than a clip-by-clip review of the six minutes, and assigning motivation to each of the students based on the tenets of Critical Race Theory.
Here's what the paper actually does.
It describes a video.
Any time the group has a 'center' that the 3 students focus on, they claim this is 'whiteness' & 'white supremacy.'
So, because the students pay attention to a whiteboard diagram as a 'center,' this is 'whiteness.' 6/ pic.twitter.com/RRTKEAJZVi
— David Decosimo (@DavidDecosimo) March 15, 2022
Any actual science in this paper is purely coincidental.
Yet, one section does deserve special mention. The smear whiteboards as tools of “white culture” has to be the most hilarious take on any subject I have ever read in what is allegedly a science-based publication.
In particular, whiteboards display written information for public consumption; they draw attention to themselves and in this case support the centering of an abstract representation and the person standing next to it, presenting. They collaborate with white organizational culture, where ideas and experiences gain value (become more central) when written down.
How did this travesty get by scientifically trained reviewers? It turns out that PRPER authors pay an article publication charge. Robertson and Hairston likely paid $2100 to share this chestnut with the world.
Of course, if your business is “equity”, then the article can be used as proof the equity services are needed. So, the $2100 must be viewed more as an investment…especially if you are going to try and gain more of a foothold into sciences that have been previously driven by numbers, hard data, and reason.
My son is currently a physics major. He chose that subject because he has a mind like Spock, paired with curiosity, enormous mathematical skills, a passion for research, and a willingness to study for hours. He and other “white” scholars deserve better than having their achievements smeared as a result of race-based privilege.
The social media mocking of “Observing whiteness in introductory physics” is more lucid, credible, and fact-based than anything written by Robertson and Hariston.
Physics education could be improved for EVERYONE, not by getting rid of whiteboards, but by getting rid of this kind of ridiculous Physics Education Research. Sad to learn of this waste of valuable resources. pic.twitter.com/l5dsWx1nQG
— Lawrence M. Krauss (@LKrauss1) March 12, 2022
Apparently the fact that 73% of young people are white and 72% of undergrad degrees go to white people is evidence that white supremacy is shaping degree granting. The American Physical Society is now publishing complete nonsense. https://t.co/moNnBDT39c
— Dorian Schuyler Abbot (@DorianAbbot) March 12, 2022
Get this lunacy out of the labs. This isn’t funny. It’s not cute. The grownups need to exclude such buffoonery in matters of national health & security.
This is simple straight up racism. It has no place in science. https://t.co/Wqz4031V4b
— Eric Weinstein (@EricRWeinstein) March 16, 2022
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