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Victory for Team Science: New Group Hosting Anthropology Panel about Biological Sex

Victory for Team Science: New Group Hosting Anthropology Panel about Biological Sex

Thank you, Heterodox Academy, for pushing back on the ideological capture of the science of anthropology.

Team Science has finally scored a victory.

I recently reported on anthropologists who were slated to give a talk about the importance of biological sex at an anthropology conference. Their presentation was cancelled, and conference organizers asserted the reason for this action was the “harm” it could allegedly cause the trans and LGBTQI community . . . by presenting information on chromosome-based differences between men and women.

The organizations booting the panel, American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA), were roundly mocked in social media. Comments from actual scientists, especially in the profession, were brutal.

Now another organization has arranged for the cancelled anthropologists to present their reality-based science in another venue.

Heterodox Academy (HxA), a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to improving institutions of higher education by advocating for principles of open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement, will host a virtual version of a conference panel that was vetted and approved by two major anthropology societies in July, then canceled last week. The five scheduled panelists, all female professors in socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology, will use the virtual event to build a broader audience for their scholarly arguments. The controversy has drawn international media attention from outlets including The New York Times, Newsweek, and more.

Heterodox Academy’s live virtual event, featuring the panel talks as originally prepared, will be presented to our members, supporters, and the public on November 8, 2023 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm ET. The two-hour online event will feature introductory opening remarks by HxA President John Tomasi and the panelists’ presentations followed by a Q&A period with the audience. Four papers will be presented in English and one in French, with a translation provided to viewers.

The event will be open to the public for registration via Zoom webinar late next week, but seats are limited. The HxA mailing list will have first access to registration next week.

I am now on the email list and plan to join the session. After all, the study of the skeletons underneath the wrapping of ancient Egyptian mummies has always been an interest of mine, especially as I have given many talks about the process of mummification to interested middle school kids.

“Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby: Why biological sex remains a necessary analytic category in anthropology” looks like it is going to be a fascinating discussion. The panel has a blend of intriguing opinions that don’t tout the current narratives floating around academia. A review of the cancelled program by Inside Higher Ed provides significant insights into why it was likely nixed by the woke organizations.

The controversial panelists would’ve included Michèle Sirois, president of Pour les droits des femmes du Québec, whose organization has referred to gender-affirming surgeries as “mutilations” and taken other conservative positions, according to CBC/Radio-Canada.

Another would’ve been Silvia Carrasco, a social anthropology professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona who told Inside Higher Ed Tuesday that “trans children do not exist; they are being fabricated en masse by a very well-planned and financed initiative that has to do with transhumanism and the loss of women’s rights in democracy.”

Also appearing would have been Elizabeth Weiss, the departing San José State University professor who drew criticism for opposing reburying Native American bones and posing with a skull. Agustin Fuentes, a Princeton University anthropology professor, said platforming her could have offended Indigenous scholars.

The other two planned panelists were Kathleen Richardson, a professor of ethics and culture of robots and AI at the United Kingdom’s De Montfort University, whose work critiques “porn robots” and “porn dolls” from a feminist perspective; and Kathleen Lowrey, the associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta who organized the panel.

Lowrey has received criticism for her views on transgender people and issues in the past, including quotes on her office door saying things such as “I have ignored the pronouns that were in your profile, and which you were probably hoping were important. Forgive me they were ridiculous so needy and so mad.”

Though she seems to be complaining about giving the right fodder for attacks on woke academia, Alice Dreger, the author of Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and One Scholar’s Search for Justice, notes that AAA and CASCA were so worried about trans voices they silenced the one of women.

Moreover, this kind of attempt at silencing feeds the right’s portrayal of academics as hopelessly partisan and the right’s belief that political censorship is fair game.

This is all terribly ironic, too, because historically anthropology was one of the disciplines that taught us sex and gender are not the same thing. Human cultures have created so many different gender-masks for sex, what we learn by allowing free inquiry is just that: that gender (and therefore sex, too) can be a many-splendored thing.

More irony: the decision by Pérez and Heller silenced women who were making a group argument against the silencing of women. If the presidents want to fight against the core claim of gender-critical scholars – that defense of trans rights is accruing harm to women – can’t they see they’ve just proven the point?

Dreger needs to realize that the ideological capture of our scientific institutions is real and not some conservative fever dream. The next voice it may silence could be her own, unless more brave people challenge pseudoscience.

Thank you, Heterodox Academy, for pushing back on the ideological capture of the science of anthropology.


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Unforfunately for AAA and CASCA, they have shown themselves to be wholly taken over by the radicsl leftists. Kudos to Heterodox for stepping up to to the plate.

We need to be brutally honest with sexual deviants, so honest that they crawl back under their rocks and whimper. Zero tollerance.

TY Leslie…

One of the most interesting classes I took in college was about early human evolution. We discussed the pongid hominid split, and another topic that I recall was something about sexual dimorphism…It’s a thing.. and thank goodness.. Our species was able to develop by taking advantage of gender traits. Now it has all gone to hell.

Breaking News: The FBI has just added Heterodox Academy to the list of Domestic Terrorist groups for spreading misinformation and inciting violence against the trans community scientists.

retiredcantbefired | October 8, 2023 at 5:48 pm

Heterodox Academy has apparently underperformed, severely underperformed… in defending any heterodox opinion or scholarship.

Adopting this panel is at least one good thing.