The Science Wars– Lest We Forget– “Whatever our own failings, science should not be protected from public accountability. We cannot leave it accountable only to those funders (increasingly, private corporations) who pay the piper.”– Beyond the brilliant insights opening doors on the tension between the known, the perceived and the language web spun to communicate one another’s understanding of and discoveries within existence, this article points to one of the many cultural shifts which led to postmodern angst: the shift in scientific thought/theory from discovery and open discussion to utility and proprietary patenting. Even the academies are owned, while any original thought is open to powerful and nefarious litigation. (Thanks to Elkement blog for pointing me to this site)

wegway

sokal
Alan Sokal

The following was published in Wegway Primary Culture, issue 8, Spring 2005. I resisted the urge to edit my introduction.

Wegway8 cover

The Science Wars – Lest We Forget
by
André Questcequecest

with an introduction by Stephen Eric Armstrong

Alan Sokal, a Professor of Physics at New York University published an essay called, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity” in the Spring/Summer 1996 “Science Wars” issue of Social Text, a leading North American journal of Culture Studies. The editorial board of this journal includes respected thinkers such as Fredric Jameson and Andrew Ross.

Sokal’s verbose, metaphor-driven essay was a parody and, when word of this got out, it generated a lot of controversy. In 1998, Sokal, along with Jean Bricmont published Intellectual Impostures, a book dealing with some of the issues raised by the affair.

If the publication of “Transgressing the Boundaries”…

View original post 2,905 more words

Advertisements