Wednesday, October 03, 2018

A senior scientist has given what has been described as a "highly offensive" presentation about the role of women in physics, the BBC has learned

The Left cannot face the fact that it is they who systematically discriminate, which is what Prof. Strumia was pointing out

Notable string theorist LuboŇ° Motl posts that "Science could maximize the usage of the talent pool by giving bright minds like Alessandro Strumia the freedom and tools to do research - and firing feminists and similar parasites whose net contribution to science is clearly negative".

Political correctness has never made a big impression in Italy.  Their longest serving Prime Minister, the popular Silvio Berlusconi was notoriously incorrect.  He even congratulated Obama on his suntan! Italians thought that was a great joke. Prof Alessandro Strumia is Italian

At a workshop organised by Cern, Prof Alessandro Strumia of Pisa University said that "physics was invented and built by men, it's not by invitation".

He said male scientists were being discriminated against because of ideology rather than merit.

He was speaking at a workshop in Geneva on gender and high energy physics.

Prof Strumia has since defended his comments, saying he was only presenting the facts.

Cern, the European nuclear research centre, described Prof Strumia's presentation as "highly offensive".

The centre, which discovered the Higgs Boson in 2012, has removed slides used in the talk from its website "in line with a code of conduct that does not tolerate personal attacks and insults".

Prof Strumia, who regularly works at Cern, presented the results of a study of published research papers from an online library.

He told his audience of young, predominantly female physicists that his results "proved" that "physics is not sexist against women. However the truth does not matter, because it is part of a political battle coming from outside".

He produced a series of graphs which, he claimed, showed that women were hired over men whose research was cited more by other scientists in their publications, which is an indication of higher quality.

He also presented data that he claimed showed that male and female researchers were equally cited at the start of their careers but men scored progressively better as their careers progressed.

Prof Strumia pointed to behavioural research which he suggested may account for the disparity.

One study, he told his audience, indicated that "men prefer working with things and women prefer working with people" and another, he claimed, suggested that there was a "difference even in children before any social influence".

Prof Strumia said that these conclusions "maybe not be fully right... (but) the opposite assumption of identical brains is ideology".

As evidence of discrimination against male researchers, Prof Strumia claimed that "Oxford University extends exam times for women's benefit" and "Italy offers free or cheaper university for female (research) students". He also said that he himself was overlooked for a job that he was more qualified for, which was given to a woman.

Dr Jessica Wade, a physicist at Imperial College London who was at the meeting, told BBC News that Prof Strumia's analysis was simplistic, drawing on ideas that had "long been discredited".

"It was really upsetting to those at the workshop," she said.

"There were young women and men exchanging ideas and their experiences on how to encourage more women into the subject and to combat discrimination in their careers. Then this man gets up, saying all this horrible stuff."

She added: "I don't understand how such a forward thinking organisation like Cern, which does so much to promote diversity in research, could have invited him to speak to young people just starting off in their research careers when his ideas are so well known."

In a statement, Cern - which currently has its first ever woman director-general - said that the organisers were not aware of the content of the talk prior to the workshop.

"Cern is a culturally diverse organisation bringing together people from dozens of nationalities. It is a place where everyone is welcome, and all have the same opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation," it said.

A Cern spokesman confirmed that there was a video recording of the presentation. Senior managers would decide whether to release part or all of it, it said.

When the BBC contacted Prof Strumia he said: "People say that physics is sexist, physics is racist. I made some simple checks and discovered that it wasn't, that it was becoming sexist against men and said so."

Last month, Prof Jocelyn Bell Burnell told the BBC she believed that unconscious bias against women prevented them from getting jobs in physics research.

In 2015, Nobel laureate Prof Tim Hunt resigned from his position at University College London after telling an audience of young female scientists at a conference in South Korea that the "trouble with girls" in labs was that "when you criticise them they cry".


Defending Kavanaugh Isn’t an Attack on Women

David Harsanyi   

As you may know, Brett Kavanaugh has already been found guilty of crimes against leftism, so now we’re just working our way backward from the ideological indictment to the personal one.

Nothing but a confession of wrongdoing and a surrender will stop Democrats from accusing Kavanaugh of being a sexual predator, despite, to this point, a dearth of evidence, a lack of corroborating witnesses, and increasingly flimsy charges.

Any efforts by Republicans, whether politically motivated or genuine (or both), to treat Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation seriously have only inspired Democrats and their allies to ratchet up the McCarthyism.

Kavanaugh, after all, is the perfect straw man to pay for the sins of all men, past and present. In this paranoid environment, erected on the bad faith of identity politics, any questions regarding credibility, motivation, substantiation, or due process can conveniently be dismissed as an attack on women.

If men, for example, question Ford, it’s a re-victimization, not only of the accuser but of every woman who’s ever been sexually assaulted. If a woman asks those questions—well, that would also be an insult to both the accuser and every woman who has ever been sexually assaulted.

For at least a week, Democrats have groused about a bunch of elderly white Republican men leading an “interrogation” of Ford. You remember the media lecturing us about the destructive “optics.” Ford’s lawyers, in their drawn-out, demand-filled negotiations, questioned whether their client could ever get an impartial hearing.

“When 11 men interrogate … ” begins a Politico headline over an article detailing liberal talking points on the perils of questioning a female witness. “The specter of Anita Hill looms over next week’s hearing on Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegation,” the story says.

(Incidentally, just as the unsubstantiated accusations against Clarence Thomas are now treated as inarguable truths by the press, Ford’s unsubstantiated accusations will be handled exactly the same, no matter what is said during these hearings.)

So the GOP hired an accomplished female sex crimes prosecutor, not a defense lawyer, who can’t be dismissed merely over her sex. But it’s hard to keep up with people who lack any consistent principles.

A New York Times op-ed titled “Man Up, Grassley. Question Blasey Ford Yourself,” reflects the newest positioning by Democrats on the judiciary committee, which argues that “[h]anding off the questioning of Dr. Ford to female staff members would be based on the risible idea that the questioning of sexual assault survivors is ‘women’s work.'”

Michael Bromwich, Ford’s lawyer, now argues that a female counsel “does not appear designed to provide Dr. Blasey Ford with fair and respectful treatment.”

So no men. And no women. Maybe all accusers should only be questioned by Democrats?

It seems to me that anyone interested in getting to the truth would prefer professional counsel over a bunch of politicians. Certainly, having lawyers leading the hearings might mitigate some of the grandstanding and characteristically useless questions that dominate congressional hearings. Unless, that is, it’s the optics that matter most.

“Dr. Blasey Ford isn’t on trial,” explained Sen. Kamala Harris, who’s already declared she believes the accuser, although Ford hasn’t testified or turned over any of her supposed corroborating evidence to the Judiciary Committee as of this writing, “This hearing is to determine whether Kavanaugh is qualified to sit on the Supreme Court. By hiring a private attorney to cross-examine Dr. Blasey Ford, Republicans are trying to intimidate her and avoid being held accountable by voters.”

Like Ford, former prosecutors like Harris will be grilling Kavanaugh—who, as far as I know, hasn’t made any demands to change the process regarding by whom or how he is “interrogated”—over every beer he’s ever consumed, every sexual interaction he’s engaged in, and every grounding his parents ever gave him in an effort to paint him as a deviant.

But one minute Democrats are telling us that Kavanaugh’s nomination is one of the most pivotal moments in American history. His lifetime nomination will lead to a real-world “Handmaid’s Tale,” back-alley abortions, and the end of democracy. Worse, now, Republicans are attempting to put a sexual predator on the patriarchal court to ensure all this happens.

And when conservatives point out the presumption of guilt is an un-American and authoritarian way for government (we’re not talking about public perception here) to conduct its business, the Kavanaugh hearing is instantaneously transformed into nothing but a mere “job interview.” Pick one.

This kind of transparent bad faith not only makes a joke of the process, it ensures that future legitimate allegations of sexual misconduct will be immediately dismissed by millions of skeptical Americans as politically motivated.


Trans movement has been hijacked by bullies and trolls

A worthy movement to help a minority group has become a form of McCarthyism in bad wigs and fishnets, thanks to a bunch of bullies, trolls and humourless misogynists. Feel too daunted to venture an opinion on anything “transgender”? Great! That’s exactly how the bullies like it. Dare to discuss the complexities and contradictions thrown up by their absolutist identity politics? If the screams of “transphobe!” don’t shut you up, perhaps a call to your employer demanding your scalp will. Or to the police, bleating hate crime.

Perhaps the greatest trick they’ve pulled so far is to convince parts of the population that transgender people are too fragile to walk past a poster bearing the word “woman”, while at the same time being so terrifying it’s better to say nothing at all than to risk offending them. It’s nonsense, of course.

The “they” I’m referring to is not transgender people. (Though the bullies will pretend that it is.) I’m referring to the “trans activists” — some sinister, most joyless, and more than a few who don’t even identify as transgender themselves — who delight in “transplaining” to the rest of us the rules of this new, glittering utopia, where spaces must be shared, safeguards dismantled, disagreement decreed to be hate speech, and women must not be allowed to gather to discuss laws that will affect them.

And that’s fine. Bullies will be bullies. Trolls will be trolls. It’s the cowardice of the institutional response that’s astonishing. Girlguiding. Politicians. Billboard companies. Credit Suisse. Goldsmiths University. All willing to capitulate quicker than you can say “transwomen are women”.

Last Friday, women were due to meet at Leeds Civic Hall to discuss the government consultation on gender identification. Trans activists falsely claimed the women were a hate group. No matter that it was a lie; that it was said was enough. Their meeting was cancelled at the 11th hour by Leeds city council. What did MPs and councillors say about this outrageous assault on democracy? Not a single word. Silence. This behaviour is an insult to trans people.

Yet organisations like Girlguiding trot out their platitudes and expel the volunteers left to square the circle of absurd, contradictory policies that they’ve outsourced to interest groups in the desire to win some quick LGBTQI+ points and a pat on the back from Stonewall.

It’s that kind of cowardice that is enabling smear campaigns against those trying to discuss what activists’ demands to recalibrate the human race will mean for everyone else. Like it or not, genitalia is at the heart of this. It would be nice, for everybody’s sake, if all these organisations began to show some balls.


Tas priests to be forced to report abuse

The Tasmanian government will make it mandatory for religious leaders to report child sex abuse, including when it's revealed during confession.

What idiocy.  The church has long outlasted such attempts.  Priests obey a higher law. Are they really going to put parish priests in prison?

Religious leaders in Tasmania will be forced to report child sexual abuse, including when it's revealed during confession.

Draft legislation, released by the state government on Tuesday, aims to break the seal of confession that has allowed Catholic priests an exemption from reporting allegations of abuse.

"It is important that all members of the community take responsibility for heinous crimes committed in the past ... and to make sure these serious crimes never happen again," Attorney-General Elise Archer said.

The proposed changes are in line with recommendations from the Royal Commission Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

Religious ministers who don't report child abuse could be jailed for life, Ms Archer said.

The law would broaden the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act to include religious ministers as mandatory reporters.

It would also exclude the sacrament of confession's privilege as a defence for not reporting abuse.

South Australia has passed laws requiring priests to report child abuse, while Victoria's Labor government has pledged to the same if re-elected in November.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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