Saturday, 17 September 2011

Kanazawa is just a racist who went as far as to get a phd in order to impress upon the world his prejudiced views.

Back in May of this year - yes, that would be The Year 2011 - an evolutionary psychologist who was and still is employed by the London School of Economics (an academic institution that is routinely ranked in the top ten of all universities in the world) published a magazine article on the attractiveness (of abject lack of) of black women. By black, he meant Afro-Caribbean as far as I can tell.

It was a hugely insulting piece and entirely irrelevant to any questions of importance today, or yesterday, or indeed for tomorrow, but there we have it. A publicly funded (mostly - ha! Gaddafi's regime has had a hand in funding the LSE, see here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12642636, so OSTENSIBLY publicly funded with tax payers money) has hired and gives an office and room to speak and air his views to a bigot who spends his time engaging in non-rigorous, non-robust 'research' (read: musings) on how come black women are just so ugly while all other women at least have something of the aesthetic to recommend themselves.

Hugely sexist, hugely racist. This much is obvious.

While I never forget (memory like an elephant, to match my looks perhaps Satoshi would say, but whatever!) I had stopped obsessing about how offended I am by the article. That was until the new smack in the face which was the LSE published note on the outcome of Satoshi's disciplinary hearing. (It is in full below. I think it is only fair to show all of it if I am to rip into it and tear it apart - only fair.)

Apparently, "Measures have also been put in place to ensure an incident of this nature does not happen again. In particular, Dr Kanazawa must refrain from publishing in all non-peer reviewed outlets for a year. Further, he will not be teaching any compulsory courses in the School for this academic year."

So, he will not be able to submit any shameful, inaccurate, racist, bigoted articles that have not been okayed by his mates (sorry, subjected to scientific scrutiny by academic peers) for one year.

This isn't long enough for me. And, if someone has the gumption to go this far out to disseminate, culture and propagate this tripe, he probably has academic type friends who'll support him, why not, the LSE supports him with a pay packet each month. Let's look at the published (and apparently scientifically sound) papers that the LSE is not ashamed to show on its site (as of 15/9/11):

Beautiful British parents have more daughters
Kanazawa, Satoshi (2011) Beautiful British parents have more daughters. Reproductive sciences, 18 (4). pp. 353-358. ISSN 1933-7191

Full of generalisations, but the crux is that beauty is more important for women than men, so 'beautiful' people have more daughters. I wonder then, how black people have any daughters at all....

In 2009 he said feminism is illogical, unnecessary and evil: "First, modern feminism is illogical because, as Pinker points out, it is based on the vanilla assumption that, but for lifelong gender socialization and pernicious patriarchy, men and women are on the whole identical. An insurmountable body of evidence by now conclusively demonstrates that the vanilla assumption is false; men and women areinherently, fundamentally, and irreconcilably different. Any political movement based on such a spectacularly incorrect assumption about human nature – that men and women are and should be identical – is doomed to failure. Further, modern feminism is unnecessary, because its entire raison d’ĂȘtre is the unquestioned assumption that women are and have historically always been worse off than men. The fact that men and women are fundamentally different and want different things makes it difficult to compare their welfare directly, to assess which sex is better off; for example, the fact that women make less money than men cannot by itself be evidence that women are worse off than men, any more than the fact that men own fewer pairs of shoes than women cannot be evidence that men are worse off than women."

That's right, when it comes to women it's always actually about shoes..... For more of this dribble, see Psychology Today, if you really must.

Back in 2006 the LSE backed him up on an article published in the British Journal of Health Psychology where he stated that African people living in African states have lower IQs than people in richer countries and this leads to chronic ill-health and poverty. Hog's wash, but for proof that I am not making this up, see: http://tinyurl.com/5quqj3. So, who's with me on not trusting the academic community to rein him in, either? This is the kind of stats that he has been teaching in the compulsory (yes, compulsory, as in students have NO CHOICE but to attend) lectures at the LSE.

The other punishment is for Kanazawa to forgo teaching any compulsory courses for a year. How about ANY courses EVER? How about him losing his job? Surely publishing that paper is drawing the LSE and the social scientific community into disrepute? If it has been found to be lacking academically, inaccurate in its findings and insensitive to audience, the correct action is dismissal, not to keep him from teaching racism in his stats classes for 12 short months.

This would not be too harsh because Kanazawa has not shown that he has changed from his marred course at all. Instead he says: "The blog post in question was motivated entirely by my scientific curiosity and my desire to solve an empirical puzzle."

Empirical puzzle? As though black women being ugly is a social fact. No, the only answer to that personal 'empirical puzzle' is that Kanazawa is racist, that is why he thinks black women are ugly. That's it, that is the end to the conundrum. Kanazawa is racist and so is his curiosity and I don't need to conduct a multilinear regression analysis to come up with that answer.

"In retrospect, I should have been more careful in selecting the title of the blog post and the language that I used to express my ideas."

How about a rigorous interrogation of those very same ideas? Run it by the EHRC first, then the ESRC for ethics and then take a step back, think about it for ten years, and then if you think it is still a good idea seek out other social scientists to co-author and if you have a hard time finding partners in your own School, drop it. That would be my advice to you, Satoshi.

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Dr Satoshi Kanazawa - findings of internal review and disciplinary hearing

The internal review and formal disciplinary hearing into a controversial blog posting by Dr Satoshi Kanazawa, Reader in the Department of Management, at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has now been completed.

It has concluded that some of the arguments used in the publication were flawed and not supported by evidence, that an error was made in publishing the blog post and that Dr Kanazawa did not give due consideration to his approach or audience. Disciplinary action has been taken and Dr Kanazawa has written a letter of apology. Measures have also been put in place to ensure an incident of this nature does not happen again. In particular, Dr Kanazawa must refrain from publishing in all non-peer reviewed outlets for a year. Further, he will not be teaching any compulsory courses in the School for this academic year.

On 15 May 2011 Dr Satoshi Kanazawa posted a blog entry on the Psychology Today website entitled “Why are black women less physically attractive than other women?”. The School received considerable criticism from LSE students, academics and members of the public about the blog article.

In response, the School appointed a committee of senior academics to investigate the blog posting and its impact. It was clear that a number of people had been greatly offended by the blog and for this Dr Kanazawa has apologised. The review and hearing also considered the quality of the research underlying the article. After examination of the blog and detailed discussion with Dr Kanazawa, the hearing concluded that some of the assertions put forward in the blog post were flawed and would have benefited from more rigorous academic scrutiny. The view was that the author ignored the basic responsibility of a scientific communicator to qualify claims made in proportion to the certainty of the evidence.

It was the opinion of the hearing that the publication of the article had brought the School into disrepute. During the internal investigation and at the disciplinary hearing Dr Kanazawa expressed regret for the offence caused by the article and the damage to the School’s reputation. The School has accepted that Dr Kanazawa has learnt from this experience and will not make the same errors in future.

Ends

Notes:

The letter of apology by Dr Satoshi Kanazawa to LSE Director Professor Judith Rees reads as follows:

Dear Professor Rees:

I am writing to express my sincere apology for the controversial post on myPsychology Today blog and the damage it has caused to the reputation of the School. I regret that the controversy surrounding its publication has offended and hurt the feelings of so many both inside and outside the School. The blog post in question was motivated entirely by my scientific curiosity and my desire to solve an empirical puzzle. It was not at all motivated by a desire to seek or cause controversy and I deeply regret the unintended consequences that its publication nevertheless had because of my error in judgment. I accept I made an error in publishing the blog post.

In retrospect, I should have been more careful in selecting the title of the blog post and the language that I used to express my ideas. In the aftermath of its publication, and from all the criticisms that I have received, I have learned that some of my arguments may have been flawed and not supported by the available evidence. In my blog post, I did not give due consideration to my approach to the interpretation of the data and my use of language.

The past three months have been most difficult for all concerned, and I would never want to relive the experience. I give you my solemn word that in the future I will give more consideration to the approach to my work and I will never again do anything to damage the reputation of the School.

Yours sincerely,

Satoshi Kanazawa

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