Nervous Chemists Demand Science DIE Harder

Nervous Chemists Demand Science DIE Harder

You have a pool of, say, 500 professionally trained specialty chemists—which is to say, chemists who specialize in a certain branch of chemistry that has suddenly gained popularity.

I’m making the “500” up; I don’t know what the real figure is. And it’s not important. All that matters to us is that it is finite, and small relative to the population of chemists at large.

Anyway, there they are, the 500 credentialed specialty chemists. Given the new interest in the specialty, universities want to hire them. Get more grants that way.

Specialists thus begin to be hired with enthusiasm. The pool of 500 heretofore unemployed specialty chemists shrinks. It is supplemented to small degree by fresh graduates, but at a rate slower than they are being hired. Not that many specialty chemists who want to be professors graduate annually.

Eventually, the rate at which the specialty chemists can be hired at universities, rapid at first, must necessarily slow. It will level out and bounce around some small number, reflecting the retirement rate, government funding for chemists, and those sort of things.

What a dull story. You have to work very hard indeed to find a joke in that setup.

Fortunately, the labor has been done for us, in the peer-reviewed lament “Words Matter: On the Debate over Free Speech, Inclusivity, and Academic Excellence“, in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters by John M. Herbert and a slew of other weeping chemists.

Here’s their punchline: “We note with dismay that hiring of Black faculty at colleges and universities in the United States has actually decreased in recent years.”

Hilarious! It has all the subtlety of a Norm Macdonald anecdote, with the idiotic NPC spelling of black.

The subtlety comes in having the reader figure the setup, as we did above. The joke is thus intellectual, and can be laughed at at Upper West Side cocktail parties.

The bulk of specialty chemists, which is to say desirable blacks—and there is no more desirable hire than a black PhD—are already snapped up. There aren’t enough left to supply to huge demand for Diversity. So hiring rates necessarily go down.

It’s worrisome a profession whose main purpose is to calculate rates could not have figured this out for themselves. Such is DIE mania.

That’s what this paper is. A demand to DIE harder, in chemistry and in all of academia. They also worked in the word “Nazi” three times. Not a record, but impressive for a chemical journal.

Their first demand is to remove scientists’ names from their discoveries, and from buildings and statues, if those scientists’ historical behavior does not accord with devolving woke standards.

Soon we shall name all scientific discoveries after George Floyd.

One should not take their demands as demands, they say: “we suggest”—suggest!—“that the aforementioned [DIE] efforts by universities and scientific journals, which are aimed at promoting inclusivity, are nothing at all like the actions of a totalitarian government, as some have suggested.” They just insist DIE efforts must “part of a path toward excellence at our universities and within our scientific community.”

There follows the tale of an old school prof named Hudlicky who wrote a paper criticizing

diversity efforts in academia, expressing concern about fraudulent scientific publishing in a manner that was mostly aimed at scientists in China, and expressing the author’s exasperation that modern organic chemistry graduate students are no longer willing to “submit” to the hard work demanded by their faculty “masters”.

The board at the journal which Hudlicky published his paper resigned, the paper was retracted, his university publicly denounced him, but he had tenure so they haven’t been able to fire him—yet.

These hissy fits by grown adults against Hudlicky do not, say our authors, represent “cancel culture”. “We suggest that this incident is better framed as a manifestation of consequences culture.” Their emphasis.

Even stronger: “The term ‘cancel culture’ has lately been twisted into an epithet that is used to discredit progressive policies.”

Ackshually, they say, “the practice of creating social distance from controversial or objectionable statements and actions is as old as society itself.”

And so our authors run left as fast as their spindly wee legs will take them, the dark force drawing them inexorably to the Woke Singularity, where they believe true power resides.

You shall have no other god before DIE. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images of scientists who would not DIE. Thou shalt not take the name of DIE in vain. Remember Juneteenth and keep it Holy. Honor your parent 1 and parent 2 and any other parental authority figures of integer values greater than 2.

And so on.

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  1. DWSWesVirginny

    I read the article and I’m sorry to say that Roald Hoffman is one of the authors. I once had lunch with him when he came down to visit our graduate student’s chemistry club. I am disappointed.

    I’ve included below a paragraph that reveals, I think, an awareness that the authors themselves have some inkling that motives and actions might be effectively challenged in the future. Against this outcome, they are taking out an insurance policy by letting us know that even if the status quo changes and we revert to the old norms of Western Culture, patriarchy, and conventional morality, that you can be sure that it is really nothing more than an atavism–the reappearance of the baleful Nazi culture even if the totalitarian government that characterized it is absent. So, no need to worry about the judgement of future historians. It is only the present generation that is enlightened enough to judge these things. Let, therefore the cancellations continue! Here is the paragraph to which I refer:

    “We write this with an awareness that decisions made today may be judged differently by future generations. Openly racist, sexist, and homophobic views have been considered tolerable or even acceptable within our own lifetimes, and the scholars previously commemorated by un-named buildings and renamed accolades were often not outliers in their own generation. For example, the German Chemical Society has documented the widespread support for the Nazi regime that existed within the German chemical industry and academe of the 1930s…we cannot always be certain in what respects we are falling short in the present time, yet we are not so naive as to suggest that our professional endeavors can be (or even should be) entirely separated from their broader social context.”

  2. Hagfish Bagpipe

    It’s like some insidious poison that seemingly overrides neural networks in the brain, inserting malware, rearranging chemicals, befogging mind and soul until the unfortunate victim speaks like a pod-person possessed by demons:

    ”A scientist’s innovations might be profound, benefiting many, but if that person’s words or actions create an alienating or hostile workplace or learning environment, then how should the scientific community evaluate that person’s overall contribution to humanity? How should society view such a person? These questions lie at the heart of an emerging conversation regarding what equality means for the greater scientific enterprise as we pursue increased diversity and inclusion of underrepresented groups at our universities.”

    Sad. But on the bright side perhaps the v’axe and boosters will help cure the affliction.

  3. John Brakeman

    You shall have no other DEI before DIE…

  4. I would not like to hear what my old physical chemistry professor would say. He *demanded* excellence. Your typical general chemistry student would not do as well as the typical chemical engineering student would do, in my experience. His class weeded out lots. If you survived his class, you’d get your degree, almost guaranteed. Only tough classes that remained were specialty inorganic chemistry and specialty organic chemistry, at that point. I’ll put it this way, too. The second half of physical chemistry had a different professor. His class was much “easier”, only in the sense of grading. The concepts were similarly difficult, but if you learned what you needed to know, you had what you needed to succeed later. That was almost 50 years ago.

  5. Johnno

    I suggest that these Expurts be dissolved together in a diverse vat of corrosive chemical substances.

  6. Vermont Crank

    This is not going to end well, rather, it will not end at all.

    Beginning with The Warren Court in the 1950s and then increasing in volume and intensity in the 1960s with the Executive Orders of LBJ (no, of course, he was not invited in killing JFK) the “experts” have dissolved the Constitution of this once great nation and our new rule o f law is there is no rule of law other than white men are evil.

    For quite a while the commie left was successful practicing unconstitutional Anti White Discrimination (AWD) against men like me – owing to the original sin of America, slavery, (which never existed anywhere else at any time)- but, eventually, even Cuckservatives like Tucker figured out this wasn’t just because no living white man ever owned a slave and so the commies had to sink to a fetid level and justify their AWD by saying Whites are evil (especially white men who are christian) and that they must be cancelde/silenced and driven into penury by preventing them from speaking or employment so democracy could be protected.

    It was not all that ago that a white man who owned a rental property could rent it out to whomever he desired but that was before unelected bureaucrats were unconstitutionally empowered to tell the property owing white man he could not rent to whomever he desired but had to rent to those folks the unelected bureaucrat allowed him to rent to – and the GOP thought that was jake.

    And it went on and on and on and on in every area of life – from the rights supposedly recognised in the Constitution – such as freedom of speech + religion, right of association etc etc etc- it was all dissolved by anarchistic alchemists and the GOP did nothing.

    In 2010 the Tea Party captured the anger of the whites and a red tsunami blowed-up the Obama coalition * and the GOP took over the HOR. Remember all of the Constitutional Rights that were restored, , how all of the AWD agencies were eliminated and all of the liberty the GOP restored?

    Nothing has changed and it will not change.

    One day the Marxists come for our loved Briggs and they will cancel him (one hopes that is all they will do to him) and this mid-term win by the GOP will result in no substantial change in terms of restoring our Constitutional Rights or the defenestration of the AWD agencies.

    DIE will lie and increase in intensity.

    Sorry, but that is how it goes in America, but, keep voting cos Sean Hannity says it means everything

    * Yes, I am writing that a tsunami blowed-up a thing

  7. Cloudbuster

    “Honor your parent 1 and parent 2 and any other parental authority figures of integer values greater than 2.”

    Restricting peoples’ parental unit count to integers? How intellectually limited of you!


    To make sure GeorgeFloyd is not forgotten we should serialize his name for all past discoveries torn down and of course future ones. And like the 13th floor in hotels, there for sure will be no GeorgeFloyd19

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