Monday, October 17, 2022

Professor Fired for Unethical research

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports:
But in study after study, Pesta and his co-authors reference “race” without any caveats, and break subjects into racial categories of Black, white, Asian, and occasionally Hispanic, or try to determine how much genetic material they have from each category. ...

Until complaints were filed, Cleveland State seemed unaware of Pesta’s publications on race.

O’Brien, the political-science graduate student, tried not to let Pesta’s work go ignored.

They decided that it was unethical to use genetic and IQ data to quantify racial disparities.

If his research were flawed, then the appropriate response is to publish contrary research.

There is a legitimate debate about the causes of the various IQ gaps. Or there ought to be.

Discrimination used to be a plausible explanation. Blacks had to set in the back of Montgomery Alabama buses in 1956, and some places had segregated drinking fountains until 1964. But that was all a long time ago.

I presiously posted about another professor, Kathryn Paige Harden, who also writes about the genetic lottery, where some people are smarter because of genes. See here, here, and here. The difference is that she is careful to support leftist causes, and to deny group differences.

If a trait is measurable and heritable, then there are going to be group differences. That is inevitable.

But across the country, geneticists at other universities had set in motion institutional processes focused not on Pesta’s racist claims but on his violation of the norms and regulations of academe. ...

The NIH began an investigation in September 2019. In 2021, the agency sent a letter to the university confirming that Pesta’s use of the NIH data to examine cognitive functioning had violated his data-use agreement, since he had received approval to study mental health, not intelligence.

So no one is going to disprove the supposedly racist claims. Instead they create academic norms that permit studying mental health, but not intelligence.

Here is an article on the merits of Pesta's research, and Pesta's rebuttal. As you can see, the attacks on Pesta are dishonest and political. Pesta has high ratings from students.

Use common sense. Do you really believe that all groups are the same, just because some academics declare it unethical to publish group differences?

You might say that Whites just want to publish IQ data to show how they are smarter. But that is not true, and the data show Chinese Americans scoring higher. Harvard has to discriminate against them to prevent them from overrunning Harvard. The issue is before the US Supreme Court now. We need data in order to have a sensible opinion.

If we are going to have research on educational improvement, then we need data on IQ gaps. This field seems to be broken down into two camps. One uses hard data and reproduciable studies, The other camp has some leftist ideology that IQ does not exist, or that group differences do not exist, or that IQ gaps are not measurable, or that research in the field is impossible, or that knowledge in this area does more harm than good. I do not agree with the latter camp. Knowledge is badly needed.

People are genuinely creeped out by the idea that their IQ is determined by their genes. That is only partly true, so they should not be so creeped out. We need research to determine the extent to which it is true. More and more, such reseach is being considered unethical, and a good professor was just fired for doing good work.

Here is a typical modern academic statement on race:

The following statement was adopted by the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association on May 17, 1998, acting on a draft prepared by a committee of representative American anthropologists. ...

Today scholars in many fields argue that "race" as it is understood in the United States of America was a social mechanism invented during the 18th century to refer to those populations brought together in colonial America: the English and other European settlers, the conquered Indian peoples, and those peoples of Africa brought in to provide slave labor. ...

As they were constructing US society, leaders among European-Americans fabricated the cultural/behavioral characteristics associated with each "race," linking superior traits with Europeans and negative and inferior ones to blacks and Indians. Numerous arbitrary and fictitious beliefs about the different peoples were institutionalized and deeply embedded in American thought. ...

At the end of the 20th century, we now understand that human cultural behavior is learned, conditioned into infants beginning at birth, and always subject to modification.

Anthropology used to be the study of man, including human differences. Now they just blindly ignore those differences. Twin studies clearly show that people have innate differences. Today's academic Left is in denial about basic human facts.

Update: NIH regulations now forbid research on genes and IQ. Also here.

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