Controversies in recent years and months in the academic world (most recently involving Prof. Strumia at CERN) relating to gender issues have shown that there is much disagreement on what constitutes best practice with regard to gender equality. There seems even to be considerable disagreement between scientists of different disciplines as to fundamental aspects of gender identity.
We believe that the resolution of these disputes is not best promoted by discrediting and even discriminating against one side or the other.
For this reason we have asked a number of specialists if they would contribute to any future event debating STEM and gender (Prof. Amanda Diekmann, Prof. Alice Eagly, Prof. David C. Geary, Prof. Lee Jussim, inter alia), in order to facilitate an intellectually honest discussion.
We invite everyone (on both sides of the gender debate) to sign our petition and encourage the administration at CERN to invite these academics to their second Workshop on High Energy Theory and Gender.
Together, we can ensure neutrality, nuance and balance at CERN and in the whole scientific community.
Petition website: https://stemgender.com/
@ForStrumia; Anonymous author of Justice for Strumia, a rebuttal to the Particles for Justice letter.
Liberté Académique; @AcadFreedom
Tom Todd; Primary author of this petition to re-instate Professor Strumia.
Yi-Zen Chu; Associate Professor, Department of Physics, National Central University, Taiwan.
One Reply to “CERN: new petition for an open discussion”
I feel that there is a real problem in Science and Engineering when we look at things such as a persons sex, race, religion, political affiliations, etc. On other things that for the most part should have no place in determining if a paper or publication should be heard. The only way that we as a society can continue to move forward is not putting emphasis on personally identifiable factors and in doing so we are not working to improve the world, but isolate people and ideas that can be beneficial to all people.
Such things should be relegated to social studies and other such fields instead of the sciences. This is the kinds of policies that lead Einstein and many others to leave Germany as they were not deemed a benefit to society because of their ancestors, and I find such things wrong. We should be working more on being Inclusive instead of exclusive. The more brilliant minds working on subjects helps to improve the world for everyone, and enforcing a policy of discrimination or affirmative action is detrimental to everyone. As when people are given an advantage based on their gender or other factor instead of the merits of their work, we are not promoting the best ideas.
In this time and age we don’t have a limited number of articles that can be published because of the printing system, as such things can now be distributed electronically and with the low cost of media storage compared to just a few decades ago, there is really no need to limit peoples access to publish. We can now if servers are setup properly allow nearly everyone to submit papers for peer review and if there is enough interests discussions on the topics.
We should be with our more nearly unlimited amount of storage be able to allow a much wider range of topics and ideas instead of working to silence people. If someone is foolish enough to put forward topics that can’t be proven then the whole world can see, and show that their work is not possible. I’m referring to such topics that I just can’t understand why anyone would believe that the earth is flat and other such things. If someone wants to publish such things I feel that we should let them, and by their own lack of understanding of the universe we will know how much faith that we can put in their work. An open area where things can be presented and defended will help present new ideas, and at best give more people a chance and get more ideas out, and if someone is making something up that can’t be proven it can be marked as such.
As with any science we need to have verifiable results, and this is one of the easiest ways to find if something is workable or not. I bring this up because we used to believe that there was an invisible medium in space that allowed light to be transmitted called an either, and this was disproved. We should be more open to proving and disproving ideas, and find if they are workable theories, and it should not be based on any factors that are not relevant to the subject. Such as Gender.