A women’s studies professor at the University of California, Davis has declared that the time has come to replace “traditional science” with “a much needed anti-science, antiracist, feminist approach to knowledge production.”
The professor is Sara Giordano, according to Campus Reform.
Giordano, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience but has chosen to pursue a career in the field of gender, sexuality and women’s studies, expounds on her thesis in a lengthy essay in Catalyst, a feminist theory journal.
In her 6,611-word treatise (with only three footnotes), Giordano calls on women to “challenge the authority of Science” by “rewriting knowledge” in a way that “explicitly unsticks Science from Truth and therefore opens up possibilities to unstick Being/Power/Truth/Freedom from Coloniality.”
Science is a root cause — perhaps the root cause — of “racial hierarchy,” “genocide,” “slavery” and “exploitation,” the sexuality and women’s studies professor claims.
“Traditional science” depends on “a colonial and racialized form of power,” Giordano says. “These genealogies demonstrate the co-construction of Science with the globalization of racial hierarchy, both of which together naturalize and justify domination through acts of genocide, slavery, and other forms of exploitation. At the root of the justification for social inequality then is Western science (together with philosophy and other modern disciplines).”
Science is also the cause of the evils of capitalism.
“By producing the categories of human/nonhuman as forms of natural (yet flexible) racial difference, capitalism becomes justified as a natural (yet flexible) economic system,” Giordano writes.
What’s more, science is a privileged field because “taking pleasure in observing our ‘natural world’ is class- and race-based, as many people grow up without ‘nature’ around them.”
Science is also “always political,” Giordano asserts. The “goal of science is not the innocent goal of ‘understanding nature’ but rather a political project of producing ‘nature.’”
The prominence of science is bad for feminism because “science and feminism” are “an unequal pairing, with science occupying a privileged place.” It’s time, Giordano says, to “go back to feminist antiracist politics instead.”
Giordano calls on feminists who are “trained in the sciences” to avoid science. Instead, she says, they should teach something called “critical science literacy skills based on our first-hand knowledge of the sciences.”
The “delegitimizing of science” can “create new definitions of science — ones that are politically grounded in social justice and the politics of location.”
Giordano suggests that feminist professors should engage in “‘pedagogy through politics’ rather than a pedagogy centered solely on the classroom.’”
“In my own teaching and research I have developed a kind of critical science literacy practice,” she writes.
“For example, in one semester students used the skills developed in the course to produce a strategic collective response to anti-immigrant population control environmentalism propaganda that was circulating on campus and in the larger community around Earth Day.”
The University of California, Davis, Giordano’s employer, is infamous in part because the campus newspaper issued a steely edict last year warning students that drinking too much to celebrate Cinco de Mayo is a form of racist cultural appropriation. Also, the student newspaper said, anyone celebrating must spend time learning about the intricacies of “Chicanx/Latinx culture.” (RELATED: Students Warned Against Racist Sombreros, Tequila On Cinco De Mayo)
Back in 2011, a campus cop at UC Davis pepper-sprayed a group of protesters who were huddled together on a sidewalk. That incident ultimately resulted in a $1 million settlement divided among several protesters. The officer who pepper-sprayed the protesters, John Pike, also received his own $38,056 settlement for mental anguish for “psychiatric injury.”