Monday 5 December 2022
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PoliticsIndiaScience education going woke

Science education going woke

Reputed science magazine Nature does not seem to care that if sex and gender are integrated, the necessary distinction between the sciences and the humanities will blur

Government bodies across the world appear hell-bent on confusing impressionable minds, mixing up science with social constructs. If the American society is suffering the pitfall of letting individuals decide what their gender is, Europe is not far behind as, towards 2020-end, the European Commission announced that its research-grant recipients must accommodate analyses of sex and gender in their study design, including disaggregating by sex when examining cells, or considering how technology might perpetuate gender stereotypes — according to an article in reputed magazine Nature yesterday. But it does not appear even the respected magazine is concerned about the development.

Nature had written when the commission made the announcement that “this was a significant step”, urging other funders to follow suit (see Nature 588, 196; 2020). The magazine went a step further, asking publishers to encourage sex and gender (as though they are the same) reporting. “The responsibility does not lie only with funders,” the magazine said yesterday.

Nature notes that the number of research studies that include reporting of sex and gender analyses for years has increased substantially in the past decade and then laments that “gaps remain”. It says there has been “insufficient reporting of disaggregated by sex and gender”.

Sirf News Analysis: Science going woke

Seeking a “remedy” for this, the magazine has said that henceforth, “researchers who submit papers to a subset of Nature Portfolio journals will be prompted to state whether and how sex and gender were considered in their study design, or to indicate that no sex and gender analyses were carried out, and clarify why”. The researcher must tell “in the title and/or abstract if findings apply to only one sex or gender”.

Nature is asking researchers “to provide disaggregated by sex and gender where this information has been collected, and informed consent for reporting and sharing individual-level data has been obtained”. It says the changes will apply not only to studies with human participants but also to other vertebrates or on cell lines, “in which sex and gender is an appropriate consideration”. Any animal with a spine (pun intended) must turn politically correct!

Sharing several links to web pages that tell researchers how science can be woke, Nature also warns of “inadvertent and harmful effects, especially where there is the potential for societal and public-policy impact”.

Moreover, beginning on 1 June, Nature Cancer, Nature Communications, Nature Medicine and Nature Metabolism will sensitize their respective subscribers to the updated recommendations in letters to authors and reviewers during peer review. Purportedly, the magazine wants to “improve understanding of the degree to which sex and gender reporting is already part of study design, collection and analysis in the research these journals publish”. It is possible that authors and reviewers will be evaluated on the basis of how woke they are — the woker the contributor is, the higher he or she scores (oops, “he” and “she” may be offensive pronouns to the woke!).

A comment by the author on his Facebook wall. The under which it was posted follows in the next paragraph.

Nature whines that “research is still mostly failing to account for sex and gender in study design, sometimes with catastrophic results”. To demonstrate why it is concerned, the magazine says from 1997 to 2001, the US administration withdrew 10 prescription drugs, with eight of them reporting worse side effects in women than in men. But that is clearly about one’s biological sex, not assumed gender. It is not clear why Nature keeps adding the word “gender” wherever it mentions “sex” in the article.

Nature claims it is doing this “to promote transparency”, of course. But it hopes “to see (an) integration of sex and gender analysis in study design by default”. If sex and gender are integrated, will not the necessary distinction between science and the humanities blur?

Sirf News must tell its subscribers in India this is not a story of faraway lands. While the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) removed from its website a teacher-training manual meant to accentuate the inclusion of transgender children in school education following outrage on social media in November 2021, that was the left--woke combine’s first push. They are not going to relent after suffering one setback by way of the NCERT transferring two of the three senior faculty members of its Department of Gender Studies who helped develop the first-of-its-kind teachers’ manual on the inclusion of transgender children in schools.

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Surajit Dasgupta
Surajit Dasguptahttp://''
Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sirf News Surajit Dasgupta has been a science correspondent in The Statesman, senior editor in The Pioneer, special correspondent in Money Life, the first national affairs editor of Swarajya, executive editor of Hindusthan Samachar and desk head of MyNation

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