A physics researcher at the University of Washington says that the scientific citations within the leaked “Ideological Echo Chamber” Google memo must be ignored because the research was “conducted primarily by white men.”
She claims that peer-reviewed research is invalidated by the “experiences of women.”
Penned by James Damore, who lost his job following the leak, the memo called into question the company’s diversity policies by offering a wide range of scientific resources that observed biological differences between men and women.
While the issue remains a subject of contention, scientists have already weighed in to state agree with at least some of the conclusions Damore drew within his 10-page article.
On Quilette last week, four scientists across the fields of psychology and neuroscience largely agreed with Damore’s findings. Neuroscientist Debra Soh wrote in to say that she “didn’t find the memo offensive or sexist in the least.”
UW physics associate Chanda Prescod-Weinstein disagrees, calling the memo a product of “shoddy science.” Campus Reform reported Monday that the researcher first voiced her argument on Slate before taking matters to Twitter, where she devalued the importance of peer-reviewed research.
“It’s 2017, and to some extent scientific literature still supports a patriarchal view that ranks a man’s intellect above a woman’s,” wrote Prescod-Weinstein for Slate on August 9.
She claims that a “well-known scientist” told her that “the Google memo failed to constitute hostile behavior because it cited peer-reviewed articles that suggest women have different brains.”
The fact that the research is peer-reviewed does not mean they are “correct,” she argued, adding that “science has often made its living from encoding and justifying bias” in ways beneficial to white men.
Prescod-Weinstein goes on to say that Damore relied on “shoddy science” to promote a “patriarchal view that ranks a man’s intellect above a woman’s.”
Of course, nowhere in Damore’s memo does he make any such assertions, so it is unknown how the UW researcher managed to infer these claims.
Prescod-Weinstein claims that European scientific advancement was “in fact collations of borrowed indigenous knowledge,” with no citations to her claim, and that the drive for technological breakthroughs has “left us in a dangerously warmed climate.”
On Twitter, the researcher complained that science was not beneficial to women and people of color, and has instead helped to promote inequality.
This reporter was unable to contact Chanda Prescod-Weinstein because she uses a Twitter blocklist.