University of New Mexico professor Geoffrey Miller is a social/evolutionary psychologist so it's no surprise he is clueless about people - like what it takes to have the willpower to get a Ph.D, beyond his own subjective opinion. And it's even less of a surprise he made an unscientific conjecture. He may have been surprised anyone noticed. If social and evolutionary psychologists aren't finding racism in office clutter or in eating meat or telling us we evolved to like a car grill they don't get much attention. Unless it matches a confirmation bias, no one believes that surveys of psychology undergraduates are meaningful, much less scientific, after all.
When he Tweeted that an obese person wouldn't have the willpower to finish a doctoral program, even the wagon-circling world of psychology turned on him. That had to be a surprise too.
Miller knows that there are almost no standards for what counts as research so he can say anything to justify his social media crackpottery and his department has no way to know if it's real. The University of New Mexico dutifully noted that he told them his Tweet was part of an experiment and he has been doing it for months. He isn't being an asshole, he is a social scientist. He is on leave while being a visiting scholar at NYU. Sorry, UNM, if you were looking to offload his tenure job on someone else, that will be difficult now.
Psychology is 70% women so maybe he is just saying what everyone in the field thinks - it's better to have hot women to look at than non-hot. It's hard to be sure what the truth is, he deleted the Tweet and made his account private so I bet he won't respond to me or anyone else until he has thought up some clever way to not look like an even bigger jerk.
If only all evolutionary and/or social psychologists (Miller calls himself both, meaning twice as many opportunities to ridicule him) would stay so hush-hush.
UNM Psychology Chair Jane Ellen Smith, who can be happy she is thin enough to get into Miller's "lab", addressed the topic, saying they don't discriminate based on weight. Ironically, her research is on body weight issues. Who knew she could just look at her own department?
While UNM is at least making a pretense of saying they don't roll that way, and are going to look into whether or not this is really research, NYU doesn't care what obese people think about the intolerance at their school.
“Professors have said things before that are controversial,” Philip Lentz of NYU's Public Affairs office told The Observer. "Professor Miller apologized for the Tweet and deleted it. NYU considers the matter closed.”
Fat girls, consider going into physics or engineering instead. Men only care about the size of your intellect there.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Erupting Bardarbunga Volcano In Iceland Sits On A Massive Magma Hot Spot
- Climate Change Caused By The Ocean
- Blood Vessel Transplant From Own Stem Cells - Now In A Week
- Germany’s Green Energy Gamble Could Really Use Some Vorsprung Durch Technik
- Home, Workplace, Tomb – Fury And The Reality Of The World War II Tank
- Researchers Created A Laser Bullet To See What It Would Look Like - And Here It Is
- How Gut Bacteria Ensure A Healthy Brain – and Could Play A Role In Treating Depression
- "Well stated dersu. I add that the big problem is we still don't have a working model of the brain..."
- "Underage drinking is declining in the US - has been for about a decade. Don't easily available..."
- "A lower range of likely values for climate sensitivity, a larger role from the oceans, if..."
- "But do you understand that these futuristic machines may also be used to study the property of..."
- "Both in this article and the press release from ASU Biodesign are carefully worded allusion to..."
- How to sell a toxic pesticide the smart way–call it organic
- Leftist dystopia? Anti-technology fever animates opposition to GMOs and other ‘disruptive’ technologies
- CDC faced a nearly impossible balancing act with Ebola, and failed
- Why Chobani reversed course, making yoghurt only from milk from cows not fed GMO grain
- Monterey, California, hotbed of anti-GMO activism, home to new GMO corn farm
- Evolution is sometimes messy or even outright ridiculous