University of Kentucky political science Professor Stephen Voss, who was plagiarized by Harvard President Claudine Gay, said it was no big deal. It was even expected she would use his work without attribution? He seems to think so. “It would have been quite natural for her to borrow ideas from me."

He didn't tell me that personally. I instead cited the source. Like you are supposed to do. It ain't that hard. She could have done it but did not, and yet he has no issue with that. He seems to be more upset that her plagiarism is going to lead to more investigations of humanities scholars' academic work, including by people 'not qualified' to do so.

Except the people "qualified" didn't do it. And rarely do it at all.

Granted, the humanities and its many categories like political science et al. are difficult to really peer review because they need no data. Your truth is your truth, no experiments needed.  What is striking is that the unwillingness to accept academic accountability has come down along political lines just as clear as the rampant anti-Semitism in colleges.

Yet in 1980, when there was a similar scandal in academia due to plagiarism and fabricated data, Democrats led the hearings to demand accountability and reform. Al Gore was outraged that scientists and other university scholars dismissed instances as "grossly exaggerated." Now they are circling the wagons, saying criticisms of academia will be used as an ideological weapon. They may think that because just as street burglars hold onto their wallets tighter than anyone, the ideological war is being waged by them.(1) They can't really criticize each other Or Republicans Win, because it is a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.(2) Bill Ackman, a huge donor to the Democratic party and popular voices such as Barack Obama, Al Gore, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, and Chuck Schumer, was deemed by CNN a "conservative stalwart." Because he wants Harvard to have the same tolerance for Jews as they have for the LBQTQ community.

An insular culture like that won't reform anything unless people outside make them.  They have created a safe haven for themselves inside academia, while their ideological enemies are Barbarians Outside The Gates. Republicans, rural people, and those who refuse to see nuance in terrorism.

The reason they won't criticize each other and worry outsiders will do it may be that physics is the only science field where there is anywhere near the ideological diversity and parity and equity that existed decades ago. Today, faculties are over 90 percent Democrats. Handicapped people and Native Americans have more representation than Republicans in universities. 

Forty years ago, when academic faculties were more politically representative of the broader world, Gore and other Democrats were outraged at the lack of internal accountability in academia and mobilized support for the Health Research Extension Act of 1985, which demanded "an administrative process to review reports of scientific fraud." It was vetoed by a Republican president who stated it "manifest[ed] an effort to exert undue political control over decisions regarding scientific research."

He knew it would mean politicization of science and weaponizing investigations against unpopular science. Yet that is exactly what happened, except by Democrats who have spent decades using hiring panels that only give tenure to people like themselves. The result has been unwillingness to critique not only each other, but anyone in the tribe, like in Note 1 and despite the clear lack of transparency about claims that were and are popular with progressive activists opposed to science.

Imagine what President Reagan, the last truly pro-science White House resident, would think about President Biden and scholars in elite schools refusing to discuss scientific research unless it passed a political litmus test created by their tribe. And telling journalists to only be critical if they are making claims about private sector research.


(1) In the Wall Street Journal nearly 10 years ago I exposed that a fundamental paper in environmentalists' war on a weedkiller called atrazine in a prominent journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences had no peer review. Instead, a personal friend of the creator of the claim, Tyrone Hayes of Berkeley, hand-walked it past peer review because he was a member of the National Academy of Sciences. And that was allowed.

That's right, you could personally ask to review the paper of a personal friend and then they'd publish it. It set off a controversy over anti-pesticide claims by academics and their political allies that still rages today. The claims - the weedkiller 'turns frogs gay', as Hayes phrased it, by changing their croaking (yes, you read that right) - set off a special assessment at EPA. Professor Hayes must never have expected that, because he weirdly then said EPA could not have the data from his paper. No one has ever been able to replicate his findings. No one except a few of his closes friends can even claim they have seen it. All journal readers saw were some screenshots.

After my article in Wall Street Journal exposed that it had not passed peer review, the PNAS in-house journal of the National Academies quietly eliminated hand-picked reviews by Academy members.

Yet groups like Retraction Watch never covered it, despite the controversy causing PNAS to change its policy and his work not being peer-reviewed. The only time he's mentioned is because the New Yorker gave him an 8000-word puff piece claiming corporations were aligned against him, while ignoring his violent sexual hate speech toward women.

(2) That's why Claudine Gay is keeping her $900,000 annual salary and will still be educating young people at Harvard, despite the hypocrisy of it all.