Two days ago, the KQED radio program Forum with Michael Krasny discussed the attacks on Northwestern psychology professor Michael Bailey and his book The Man Who Would Be Queen. Here is their webpage.

Joan Roughgarden, a professor of biology at Stanford, was one of the guests. After Bailey gave a talk at Stanford in 2003, Roughgarden wrote an op-ed in the student newspaper that contained the following sentence:

To many observers, Bailey appears to be a rather dumb, stubborn, dense and possibly deceptive regular guy with some experience in locker-room humor.

This sort of comment would go over poorly on KQED, so what would she say?

It turns out that she called Bailey’s book a “fraud.” It is fradulent because it is not “science” — by which she means a scientific article — in spite of having the word science in the title. Apparently Roughgarden thinks that if you write a book about science it is fraud to use the word science in the title. She also complained that Bailey uses stories based on transsexuals he had met to illustrate Blanchard’s theory. She called those stories Bailey’s evidence for the theory, ignoring the evidence in Blanchard’s papers.

This is not quite the incisive criticism we might expect from a Stanford professor.