Psychology and Policy in Play

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*Rolls Eyes*

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Sometimes my profession embarrasses me, and this is one of those moments. Remember Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa? The evoluntionary psychologist who asserted in Psychology Today that Black women were not only less attractive than almost every other ethincity, but also have more testosterone and less intelligence? Well, his “punishment” from the London School of Economics was recently announced in Times Higher Education:

The LSE has now published the findings of an internal investigation into the affair, ruling that Dr Kanazawa had “brought the school into disrepute” and barring him from publishing in non-peer-reviewed outlets for a year.

In addition to the 12-month ban, he will not teach any compulsory courses this academic year.

LSE’s disciplinary actions induce eye rolling. This was not the first, second, third, or fourth time Dr. Kanazawa has used the cloak of his degree and psychology to promote racist and sexist stereotypes or  just plain ol’ dumb ideas. Instead of setting a standard of what is valid and objective research, the university preserved his faculty statues  and will allow him to publish in peer reviewed journals, which are of higher professional esteem than non-peer reviewed ones. Therefore, he can spend a year in his lab conducting more studies and continue writing in journals (assuming his work is accepted) that reach people inside and outside of the field. Adding to this, he will back in the classroom this time next year, where he can continue to impart his pseudo-scientific beliefs into future researchers.

In an attempt to save what’s left of his face, he penned a letter:

In a letter to Judith Rees, director of the LSE, Dr Kanazawa says he “deeply regrets” the “unintended consequences” of the blog and accepts it was an “error” to publish it.

“In retrospect, I should have been more careful in selecting the title and the language that I used to express my ideas,” he writes.

“Unintended consequences” and being mindful of his language? I’m not buying it given his history of purposefully crafting incendiary titles and conclusions.  He put forth “controversial” ideas for attention and to be “edgy” (whatever that means these days).  Although his respect and status took a major hit, he maintains his job, continues conducting research, and may soon return to being published in peer reviewed journals. A slap on the wrist indeed.


Written by G

September 21, 2011 at 1:55 am

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