What the Hoax Papers Tell Us about the Decline of Academic Standards

By now, most followers of the higher education press have heard of the “grievance studies” or Sokal Squared hoax. In this incident, a team of three researchers successfully published several hoax papers on intentionally absurd subjects in ostensibly serious scholarly journals. Their purpose was to demonstrate the susceptibility of these venues to low-quality, ideologically charged … Continue reading “What the Hoax Papers Tell Us about the Decline of Academic Standards”


Nancy MacLean Continues to Embarrass Duke, but Exposes its Double Standards

Last year, Duke University History Professor Nancy MacLean became one of the country’s best-known academics for her book Democracy in Chains. That is not, however, to say that her book was so praiseworthy that it made her famous. Quite the opposite—Democracy in Chains was excoriated by academic critics for its blatantly dishonest attack on the … Continue reading “Nancy MacLean Continues to Embarrass Duke, but Exposes its Double Standards”


books on fire

Professors Should Write Books That Seek Truth, Not Inflame Passions

The academic enterprise is supposed to be about truth. Those who are entrusted to teach are expected to convey knowledge to their students, not their opinions. And when academics write books, they should do so to deepen knowledge in their fields, never to mislead readers. Sometimes, however, academics allow their zeal to convert students or … Continue reading “Professors Should Write Books That Seek Truth, Not Inflame Passions”