Gad Saad: Science Careers Wrecked by Political Correctness

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Gad Saad

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Gad Saad is Professor of Marketing at Concordia University, and an expert in the application of evolutionary psychology in marketing and consumer behavior. He is the host of "The Saad Truth with Dr. Saad" podcast, and the author of "The Saad Truth about Happiness: 8 Secrets for Leading the Good Life" available in paperback on May 14, 2024. www.gadsaad.com

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In my forthcoming book, I have a section where I talk about professors who got into trouble. I mean, we've all heard about the comedians getting into trouble for violating some politically correct dictum, but professors, in many cases, very, very high profile professors getting in trouble for incredibly innocuous jokes. And actually I brought a list of names because I thought I might not remember them. Can I mention a few of the cases? So Lazar Greenfield, who was the president elect of the American College of Surgeons and the editor in chief of a journal called Surgery News, had written an editorial a few years ago where he was talking about the antidepressant benefits of coming in contact with sperm. In other words, and this was based on a peer reviewed scientific paper. Actually two of the authors of that paper are folks that I know quite well, friends of mine, and they had demonstrated that women who have protected sex versus unprotected sex end up scoring differently on these depressive measures. In other words, there was some sort of protective element to actually being exposed to sperm. And so in his editorial, he made a joke, it was during Valentine's, he said, so now there is a gift that a man can give a woman that's beyond flowers or chocolates or something to that effect. He had to step down from being president of the American College of Surgeons. He had to step down from being editor in chief because a whole bunch of women were very offended by that sperm joke. Now the authors of the paper in question wrote a brilliant response where they said, how could he be treated in this way when all he was doing is actually literally reporting the data, the findings from our peer reviewed study. So that's one example. Another example is Sir Tim, I think it's Sir Tim Hunt who was a Nobel Prize winner in 2001. I remember this one. He basically, he was speaking I think in Korea at a women in science conference where he very in a jocular way said, it's a real problem when you have women in your lab, they fall in love with you, you fall in love with them and so it's better to have segregated labs. His wife by the way is a staunch feminist who's a very prominent scientist and she confirmed that he's hardly a rabid sexist. He went through all sorts of hell. Yeah, I remember that and he was joking. And he was joking and in the book I discussed several other of these examples. So imagine you would think that a unblemished exemplary career as a scientist up to getting a Nobel Prize could potentially protect you. But one comment that someone decides can unleash the tsunami of outrage and you're dead.