[SIGCIS-Members] Science wars quote that scientists can teach English but not vice versa

Dag Spicer dspicer at computerhistory.org
Fri Oct 21 13:18:33 PDT 2016


Hi Tom,

Sokal and Bricmont is available here: https://monoskop.org/images/5/53/Sokal_Alan_Bricmont_Jean_Fashionable_Nonsense.pdf

Dag
--
Dag Spicer
Senior Curator
Computer History Museum
Editorial Board, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
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On Oct 21, 2016, at 1:04 PM, James Sumner <james.sumner at manchester.ac.uk<mailto:james.sumner at manchester.ac.uk>> wrote:


Hi Tom

This is in Gross and Levitt's Higher Superstition, page 243: "If, taking a fanciful hypothesis, the humanities department of MIT (a bastion, by the way, of left-wing rectitude) were to walk out in a huff..."

Best
James

On 21 Oct 16 20:32, Thomas Haigh wrote:
Hello SIGCIS,

I was looking for a quote I recall reading in the days of the “science wars,” probably late-1990s, from a scientist saying something like: “If all the English professors got sick and we were called in then we would so an OK job teaching Shakespeare etc. based on what we know and the inherent triviality of the humanities. Whereas if the physics professors got sick then the humanities people would be completely unable to step in, because science is hard.”

I tried constructing Google searches and doing Amazon’s search inside the book on Sokal & Bricmont’s Fashionable Nonsense and similar targets, but didn’t locate it.

NB: I’m just looking for the source here, not for people eager to reignite the science wars by arguing for or against the proposition.

Best wishes,

Tom



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