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Saturday, June 8, 2019

Unpleasant encounters with science celebrities


Well that was a weird experience.

I had to block Angela Saini and her sycophants on Twitter after Saini had a melt-down over my offhand remark when discussing a review in Quillette a few days ago:
I haven't read the book so I won't evaluate how accurately the review describes Saini's arguments. My impression of the book is that Saini made it as much about herself as about a critique of race science, with big glossy photos of herself with every article about the book, which dampened my enthusiasm for reading it. Plus I haven't had time.
Apparently Saini and her friends felt I was not deferential enough to Saini, not only in daring to express an opinion about the marketing of her book, but because I then expressed disappointment that Saini did not include anything about Steven Pinker's support for Steve Sailer, in her book  Superior: The Return of Race Science and she didn't mention Razib Khan at all.

I observed that her failure to include that information made me a better journalist, although that's too subjective - better to say it makes me a more comprehensive journalist. 

When I finally get around to finishing and reviewing Saini's book I will try not to let my impression of her personality shade my response, but she really seems full of herself. One of her sycophants, Leonor Goncalves, insisted that Saini is not a science celebrity, but the bar for "celebrity" must be set very high in their privileged circle, considering that Saini is all over the BBC, per her own website bio.

Goncalves can also be seen in the tweet above making a big deal out of Saini's two masters degrees - which per Saini's bio are Masters in Engineering from Oxford University, and a second Masters in Science and Security from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.

It must be nice to have the time and money to get two advanced degrees. Although it seems odd to me, that Saini has a masters in engineering and yet she is not an engineer but instead a journalist. You don't need any degrees to be a journalist, even to be a science celebrity journalist.

Also, I see that although Saini is hyper-sensitive about the smallest criticism of her work, or even just the marketing techniques for her work, she feels that many scientists are rather presumptuous when she interrogates them.

It's all a tempest in a teapot of course - once Saini is done making the interview rounds for her book I assume she'll move onto another project with another topic. Meanwhile the rest of us will still be in the trenches, fighting Steve Sailer and letting people know that Steven Pinker, the world's favorite science celebrity is helping to mainstream race science. Somebody has to talk about such an important issue and Saini couldn't be bothered.

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