A Pseudoscientific Hoax

Prof. Sokal published his fake quantum gravity article putting in fancy words & eccentric jargons.

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

People have real trouble in publishing vindicated claims in a journal article.

Often legit evidence is refused for the sake.

But Alan Sokal pushed the limit & published a pseudoscientific hoax without much friction.

Sokal is a professor of Math at University College London & Physics at New York University.

He performed a small experiment with journal ethics & intellectual rigor, back in 1996.

A fake article was sent to the journal Social Text.

The article appeared to be related to quantum gravity.

But the leading humanities journal, based in North America, didn’t bother to get it peer-reviewed by a physicist.

They published it in the spring/summer edition ‘Science Wars’ issue.

Sokal burst the bubble with an interview with the magazine Lingua Franca.

He reiterated that using ‘fashionable jargon’ & weaving leftist philosophy to resonate with editors’ ideology aided in smooth publication.

The content has no real value & basis.

This insinuates an unethical practice that’s often followed in academia.

Instead of investigating facts & ideas, often these are publicized if ‘sounds & looks good.’

Sokal Hoax reminds the academic community of the importance of peer-review.

Chronicling personal experiences and thoughts on Medium | Aspiring chemist by day | Amateur science writer by night | Say Hi on my blog: bit.ly/sumonwrites