Comments on Wilkinson's and Farb's Official Statements About Hill's 9/7/18 Quillette Article: https://math.uchicago.edu/~wilkinso/Statement.html (accessed 9/13/18) https://www.math.uchicago.edu/~farb/statement (accessed 9/13/18) Allegations that Wilkinson does not deny in her statement: 1. Wilkinson asked her father to write to the Intelligencer criticizing the paper. 2. Wilkinson falsely blamed divulgence of her name on the Intelligencer. 3. Hill wrote a polite email (copied below) to Wilkinson that she never answered even though she claims she had "scientific criticisms" of the article. 4. Hill wrote a longer rebuttal to Wilkinson's father asking for more discussion. He also did not reply to Hill. 5. Even after the Intelligencer article was rescinded, Wilkinson "continued to trash both the journal and the editor-in-chief on social media". 6. Wilkinson falsely announced on Facebook that a substantially different paper had been accepted.. 7. Even after the NYJM article was deleted, Wilkinson "was threatening Facebook friends with 'unfriending' unless they severed social media ties with" [Igor Rivin, the editor who had solicited the paper].
Trying to make sense of the story With this in mind, there were a few aspects of Hill’s blog entry that didn’t completely make sense to me. First, the research article did not seem politically objectionable to me. I could see how people with strong views on the topic of sex differences would find things to criticize in his paper, and he could well be missing some important points of the biology, and if you really tried to apply his model to data I don’t think it would work at all, so, sure, the paper’s not perfect. But as a math paper that touches on an interesting topic, it is what it is, and I was surprised there’d be a campaign to suppress it.
Not as influential in the debate as one of the referring articles led me to have believed.
Update to post, added 11th September. As expected, there is another side to the story discussed below. See this statement about the decision by the Mathematical Intelligencer and this one about the…
I agree in large part with his assessment, and do so in part based on Ted Hill’s Quillette article and not having read the actual paper yet.
I will say that far more people have now either heard about or read Hill’s paper than would have ever otherwise been aware of it had it actually gone ahead and actually been published and kept up. This is definitely an academic case of the Barbara Streisand effect, though done somewhat in reverse.
This statement is meant to set the record straight on the unfounded accusations of Ted Hill regarding his submission to the New York Journal of Mathematics (NYJM), where I was one of 24 editors serving under an editor-in-chief. Hill's paper raised several red flags to me and other editors, giving concern not just about the quality of the paper, but also the question of whether it underwent the usual rigorous review process. Hill's paper also looked totally inappropriate for this theoretical math journal: in addition to the paucity of math in the paper, its subject classification (given by the authors themselves) appeared in no other paper in NYJM's 24 year history, and did not fall into any of the areas of expertise of the editors of NYJM, as listed on the NYJM website.
At the request of several editors, the editor-in-chief pulled the paper temporarily on 11/9/17 so that the entire editorial board could discuss these concerns. A crucial component of such a discussion are the reports by experts judging the novelty and quality of the mathematics in Hill's paper. The editor who handled the paper was asked to share these reports with the entire board. My doubts about the paper - and the process - grew when repeated requests for the reports went unanswered. Nearly 3 months passed until the two reports were finally shared with the entire board on 2/7/18. The reports themselves were not from experts on the topic of the paper. They did not address our concerns about the substantive merit of the paper.
After these reports were shared, the entire board discussed what do. For many of us, there was no compelling evidence that Hill's paper was appropriate for NYJM. Further, the evidence that the paper had undergone rigorous scrutiny before being accepted was scant. In light of this, the board voted (by a 2-to-1 ratio) to rescind the paper. I believe that the editor-in-chief should have added a statement about why this was done, but he did not. Amie Wilkinson played no role in any deliberation of Hill's or any paper at NYJM.
I appreciate those who have taken the time to examine the record, including the University of Chicago.
Benson Farb Professor of Mathematics University of Chicago
In 1996, physicist Alan Sokal suspected that cultural studies lacked academic rigor. So he wrote an intentionally nonsensical paper, Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity, and submitted it for publication in the respected academic journal Social Text. It was accepted. Sokal exposed the hoax, the embarrassed academics made their excuses, and the paper was retracted. The imbroglio was posed largely as a story of flimflam and imposture in postmodernism.
Retraction Watch readers may be familiar with the story of a paper about gender differences by two mathematicians. Last month, in Weekend Reads, we highlighted an account of that story, which appea…
This article and the related links cover a lot of the questions I had when I read the original in Quillette the other day and only wish I’d had the time to follow up on as a result. Now to go on and read all the associated links and emails….
President Donald Trump has "turned words into weapons" -- and journalists are providing additional ammunition.
That's according to Trump critic George Lakoff, a renowned linguist and professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley. Lakoff wrote in a recent article for the Guardian that the president manipulates language to control the public narrative. The press, he said, functions as a sort of "marketing agency for [Trump's] ideas" by repeating his claims, even when trying to fact-check or debunk his statements.
"By faithfully transmitting Trump's words and ideas, the press helps him to attack, and thereby control, the press itself," he writes.
As the guest on this week's Reliable Sources podcast, Lakoff spoke to Brian Stelter about Trump's linguistic frames, what the press should do differently, and why journalists need to tackle Trump's words like a "truth sandwich."
"It is no secret that David Lynch, the writer-director-composer-painter, has an unusual relationship with Bob's Big Boy," begins a 1999 Los Angeles Times article on the auteur of films like Eraserhead and Blue Velvet. "For seven years in the 1980s he ate lunch there every day, ordering cup after cup of over-sweetened coffee and a single chocolate milkshake while scribbling notes on Bob's little square napkins." He took pains, notes reporter Amy Wallace, "to arrive at Bob's at precisely 2:30 p.m. each day. The reason: It increased the odds that he would encounter perfection."
Someone in the Office of Sheriff, in Monroe County, New York, has a good sense of humor. And if you're from the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies generation, you will get a good laugh. In other news, Warner Bros. just announced that it's developing an animated Wile E.
I see so many urban coyotes this is even funnier to me.