Geologists as the Orwellian Vanguard


In George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, the unironic slogans of the totalitarian government are: “war is peace,” “freedom is slavery,” and “ignorance is strength.”  The modern totalitarians of the progressive American Left who have ramped up their efforts in the past decade have added “discrimination is tolerance.”

Witness this statement from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) explaining why the organization, along with the Geological Society of America (GSA), banned Brigham Young University (BYU) from advertising jobs for which their members might be qualified:

“AGU has always encouraged and fostered a diverse geoscience community throughout its history because we believe—and repeatedly see—that diversity and inclusion are essential to advancing science,” Billy Williams, the union’s vice president of ethics, diversity, and inclusion, wrote in a statement. “Since the job posting from BYU referenced its Honor Code as a requirement of employment, which conflicts with our policy, we removed the job posting from our website.”

This isn’t just a faint echo of Orwell’s constructs; it’s the actual thing.  To restate, the VP of “ethics, diversity, and inclusion” is saying that his organization must shun a well-regarded university because “diversity and inclusion are essential to advancing science.”  That is, they must discriminate against adherents of a religion because the Honor Code that it inspires conflicts with the progressive fundamentalism of the geological organizations.

Science, according to this way of thinking, is advanced by restricting participation based on ideological rules that have nothing to do with the narrow field of study or practice of investigation.  In the view of these organizations, no geologist who belongs to either the union or the society and who has beliefs that would fit with those of BYU should be permitted to find a work environment in which they’d be comfortable.  Indeed, the message is clearly sent that they should keep their beliefs to themselves if they know what is good for them.

That a statement like the one quoted above could be passed off with a straight face and without bringing upon its author a wave of ridicule is terrifying.

  • Maisha Grinn

    Not sure what the problem is. Are you saying that a publication should not be free to refuse advertising. Seems inconsistent with your support of bakeries who prefer not to do business with “those people”.

    • Justin Katz

      I suspect you’re deliberately missing the point.

      • Maisha Grinn

        I was pointing out a double standard.

        • Justin Katz

          Yes, and deliberately missing the point to do so. I didn’t say the organizations were not within their rights. I pointed out the Orwellian dishonesty of relying on the principles of non-discrimination and tolerance as they intolerantly discriminate.

          • Maisha Grinn

            Really? A Republican follower of DJT presumes to school the Democrats on hypocrisy, discrimination, and intolerance? I apologize. Please, by all means, do go on. I’m very sorry to have interrupted that circus act.