Peer-Reviewed Pranksters

Their Fake Papers Reveal an Open Opportunity

The joke was played on academic journals, but the politically correct corruption of higher learning is no laughing matter.

Twenty years ago, mathematician Alan Sokal set out to prove that postmodernism in academia was "fashionable nonsense." So he wrote a gibberish paper combining post-structuralist lingo with physics terms, and submitted it to the journal Social Text. Not only was his deliberate drivel accepted, but over 1,500 papers have cited it as source material.

Fast-forward to 2018: Three other professors decided to see if they could get past the peer-review process and reveal that fashionable nonsense lives on. Professors James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian—all professed...


John Stonestreet is president of the Colson Center and co-host of BreakPoint, the daily commentary on culture begun by Chuck Colson.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #47, Winter 2018 Copyright © 2024 Salvo |


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