Alan Sokal and the Experimental Hoax

Alan Sokal is a physics professor at the University of New York and in 1996, he submitted an article to Social Text, an academic journal.¬† His article “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermaneutics of Quantum Gravity” was a psuedoscience work of fiction that maintained his theory of the academic journal’s lack of background research and the critical use of peer reviewing.¬†Many of his peers have discredited him due to his deceitfulness to the publishers of Social Text. It is terrible what he did, but it does prove how very important it is for “academic” publications to carefully check the submissions before publishing them, because any articles that are published in a scholarly journal should be considered to be fact and thus true. This article and the controversy behind it illustrates why it is so important to check your sources, including the writer’s credentials, and why it is so important to use sources when researching that are considered to be “peer reviewed” articles.

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