Campus Reform | Feminist prof says 'traditional science' is rooted in racism

Feminist prof says 'traditional science' is rooted in racism

A feminist professor at the University of California-Davis has vowed to “challenge the authority of Science” by “rewriting knowledge” through a feminist lens.

Sara Giordano, who left the field of neuroscience to become a Women’s Studies professor at UC-Davis, opened up about her feelings towards the sciences in a recent essay for Catalyst, a journal of feminist theory.

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Science, she worries, has “earned its epistemic authority through its co-constitution with colonization and slavery,” and therefore “relies on a colonial and racialized form of power.”

Not only is science rooted in racism, she alleges; it has been used to perpetuate racism and colonial practices.

“At the root of the justification for social inequality then is Western science,” she says, claiming that science’s distinction between “humans and non-humans” has allowed  “capitalism [to become] justified as a natural economic system.”

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However, Giordano is hopeful that feminists can work towards creating new approaches that don’t conflate science with truth.

“We need to disrupt the epistemic authority of Science…[and] the assumption that science = truth,” Giordano writes, further arguing that this can be done by implementing a “feminist science practice that explicitly unsticks Science from Truth.”

It is unclear what exactly Giordano means by separating science from truth. Although Giordano has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University, she does not cite any examples of scientific knowledge that could benefit from a feminist intervention.

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She does, however, say that she hopes her essay “opens up questions about what kinds of scientific illiteracy we might embrace to destabilize science and remake knowledge production.”

Further, she concludes by expressing hope that people will soon come to “embrace an irreverent disdain for traditional science and instead practice feminist science,” adding that this is time for a  “much needed anti-science, antiracist, feminist approach to knowledge production.”

Campus Reform reached out to Giordano multiple times for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen