Professor Natalie Gosnell has declared that astrophysics is a racist field. That itself is not unique. We have discussed how professors like Rhode Island professor Erik Loomis have declared math, statistics, and technology as “inherently racist.” However, Gosnell’s reason is that academia continues to focus on “individualism” and “exceptionalism.”
The Colorado College blog reported:
“As an astrophysicist, I’m a product of institutions that are steeped in systemic racism and white supremacy…The [tenets] of white supremacy that show up [in physics] of individualism and exceptionalism and perfectionism… it’s either-or thinking, and there’s…no subtlety, there’s no gray area.”
The attack on individualism and exceptionalism is a growing trend. We previously discussed how “meritocracy” is racist and furthers “white supremacy.”
Professor Natalie Gosnell also objected to “metaphors” that she believes reflect a “violent” and “hypermasculine” bias. With the exception of the big bang theory, it is not clear what the violence inherent in the astrophysics field might be. The article mentions examples of this “violent, hyper-masculine lens” as the “Vampire Star” and “Cannibal Star.”
It is not clear what might be suggested for feminine or non-violent alternatives, but there is a risk in proposing such changes since that could be seen as a play at “exceptionalism” as an academic.