Two Ph.Ds say they hoaxed a peer-reviewed academic journal into publishing a paper that, among other things, claimed that the “conceptual penis” is driving climate change and that hypermasculinity is irreparably damaging the ecosystem.
The authors claim they purposely loaded up the paper, “The conceptual penis as a social construct,” with lofty academic gibberish and fake sources that seemed to validate what they suggest is a prevailing, anti-male gender studies philosophy.
Although the Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay (who submitted their work using pen names) describe their manuscript as 3,000 words of “utter nonsense,” it was published by the Cogent Social Sciences journal, and as of this writing, is still posted at the journal website.
The paper is also archived here in PDF format.
In most academic, media, and political precincts, man-made climate change is considered settled science. Climate research is heavily dependent on government funding.
In a long exposé posted at the Skeptic website, the authors explain what they had in mind with their bogus paper.
“The paper was ridiculous by intention, essentially arguing that penises shouldn’t be thought of as male genital organs but as damaging social constructions.”
They go on to say that they purposely filled the incoherent content with academic jargon and feminist buzzwords, vulgar references to the penis and to males generally, and rape allusions, such as “manspreading” is the functional equivalent of raping empty spaces.
The research underpinnings of the paper were also unique.
“Boghossian and Lindsay cited 20 sources, none of them say they read, and five of which are fake papers that were ‘published’ in journals that don’t actually exist,” The Daily Callernoted.
On the subject of climate change, the hoax paper itself blames it on a patriarchy and the conceptual penis, which they distinguish from the anatomical penis.
“Climate change is driven by nothing more than it is by certain damaging themes in hypermasculinity that can be best understood via the dominant rapacious approach to climate ecology identifiable with the conceptual penis…Destructive, unsustainable hegemonically male approaches to pressing environmental policy and action are the predictable results of a raping of nature by a male-dominated mindset…At best, climate change is genuinely an example of hyper-patriarchal society metaphorically manspreading into the global ecosystem…the conceptual penis……is the conceptual driver behind much of climate change.”
In academia, there is typically significant pressure on tenure-seeking scholars to regularly publish in perceived prestigious journals (some of which are fee-based, so called pay-to-play outlets) for career reasons. That’s where the publish or perish saying comes from, which sometimes leads to shoddy or hasty work getting into print. The authors seem to suggest that their ability to get a bogus paper published might similarly be the result of this vicious cycle which needs to be reformed, particularly in those instances where some journals might be exploiting the situation.
The manuscript blaming the conceptual penis for climate change “should not have been published on its merits because it was actively written to avoid having any merits whatsoever. The paper is academically worthless nonsense,” the authors conclude.