My Paper

The Science Wars and the End of History


            The Spring/Summer 1996 issue of Social Text was devoted to the “Science Wars.”[1] Since its founding in 1979, the journal has been a platform for postmodern, Marxist, critical theory and feminist academics. This particular issue was published as a response to recent attacks on postmodern and cultural studies critiques of science by scientists and other realist critics. Scientific realists contend that science is the study of objective reality, while postmodern relativists point out problems of bias and uncertainty that they argue are inherent in the practice. The last article in this issue was written by a physicist and mathematician from NYU, Alan Sokal, titled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.”[2] The piece must have seemed like an important catch for the journal: here was an active scientist doubting the “façade of objectivity” of “mainstream Western scientific practice.”[3] After Social Text published this issue, Alan Sokal revealed in the journal Lingua Franca, that his article was “liberally salted with nonsense”[4] and was in fact a parody of a typical postmodern academic article. If Social Text practiced peer review, the article, in Sokal’s eyes, would never have been published.

This incident, dubbed the “Sokal Affair,” was the climax of the Science Wars and quickly became news outside academic circles, appearing on the front pages of The New York Times, The Observer, Le Monde and other newspapers.[5] Sokal’s hoax differed from other events of the debates in its appeal to an audience beyond the academy. However, in terms of the motivations of the scientific realist side to engage in the debate, the case is illustrative of common grievances. Sokal not only questioned the intellectual rigor of postmodern critics of science but also accused them of hurting the image of leftwing politics by making inane arguments in its name. Interdepartmental rivalry, exacerbated by what many felt was a decline in the prestige and funding of science, was also a veiled but present motivation.

Of the three motivations described, (intellectual, political, and rivalry) the former could not have been a major trigger for the Science Wars. The intellectual postmodern trends so detested by scientific realists during the debate actually developed in the three decades before the Science Wars. Squabbles, sometimes bitter, between the sciences and humanities are not uncommon in intellectual history. In particular, the Two Cultures debate that occurred in 1950s and 60s England framed many of the debates of the very American Science Wars. Yet, despite grumbling on the part of some realist partisans, no “wars” broke out until the 1990s. Simply put, scholars in the humanities were critiquing science and scientists for decades without getting too much of a response until 1994, two years before the Sokal Affair, when mathematician Norman Levitt and biologist Paul Gross published Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science. Thus, the intellectual disagreements between realist scientists and relativist postmodernists cannot, in and of themselves, be seen as a cause of the Science Wars. Fear for the stature for science and leftwing politics, on the other hand, were relatively new alarms spurned on by major events of the era.

The decade and a half of the 20th century, which coincided with the Science Wars, marked an important breaking point in history: the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. This event had a profound effect on both the world at large and scientists in particular. In 1992, conservative political pundit Francis Fukuyama wrote The End of History and the Last Man, in which he popularized his earlier 1989 thesis that now, with leftwing, especially socialist, ideology discredited with the end of the Cold War, humanity has reached the “end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”[6] This view has been largely proven flawed by subsequent events, as countries such as Russia and China can hardly be called liberal democracies and a uniquely anti-Western “Islamic State” has taken root in the Middle East. Fukuyama himself now openly calls the United States an “oligarchy.”[7] However, The End of History would never have been so popular at the time if it did not strike a chord with the optimism or pessimism produced by the end of the Cold War. Optimists, which included reigning Western governments at the time, sought a “peace dividend” to cut government spending on the military and indirectly on the sciences.[8] Pessimists, which included left-wing academics on both sides of the Science Wars debate were troubled by the rightward shift of politics occurring at the time. For many leftist scientists, seemingly bizarre notions of humanist postmodernists were partly responsible for setting the traditional Left off of its course by engaging in allegedly inane cultural arguments. In light of the funding cuts to the sciences, the scientists were also envious of the fact that absurd sounding postmodernists were securing tenured jobs and grants. Thus, the causes of the Science Wars lie in tensions over funding and politics exacerbated by the end of the Cold War.


A Previous Debate

Intellectual and institutional conflicts between the sciences and humanities, such as the Science Wars, happen periodically in history. There were squabbles in late 19th century England[9] and Germany.[10] One of the largest such disputes was the so-called “Two Cultures Debate” of the late 1950s and 1960s. In 1959 British physicist and novelist C. P. Snow delivered the Rede Lecture in Cambridge titled “The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution.”[11] In this famous piece he described what he saw as a deep cultural divide between the two parts of higher education, the sciences and humanities, in both Britain and America. Though both sides were to blame for the intellectual gulf, literary intellectuals were in his view the most at fault. Cambridge English professor and literary critic F. R. Leavis answered Snow at the 1962 Richmond Lecture, “Two Cultures?: The Significance of C. P. Snow” where he dismissed the novelist’s abilities and questioned Snow’s credentials.[12] For the next decade or so, Snow and Leavis, as well as their followers would attack each other in public lectures and in the press.

Both sides of the conflict argued that they were not against either science or the humanities altogether. Instead, both saw problems within large sections of the other discipline.[13] Historian Guy Ortolano argues that much of the debate was really a reaction to the common perception of British decline in the mid-twentieth century, as Britain’s place in the world was fading and even rival European nations such a France, Germany and Italy were beginning to outpace the UK economically.[14] This fear of decline led both Snow and Leavis to feel that Britain needed to reform its higher education standards to beat its competitors. Snow wanted an expansion of the university system, with sciences at the forefront. Leavis argued for smaller institutions of higher education, led by the English Departments to produce a new elite to lead the country. Though historians today doubt that a decline actually happened, at least in the economic terms used in the 1950s and 1960s, it was a prevalent idea at the time.[15] Indeed, the period described has been later termed the “Age of Affluence” by historians.[16] Ortolano’s analysis provides a methodological framework within which we can approach the Science Wars. Though possibly not as uniform as feared as declinism was in mid-20th century Britain, the “End of History” in the United States brought about negative foreboding among many of the more vocal scientists. It spurred them to sharply criticize postmodern humanists in a manner similar to that that spurred Snow to criticize literary intellectuals.


Science Criticism and Postmodernism

            The postmodern relativist philosophy so disdained by scientific realists does not fit into one school or line of thought. Indeed some of the science critics that the scientific realists sought to undermine, such as Bruno Latour, have objected to being labeled postmodernists.[17] However, this paper seeks to understand the motivations for engaging in the Science Wars from the perspective of scientific realists and with this in mind, various movements such as postmodernism, poststructuralism, literary theory, and certain sections of feminism can be lumped together under the umbrella term “postmodernism.”[18] What united these groups from the perspective of scientific realists was their questioning of science as a study of objective reality as opposed to something more culturally constructed. To anyone working in the “hard” sciences, such as physics, chemistry, biology, etc., whose work revolves around studying the outside world, this sentiment undermines their profession. Though these relativist critiques do not share a common history per se, they did reach maturity before the Science Wars broke out, sometimes by decades.

Many postmodern critics of science built upon the work of physicist and science philosopher Thomas Kuhn, who in his 1962 book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, argued that scientists were not always objective in their methods and normally would work within the parameters of an accepted system of facts and theories: a “paradigm.” When these anomalies built up, a brilliant scientist or a group of them would be able to rethink the old paradigm, and there would, against the grain of the scientific community used to the “normal science” of the old paradigm, be a “paradigm shift.”[19] This suggested scientific progress was not necessarily logic driven and provided fodder for many relativist critics of science. Philospher Richard Rorty, in his book 1979 Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, openly tried to “enlist” Kuhn “to drop the subjective-objective distinction altogether.”[20] Kuhn himself denied that his was a relativist approach. When questioned on the subject of the use of his work by postmodernists in 1986 Kuhn angrily replied, “I am not a Kuhnian!”[21] However, he did not bother writing an in depth refutation of Rorty or any other postmodernist.

Another philosopher of science who was inspirational to those that the partisans of scientific realism would lump together as postmodernists was Paul Feyerabend. At first, Feyerabend was a pupil and follower of Karl Popper,[22] a philosopher who criticized Kuhn for being too much of a relativist.[23] However, Feyerabend became disillusioned with science and argued that scientific knowledge was no different from any other understanding, as there was no such thing as the scientific method to differentiate it, in his 1975 book, Against Method: Outline of an Anarchist Theory of Knowledge. The book was not well received by his colleagues and Feyerabend was effectively isolated from the community of mainstream philosophers of science.[24] Another line of science criticism was propagated by Bruno Latour and Stephen Woolgar, who in their 1979 work, Laboratory Life: the Social Construction of Scientific Facts, argued that many scientific facts were in fact social constructions. Finally, a feminist critique of science developed in the 1980s. Some of its proponents argued that their aim was “to uncover and contest the practices of phallocentric science.”[25] These critiques struck at the very core scientific realism and can even be regarded as offensive by some scientists. However, there was very little response from scientists themselves until the Science Wars occurred.


The Science Wars

            The once muted unease of many scientists with postmodern critiques of their fields began to come out in the early 1990s.[26] The most influential and provocative work arising from this discontent was Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and its Quarrels with Science by mathematician Norman Levitt and biologist Paul Gross in 1994. Much of the Higher Superstition is composed of refutations of postmodernist, social constructivist and feminist writers. What made the book stand out and achieve relative notoriety was its polemical nature and acerbic wit. This book is meant to offend (and the authors readily acknowledge this[27]). The first word of the piece is “muddleheadedness”[28] with regards to postmodernist thinking and Gross and Levitt have no qualms about calling their opponents arguments “sophomoric”[29] or saying that they are in need of “psychoanalysis,”[30] despite referring to them as “colleagues.”

Higher Superstition was praised by many inside and outside the scientific community who felt that postmodern relativist ideas of science were getting out of hand. “Finally,” and “at last” are common refrain found in many of the book’s positive reviews.[31] Even some reviewers who had mixed or negative views of the book recognized its “courage”[32] and originality. The book also exposed the raw feelings that the topic evoked. Biologist Roger Pollack, who sided with postmodern relativists, began his review with “This book offends me.”[33] Many negative reviews derided the work as mockery. Nevertheless, even they agreed that the book had opened a new chapter in the discussion of the nature of science. As Michael Flower wrote in Contemporary Sociology, “the gauntlet has been thrown down – and in now uncertain terms.”[34]

Andrew Ross, a sociologist at NYU, to whom Higher Superstition devotes a whole subchapter,[35] coined the term “Science Wars” as a name for debate in 1995.[36] He began assembling scholars to write a response to Gross and Levitt in Social Text, an academic journal of which he was an editor.[37] Alan Sokal, the mathematician who sent the famous hoax article to Social Text in 1996, was himself inspired to do so after reading Higher Superstition.[38] According to Sokal, he had scant knowledge of postmodern relativist critiques of science until he read Gross and Levitt’s work. The Sokal Affair brought the Science Wars to a wider audience. Debates over the issue continued for years,[39] though many players either curbed their critique of the other side or focused on other issues by the middle of the 2000s.[40]

Though it is clear that Higher Superstition sparked the Science Wars in part due to its purposefully colorful polemic, which struck a nerve, the debate erupted with such force because it fell on fertile ground. Indeed, many of the critiques of science works derided in the Higher Superstition were decades old at the time of the book’s publication. A not altogether different text could have been written in five or even ten years earlier. Recent tensions over politics and the stature of science (particularly its funding) were the factors that made the Science Wars so explosive in 1994. These factors worked as a catalyst for Gross and Levitt and for many other suddenly vocal scientific realists in the 1990s.


The End of History: The Implosion of the Left

At first glance, the arguments of scientific realists during the Science Wars mirror those of conservative critics of postmodernism. Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Our Higher Education, written by conservative commentator Roger Kimball, laid down many of the same critiques as did Higher Superstition in 1990. Tenured Radicals was also a New York Times best sellers list and overall was arguably the more influential book. However, in the context of the Science Wars, most scientific realists during the debates of the mid-1990s were squarely on the Left, as were most postmodern relativists. Alan Sokal in particular was a leftist par excellence, having travelled to Nicaragua during the Sandinista regime and written laudatory articles about it in the New York Times.[41] Many vocal science activists who came out in support of scientific realists, such as Richard Dawkins[42] and Freeman Dyson,[43] are known for countering conservative ideas of creationism. Both sides also accused each other being secretly conservative or reactionary. To Gross and Levitt, postmodernists were the intellectual 19th century Romanticists and Edmund Burke, the father or modern conservatism.[44] They are commonly referred to as “reactionaries” in Higher Superstition. To historian Dorothy Nelkin, Higher Superstition represented the “failed marriage of Science and the State.”[45]

Despite the name-calling, both sides acknowledged that they were dealing with a dispute within the Left itself.[46] For scientific realists with leftist views that was particularly troubling. Gross and Levitt argued that the recent decline of the left in the United States has a profound negative effect on the country. Television programs, which brought information to many viewers, were particularly singled out:

“In depth” public issues programming offering “debates” between “liberals” and “conservatives” often provide a right-of-center, nominally Democratic neoconservative as a representative of the former, and a neofascist as spokesman for the latter.[47]

From the perspective of someone on the left, this is what the “end of history” looks like. In this context there is a need for “an alternative political culture,” but the “Academic Left” is ill equipped to provide it.

In the same Lingua Franca article where Sokal made known his hoax he echoed the frustrations of Gross and Levitt. The physicist claimed that his reason for publishing his hoax article stemmed from a “concern about the spread of subjectivist thinking [that] is both intellectual and political.”[48] On the intellectual level, he was annoyed with a mode of thinking that, in his eyes, “denies the existence of objective realities.”[49] Politically, Sokal had a problem with postmodern theory being associated with the “self-proclaimed Left.”[50] Sokal described himself as a “leftist and a feminist”[51] and felt that the “sloppy thinking” from his colleagues in the humanities, which seems to deny objective reality and thus any hope for logical solutions of society’s ills, was hurting his political cause. The idea is further explored in Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuses of Science, a book co-written by Alan Sokal and Belgian physicist Jean Bricmont after the Sokal Affair, where the authors claim that “the remnants of the left have collaborated in driving the last nail in the coffin of the ideals of justice and progress”[52] by adopting postmodern ideas. Their solution to the political conundrum is to let “in a little bit of air, in hope that one day the corpse [of traditional left-wing ideals] will awaken.”[53]

During much of the 1990s, many of the predictions of The End of History seemed to be coming to bear. Politics had moved markedly to the right and the left failed to provide an adequate response to the end of the Cold War. According to the scientific realists in the Science Wars, postmodern ideas partially to blame for the ineffectiveness of the left. Many leftists not directly involved in the Science Wars had a similar opinion.[54] This prompted a debate within parts of the movement, as to the utility of postmodern critique. The Science Wars were part of this debate and some scientific realists clearly wrote their attacks on postmodern relativists in order to shore up their political cause.


The End of History: The Stature of Science

In the introduction of The Sokal Hoax: The Sham that Shook the Academy, an anthology of articles related to the affair put together by the editors of Lingua Franca in 2000, the editors explore a veiled motivation for the physicist to perpetrate the hoax: interdepartmental rivalry. The editors focus on the relationship between Sokal and Andrew Ross, a fellow NYU professor and an editor of Social Text. While “NYU’s physics department is not especially well known,” Ross, in the Cultural Studies department, “is something of an academic celebrity,”[55] even appearing in a full page photo in the New York Times Magazine.[56] Sokal’s original article in Lingua Franca does seem to take relish in confounding “such luminaries as Fredric Jameson and Andrew Ross.”[57] Department rivalry and the stature of science figure prominently in Sokal’s other works as wells as those of other scientific realists.

Popular works critical of mismanagement of funds by scientists and politically motivated grants (or lack thereof) came out in the early 1990s.[58] With the end of the Cold War, funding for war related science was cut as part of the “peace dividend” and federal funding of science decreased in absolute terms.[59] Compared to these challenges, academics from science studies and other departments that housed postmodern relativists were not too threatening. Philosopher of science David Hull later compared the relationship of science studies scholars to scientists to “gnats flitting around a tough old rhinoceros.”[60] However, in light of the issues facing science as whole in the United States, the continued funding and stature of “gnats” such as Andrew Ross must have seemed absurd to scientific realists.

Indeed, their works are filled with references to tenured jobs and print industries that they did not think postmodern relativists deserved access to. In Higher Superstition:

A considerable number of high-flying academic stars are leftist celebrities who hop from one first-rank institution to the next at their own pleasure.[61]

These days, academic presses pour out dozens upon dozens of volumes grounded in left-wing theory. Proportionately numerous are learned journals, many of them brand new and as slick as MTV, whose purpose is avowedly political and unapologetically leftist.[62]

In Richard Dawkins’ review of Intellectual Impostures:

He [Andrew Ross] and his fellow ‘cultural studies’ and ‘science studies’ barons are not harmless eccentrics at third rate state colleges. Many of them have tenured professorships at some of America’s best universities. Men of this kind sit on appointment committees, wielding power over young academics who might secretly aspire to an honest academic career in literary studies or, say, anthropology.[63]


Clearly these writers are not too keen on the idea of postmodern critics of science keeping their academic positions and may even be feeling some envy. This jealousy toward a relatively inconsequential “gnats” highlights the effects of the End of History on the Science Wars. As the whole world seemed to be moving toward Western-style liberal democracy, there was no longer a need for a Cold War military or Cold War science funding. Feeling under pressure from the loss of funding and uncertainty of their profession, some scientists began to lash out at those they largely ignored before.



            The Science Wars were a sometimes bitter debate in the ivory tower between postmodern relativists, mostly from the humanities and “studies” departments, and scientific realists, mostly from natural science departments. Though scientists and the study of science had been critiqued for many decades before Science Wars broke out, there was at first a muted response from scientists themselves. In the early 1990s, many scientists felt their fields were under attack and those of them on the left felt that their political cause was suffering. Postmodern critics of science seemed to be both attacking the work of the scientists and distorting the political left. This worked as a catalyst for some vocal scientists to engage in what became known as the Science Wars with their postmodern critics in the 1990s.


[1] Ross, Andrew. “Introduction.” Social Text, 1996, 1-13.

[2] Sokal, Alan D. “Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.” Social Text, 1996, 217-52.

[3] ibid.

[4] Sokal, Alan. “A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies.” Lingua Franca, May/June, 1996.

[5] Sokal, Alan D., and J. Bricmont. Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science. New York: Picador USA, 1998. 2.

[6] Fukuyama, Francis. “The End of History?”, The National Interest, Summer 1989. 4.

[7] Yang, Wesley. “Francis Fukuyama: ‘In Recently Democratised Countries I’m Still a Rock Star’.” The Guardian, December 27, 2014.

[8] Kaiser, David. How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival. New York: W.W. Norton, 2011. 279.

[9] Roos, David A. “Matthew Arnold and Thomas Henry Huxley: Two Speeches at the Royal Academy, 1881 and 1883.” Modern Philology, 1977, 316-24.

[10] Häuser, Karl. “Historical School and “Methodenstreit”” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) / Zeitschrift Für Die Gesamte Staatswissenschaft 144, no. 3 (1988): 532-42.

[11] Snow, C. P. The Two Cultures. Canto ed. London: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

[12] Leavis, F R. Two Cultures?: The Significance of C P Snow, Being the Richmond Lecture, 1962. Chatto and Windus, 1962.

[13] ibid.

[14] Ortolano, Guy. The Two Cultures Controversy: Science, Literature and Cultural Politics in Postwar Britain. Cambridge: Cambridge Univerity Press, 2010. 161-193.

[15] Ortolano 12-16.

[16] Bogdanor, Vernon, and Robert Skidelsky. The Age of Affluence, 1951-1964;. London: Macmillan, 1970.

[17] Latour, Bruno. We Have Never Been Modern. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993.

[18] Gross, Paul R., and N. Levitt. Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994. 38-40.

Fashionable Nonsense, 4-6.

[19] Kuhn, Thomas S. “The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolutions.” In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970.

[20] Rorty, Richard. Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979.

[21] Dyson, Freeman J. The Sun, the Genome & the Internet: Tools of Scientific Revolutions. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 144.

[22] Preston, John. Feyerabend: Philosophy, Science, and Society. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 1997. 2-3.

[23] Fuller, Steve. Knowledge Book. Durham, GBR: Acumen, 2007. ProQuest ebrary. 92.

[24] Feyerabend: Philosophy, Science, and Society. 7.

[25] Rose, Hillary. “Beyond Maculinist Realities: A Feminist Epistemology.” In Feminist Approaches to Science. New York: Pergamon Press, 1986. 57.

[26] Nicholson, Richard S. “Editorial: Postmodernism.” Science 261, no. 5118 (1993): 143.

[27] For example, when criticizing feminist views of science, Gross and Levitt claim to be “aware that each time we say it we lose a few more friends” Higher Superstition. 121.

[28] ibid. 1.

[29] ibid. 91.

[30] ibid. 121.

[31]Weissman, Judith. “Review: Designer Baloney in the Academy.” The Sewanee Review 103, no. 3 (Summer 1995).

Rauch, Jonathan. “Bookshelf: Academic Left vs. Science.” The Wall Street Journal, April 19, 1994.

Kleinman, D. L. (1995). Why science and scientists are under fire–and how the profession needs to respond. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 42(5)

[32] Douard, John. “Reviewed Work: Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science.” Politics and the Life Sciences, 1995. 106.

[33] Pollack, Roger. “Reviewed Work: Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science.” The Quarterly Review of Biology, 1995, 211.

[34] Flower, Michael J. “Reviewed Work: Higher Superstition: The Academic Left and Its Quarrels with Science.” Contemporary Sociology, 1995, 114.

[35] Higher Superstition. “Cultural Studies: Playing Intellectual Hooky”. 121.

[36] Guillory, John. “The Sokal Affair and the History of Criticism.” Critical Inquiry, 2002, 471.

[37] Editors of Lingua Franca, ed. The Sokal Hoax: The Sham That Shook the Academy. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000. 4.

[38] Siegal Robert. Interview with Alan Sokal. All Things Considered. NPR, May 15, 1996.

[39] Alan Sokal revisited the topic in his 2009 book, Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture. Other works from he 2000s include Arkady Plotinsky’s The Knowable and the Unknowable, After the Science Wars: Science and the Study of Science. edited by Keith Ashman and Phillip Baringer (which fail to resolve the dispute despite the title) and One Culture? : A Conversation About Science. edited by Jay Labinger and Harry Collins.

[40] On the postmodern relativist side, Bruno Latour began to raise concern that his relativist position was being used by deniers of climate change.

Latour, Bruno. “Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern.” Critical Inquiry, 2004, 225-48.

Paul Gross, co-author of Higher Superstition also changed his attention to the science-skeptic right.

Forrest, Barbara, and Paul R. Gross. Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

[41] Sokal, Alan. “Letters to the Editor” New York Times. Dec 30, 1987; Sokal, Alan. “State-Sponsored Terrorism, American Style” New York Times, Feb 27, 1987; Sokal, Alan. “Salvador or Nicaragua More Democratic?” New York Times. Oct 21, 1984.

[42] Dawkins, Richard. “Postmodernism Disrobed.” Nature, 1998, 141-43.

[43] Dyson, Freeman J. The Sun, the Genome & the Internet: Tools of Scientific Revolutions. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

[44] Higher Superstition, 16-34.

[45] Nelkin, Dorothy. “The Science Wars: Responses to a Marriage Failed” Social Text, 1996. 93-100.

[46] Levitt and Gross subtitle their book The Academic Left and Its Troubles with Science. Andrew Ross and Bruce Robbins felt that the Sokal Hoax has an unfortunate “Left eat Left” scenario.

Editors of Lingua Franca, ed. Robbins, Bruce and Ross, Andrew. “Response Mystery Science Theater” in The Sokal Hoax: The Sham That Shook the Academy. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000. 57.

[47] Higher Superstition, 37.

[48] Sokal, Alan. “A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies.” Lingua Franca, May/June, 1996.

[49] ibid.

[50] ibid.

[51] Siegal Robert. Interview with Alan Sokal. All Things Considered. NPR, May 15, 1996.

[52] Fashionable Nonsense, 202.

[53] ibid.

[54] A fascinating left-wing debate that ran through the columns of Z Magazine

“ZCommunications » Science Wars.” Accessed May 22, 2015.

[55] Editors of Lingua Franca, ed. The Sokal Hoax: The Sham That Shook the Academy. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000. 5.

[56] ibid.

[57] Sokal, Alan. “A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies.” Lingua Franca, May/June, 1996.

[58] Bell, Robert. Impure Science: Fraud, Compromise, and Political Influence in Scientific Research. New York: Wiley, 1992.

[59] “R&D Budget and Policy Program.” Historical Trends in Federal R&D. Accessed May 22, 2015.

[60] Hull, David. “The Professionalization of Science Studies: Cutting Some Slack.” Biology and Philosophy, 2000.

[61] Higher Superstition, 34.

[62] ibid.

[63] Dawkins, Richard. “Postmodernism Disrobed.” Nature, 1998, 141-43.