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Darwin-L Message Log 3:7 (November 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.


<3:7>From korb@bruce.cs.monash.edu.au  Mon Nov  1 20:10:32 1993

Date: Tue, 2 Nov 93 12:15:20 +1100
From: korb@bruce.cs.monash.edu.au (Kevin Korb)
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Subject: sj gould's popular work

An editor would like me to report what influence SJ Gould's popular
work (esp. on intelligence testing) has had on academia.  I would
appreciate hearing (directly) from those who have used Gould's popular
writings in the classroom, or who have anecdotal or other information
about such use.  I'll be happy to repost a summary/compendium if
people express interest.

What would I like to learn from this exercise?  Such things as: how
widespread the use of Gould's popular writings is; how receptive
students are to his writings; whether students can either accept or
generate criticism of Gould; whether students can separate Gould's
scientific from his political conclusions; whether Gould's
politicizing of his popular science impedes or increases the influence
of Gould's ideas in the academic community; etc.

Lest I be misunderstood:

(1) I've no objection at all to popularizing science.  I think good
popularization is very important.

(2) I think Gould by and large does an excellent job in his
popularizations.  I have, however, significant criticism of his
metamethodological pronouncements, especially his characterization of
factor analysis in the Mismeasure of Man.  Criticism is the point of
my pending article.

Regards, Kevin

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