The latest strategy is outlined in this piece in the rampagingly-leftist Guardian:
In short, the argument boils down to this: scientists and engineers are too easy to see the world in terms of right and wrong answers. Thus scientists and engineers need to be retrained to not draw such binary conclusions.
The problem, of course, is that the world often *does* boil down to “right and wrong,” or at least “correct and incorrect.” While there may not always be a right answer to an issue, there are always wrong answers. You need an airplane with longer range. Will range be improved by replacing the jet fuel with distilled water? No, you won’t. There’s a clearly wrong answer. Will you improve the range by painting the plane with culturally inclusive and diverse murals that celebrate the wide range of genders that people can express? No, you won’t.
You want to decrease the CO2 levels in the atmosphere while maintaining the standard of living for the west and increasing it for the rest of the world. Can you do this by banning nuclear power? No, you can’t. You want to build a 200-story skyscraper in an earthquake zone that is frequented by hurricanes. Cane you build it out of bamboo and brick? Maybe, but not for anything remotely resembling a budget. A plague has broken out. Can you effectively deal with it with homeopathy, holy water, smoke signals and bloodletting? No, you can’t.
The story in the Guardian, and the report it reports on, claims to be about how to deal with ISIS. But in the larger sense, the goal would be to water down engineering and science. Is this an unintended consequence, the authors simply didn’t think it through and realize that if they corrupt STEM, they’ll trash the future? Or is it an effort to intentionally do exactly that?
In a world that’s facing an increasingly chaotic climate, a world that needs more and more physical and energy resources, a world that *needs* to expand out into space… what sort of man suggests that what we need are *fewer* effective and competent scientists and engineers?
The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if there might be some transfer of funds, or at least suggestions, heading towards these sort of people from places like Beijing. *They* would seem unlikely to mind if western STEM programs were turned into sources of muddle-headed dingbattery.