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Let there be light… so long as it’s decolonised. Right-on academics condemn the science of illumination as ‘white male dominated’

14 25 4
24.08.2020

In the light of Black Lives Matter and the decision by Oriel College at Oxford University to move its statue of Sir Cecil Rhodes, the idea of “decolonising” education has made serious headway, with many institutions now reworking curricula to better reflect diversity and black and ethnic minority concerns.

There are plenty of problems with that outlook. It suggests that ethnic minority writers and thinkers should be included in college courses because of the colour of their skin, rather than the brilliance of their ideas. It also suggests that students can only really learn if education is “relevant” to them. After decades of fighting for equality, it seems we are now re-racialising society. Worse, this re-racialisation is seen as progressive.

But the idea of decolonising has gone further, suggesting that there are different systems of knowledge between cultures, and that these different “ways of knowing” are equivalent; that hey all deserve “respect,” rather than scepticism and testing. A new example of this is a project at Concordia University in Canada called Decolonizing Light. The project introduction explains:

“Even more than other sciences, physics is a white male dominated field and, thus, a mirror of colonial patterns and social inequality. Despite this fact, physics is considered as ‘hard’ and objective science, disconnected from social life and geopolitical history. This narrative both constitutes and reproduces inequality, which is reflected by the underrepresentation of women,........

© RT.com


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