Nature was once the most prestigious academic journal in the world. Yet in the last few years, it’s been allocating more and more editorial space to woke activism. The latest example comes in the form of an article titled “The sting of sizeism in the scientific workplace”.
“Sizeism”, in case you’re not aware, refers to prejudice or discrimination against those who are overweight. And the article’s basic gist is that it’s a big problem in science. In short, “researchers of size” (an actual phrase used in the article) are being held back by “stigma against fatness”.
Okay, pointing this out isn’t so unreasonable, you might say. After all, if someone’s a great scientist, they shouldn’t face a penalty just because they’re on the heavy side. And that’s true: discrimination on the basis of any arbitrary characteristic is wrong. However, the article goes much further than that – by suggesting overweight people contribute to “diversity”, and making various other bizarre claims.
“Academics love to pay lip service to diversity, less so to size diversity,” says an academic quoted in the article. The implication being that “diversity” with respect to body size is something desirable – that it would be better to have a department with 10 healthy people and 10 obese people than with 20 healthy people.
Personally, I’m against attaching any weight to “diversity” when it comes to hiring. I think the best person should get the job, full stop. However, to suggest that we ought to care about “size diversity” is particularly absurd. You can at least argue that hiring more women or black people might have positive role model effects. But I can’t see any possible benefit of hiring people just because they’re overweight.