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On February 5, 2023 I will celebrate my 70th birthday. Yay! As I do every year during this birthday month, I run a campaign to raise money to support my work here at Behind The Black. I do not run ads. My only support comes from my readers, which leaves me utterly free to speak my mind openly about space, culture, and politics. Please consider supporting me in this work by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


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The moral and intellectual decline of American academic research

Link here. This well documented essay outlines how federal government funding has poisoned American academic research, and if we do nothing to fix it, will only be another precursor of a coming dark age.

My experiences at four research universities and as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) research fellow taught me that the relentless pursuit of taxpayer funding has eliminated curiosity, basic competence, and scientific integrity in many fields.

Yet, more importantly, training in “science” is now tantamount to grant-writing and learning how to obtain funding. Organized skepticism, critical thinking, and methodological rigor, if present at all, are afterthoughts. Thus, our nation’s institutions no longer perform their role as Eisenhower’s fountainhead of free ideas and discovery. Instead, American universities often produce corrupt, incompetent, or scientifically meaningless research that endangers the public, confounds public policy, and diminishes our nation’s preparedness to meet future challenges.

The essay focuses on how the lure of tax dollars has warped and corrupted medical research, but anyone with any knowledge of almost all other fields of science that now depend on federal funding will recognize the same problems.

Many of the stories the author documents include major universities (Duke, Cornell, Harvard) that not only have been producing lots of studies have required retraction or included documented fraud, but have also not done anything to punish those involved.

Overall, this study, along with the many examples of totalitarian attempts to silence dissent on American campuses, proves that these institutions no longer any public funding. At a minimum, high school students should consider other colleges. At best, they should be shut down.

Hat tip reader John Jossy.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • I have noted that, in general, and in education and health care in particular, that the more resources available to a system, the more the system focuses on process at the expense of goals.

  • V-Man

    Yep, it’s another application of Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

  • mike shupp

    And on the other side, defending things, I’ll point to

  • mike shupp

    One more, which will let readers blame either governments or capitalists:


  • Phill O

    I disagree with your first link mike.

    “Fear works by holding the threat of firing over the heads of workers in order to ensure that they stay in line: Do it my way or you’re out of here.”

    It is this fact in academia which has pushed the AGW theory to the point of some saying that it is”Settled Science” which is absolutely incorrect.

    It is fear of offending which has lead to the discrimination of conservative thought on campuses.

  • eddie willers

    I wouldn’t trust anything from Solon.

  • James Street

    Headline from The Babylon Bee:
    “Yale Med School To Stop Teaching Medicine Discovered By White Males”

  • Edward

    Phill O noted: “It is fear of offending which has lead to the discrimination of conservative thought on campuses.

    However, it is perfectly acceptable to offend conservatives, just not the other way around. After all, progessives define conservatives as intolerant of any thought other than their own, so any thinking that deviates from progressive thinking should be mocked, shut down, and eliminated. Therefore, the science is settled, because the progressives say it is. There is no need to debate the issue, because logic has nothing to do with it, only emotions, such as being offended. And it is perfectly acceptable to offend conservatives.

    Meanwhile, I heard on the radio hourly news, this morning, that a scientist is predicting a little ice age until 2050. I found this on the interweb, from a professor of mathematics at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK:

    Prof Zharkova described the research as ‘the first serious prediction of a reduction of solar activity that might affect human lives’. If the decrease in solar activity takes place, it could result in a period similar to the ‘Maunder minimum’ of 1645 to 1700.

    Zharkova and her co-authors extended the prediction of solar activity to future cycles. They discovered that the waves become fully separated into the opposite hemispheres leading to a sharp decline in solar activity in years 2020 t0 2050 – comparable with the conditions of the Maunder minimum in the 17th Century. This will lead to a reduction of the solar magnetic field and a noticeable decrease in solar irradiance.

    I suppose it is not coming from a progressive AGW scientist, so it will be mocked, shut down, and eliminated. I wonder how this hypothesis made the news? The article says it is news in many countries.

    Speaking of declining morals and intellect in American academic research, this may not extend to the UK. Prof Zharkova has confidence enough to encourage others to check her work:

    Speaking about her confidence in her team’s work, Prof Zharkova added: “I am absolutely confident in our research. It has good mathematical background and reliable data, which has been handled correctly. In fact, our results can be repeated by any researchers with the similar data available in many solar observatories, so they can derive their own evidence of upcoming Maunder Minimum in solar magnetic field and activity.”

    Unlike that East Anglia guy who would rather lose his tree-ring data than let anyone check it — and then did lose the data when others insisted upon checking it. Since he is a progressive, no one is allowed to question his motives, because that may offend him.

    Hmm. East Anglia is in the UK, too. Maybe morals and scientific integrity are declining around the world. I wonder whether it is dependent upon whether or not someone can offend the scientist, because he is emotional rather than intellectual. Maybe part of that emotion is greed, and this results in a pursuit of government grant money rather than pursuit of actual knowledge of the world around us.

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