On Being Pollyanna About Sciences

  • Oksana Yakushko


This chapter turns to the intersection scientism and anti-intellectualism in relation to scientific Pollyannist rhetorical shame-tactics used to coerce the public into accepting their “scientific truths” as absolute and accurate information. It presents historical instances in which science was used history to demonize people, inferiorize women and racial minorities, and create methods that elevate the dominant majority. Contemporary scientific efforts to empirically prove the inferiority of non-White individuals (e.g., “race realism”) and women (e.g., “gender” or “different-but-equal” feminism) are introduced. The employment of empirical rationales as foundational to contemporary White supremacy and misogyny of these arguments is highlighted. Fanon’s notion of “shameful sciences” and de Beauvoir’s analysis of the sciences as a “pretext” for patriarchy are noted. The chapter concludes by discussing the relation of these movements in Western sciences to scientific Pollyannaism, especially cultural requirement that individuals be Pollyannas about science itself.


Scientism Anti-intellectualism “Race realism” “Gender feminism” White supremacy Misogyny Promotion of sciences as a new religion 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oksana Yakushko
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical PsychologyPacifica Graduate InstituteCarpinteriaUSA

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