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The Wall Street Journal Reports:
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is a peer-reviewed journal that claims to publish “only the highest quality scientific research.” Now the authors of a PNAS article from 2019 reject their research just because I quoted them.
Psychologists Joseph Cesario of the State of Michigan and David Johnson of the University of Maryland analyzed 917 fatal police shootings by civilians in 2015 to test whether the officer’s or civilian’s race predicted fatal police shootings. Neither did it. Taking into account the “racial violence crime rates”, according to the authors, there are no differences between the people killed by the police. These results are consistent with decades of research showing that civil behavior has the greatest impact on police behavior.
In September 2019, I cited the results of the article in Congress. I also pointed out in an article in the City Journal that I found that two Princeton political scientists, Dean Knox and Jonathan Mummolo, had questioned the study design. Messrs Cesario and Johnson stood by their findings. Even under the study design proposed by Messrs Knox and Mummolo, they wrote, there is again “no significant evidence of an inequality in the likelihood of being killed by the police”.
In my journal published on June 3rd, the conclusion of the PNAS article was quoted verbatim. It triggered a firestorm in the state of Michigan. The university’s Graduate Employees Union put pressure on the MSU press office to apologize for the “damage done” by mentioning my article in a newsletter. The union was directed against the physicist Steve Hsu, who had approved the funding of Mr. Cesario’s research. The MSU released Mr. Hsu from his administrative position. PNAS edited that Messrs. Cesario and Johnson had “badly framed” their article – the one that had gone through the three levels of the journal’s editorial and peer review.
Mr. Cesario told this site that Mr. Hsu’s dismissal could limit the “types of topics that people can talk about or what types of conclusions people can come to”. Now he and Mr. Johnson have endangered the possibility of a politically neutral science. On Monday they withdrew their newspaper. They say they stand behind his conclusion and statistical approach, but complain about his “abuse” and explicitly mention my comments.
The authors don’t say how I misused their work.
College fix notes that Michigan State University even deleted a press release that they published about the study and praised it. The press release states:
Reports of racially motivated, fatal police shootings have garnered wide public attention and have sparked nationwide activism. New research from Michigan State University and the University of Maryland shows results that turn many of these reports upside down – white police officers are more likely to shoot minority citizens than non-white police officers.
“There has never been a systematic, nationwide police feature study involved in gunfighting of fatalities,” said Joseph Cesario, co-author and professor of psychology at MSU. “There are so many examples of people saying that when black citizens are shot by the police, they are shot by white officers. In fact, our results show no support that black people are more likely to be shot by white officers.”
In addition to trying to withdraw the study and delete the press release, people are also losing their jobs.
College fix Remarks:
Michigan State University leaders have successfully pressured Stephen Hsu to step down from his position as Vice President for Research and Innovation after the Graduate Employees Union launched a campaign to drive him out of his role.
As VP of Research, he provided money to partially fund the study. And the Woke-Scolds at MSU didn’t like it, so they made him resign. No problem with research or funding was identified, they just didn’t like the conclusion.
When you go to university, pay attention to what you are studying. When you get a job, pay attention to what job you get and where you work. You need to think about what kind of programs and jobs these radical leftist psychopaths are home to.