Alan Sokal  

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"Latour employs mischievous means to deadly serious ends. Nothing so upset American scientists like Sokal than Latour's insistence that Pharaoh Ramses could not have died of tuberculosis because tuberculosis had not yet been invented." [1]

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Alan David Sokal (born January 24, 1955) is a professor of mathematics at University College London and professor of physics at New York University. He is best known to the wider public for his criticism of postmodernism, after the Sokal affair in 1996 when his deliberately nonsensical paper was published by Duke University's Social Text.

Sokal followed up by co-authoring the book Impostures Intellectuelles with Jean Bricmont in 1997 (published in English, a year later, as Fashionable Nonsense). The book accuses some social sciences academics of using scientific and mathematical terms incorrectly and criticizes proponents of the "strong program" of the sociology of science for denying the value of truth. The book had contrasted reviews, with some lauding the effort, and some more reserved.

In 2008, Sokal revisited the Sokal affair and its implications in Beyond the Hoax.




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