In 1996, Alan Sokal, a Professor of Physics at New York University, wrote a paper for the cultural-studies journal Social Text, entitled 'Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity'.
It was reviewed, accepted and published. Sokal immediately confessed that the whole article was a hoax - a cunningly worded paper designed to expose and parody the style of extreme postmodernist criticism of science.
The story became front-page news around the world and triggered fierce and wide-ranging controversy.
Sokal is one of the most powerful voices in the continuing debate about the status of evidence-based knowledge.
In Beyond the Hoax he turns his attention to a new set of targets - pseudo-science, religion, and misinformation in public life. 'Whether my targets are the postmodernists of the left, the fundamentalists of the right, or the muddle-headed of all political and apolitical stripes, the bottom line is that clear thinking, combined with a respect for evidence, are of the utmost importance to the survival of the human race in the twenty-first century.'The book also includes a hugely illuminating annotated text of the Hoax itself, and a reflection on the furore it provoked.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 488 pages, black & white tables, figures
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
- Publication Date: 31/12/1998
- Category: Cultural studies
- ISBN: 9780199561834