Image Credits: AAP/Lukas Coch (edited)
Australian National University urges staff to stop using the term ‘gravity’
CANBERRA, ACT – Australia’s leading university, the ANU, has discouraged staff from using ‘force-exclusive’ language such as ‘gravity’ to describe objective scientific realities.
The guidance appears to be an extension of the recent controversy around the release of an ANU Gender-Inclusive Handbook which replaced the terms ‘mother’, ‘father’ and ‘breastfeeding’ with ‘gestational’, ‘non-gestational’ and ‘chestfeeding’.
Vice-Chancellor of the ANU, Professor Brian Schmidt, described the reasoning behind the decision.
“The ANU has come to realise that many of our scientific terms actually discriminate against certain sections of students.”
“We recognise that the concept of gravity brings with it hateful attitudes around individual’s weight, balance and personal physical world beliefs.”
“I am ashamed to say that I am as culpable as anyone in this regard, as in all my Nobel Prize and astrophysics work I never realised the damage I was doing to people’s feelings by basing my supernovae studies on these harmful terms.”
“We hope these changes will uplift transweight and minority post-scientific students so they can be free to fly!”
There has however been strong criticism of the move from several distinguished physicists.
Associate Professor Stoot Frankman has told the Damascus Dropbear that he sees the move as ‘unhinged from reality’.
“When I look at the world I see a set of incredible and profound physical laws designed for human flourishing.”
“I’m just not sure they have fully thought through the unintended consequences of removing the notion of gravity for the sake of avoiding offence.”
“People, and universities, can believe what they want – but as for me my feet are going to stay firmly planted on this solid rock.”
It is further reported that the ANU is looking to turn their ‘University inclusiveness audit’ towards medical treatments, mathematical calculations and engineering structures next.