Readers recall Brit physicist/TV presenter Brian Cox? You know, ”multiverse/“many worlds” makes sense“ and all that?
Rumour has it that he became something of a target this year. A reader sends:
Laughably, Prof. Brian Cox – a household name in Britain in science-communication – was attacked for having the ‘wrong’ wife. Not so laughable at all though was the large-scale harassment directed against him by flamers. They also mounted a major campaign of harassment against another person who is also a household name in Britain for science-communication, Prof. Mary Beard. The personal attacks upon Cox about his wife were in the course of Cox’ having tweeted in mild, polite support of an open letter in favour of free-speech. Though Brian Cox was not one of the many signatories to that open letter, among those who had signed it was his wife, Gia Milinovich (@giagia). The flamers used this to make personal attacks on Brian Cox, even though there is no evidence at all to show that Brian Cox is transphobic. Edited to add: Nor am I aware of any factual evidence to show that Gia Milinovich is transphobic, either.
No. His thoughtcrime was support of free speech. The most serious accusation possible in and around many campuses today.
It was Sarah Brown (@auntysarah), a trans person and activist, who started the personal attack on Brian Cox about his wife; Natacha Kennedy (@natachakennedy), also a trans person, and @IRLNoah, who claims to be a trans person, then quickly joined in. Self-appointed net-vigilantes quickly seized the chance to be personally abusive and dishonest. There is no evidence whatsoever that Brian Cox is transphobic. All the trolls could do was point to Cox’ mild support of the open letter against no-platforming, his marriage to Milinovich, and his poking very mild, polite teasing in one tweet only of the BlockBot-team troll who first directly attacked Cox about his wife. Then J Crowley (@jdcrowley) claimed:
“Nobody told him who he should be married to; rather, they pointed out who he IS married to”,
which is dishonest nonsense. … More.
See also: As if the multiverse wasn’t bizarre enough …meet Many Worlds
But who needs reality-based thinking anyway? Not the new cosmologists
Never mind all that stuff about universes if you are not interested. If there were an infinity of universes, we can be fairly sure that the junior jackboots wouldn’t be happy in any one that had free speech, no matter what its other features were.