Academic Publishing

MDPI and racism

In 2019, MDPI published a Special Issue "Beyond Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability", one year later its owner Shu-Kun Lin expressed admiration for Trump and said "Black Lives Matter. White Lives Matter. All Lives Matter."

I never had much desire to write about the Basel-based Open Access publisher MDPI, which I personally see as a cheaper and an even less choosier version of Frontiers, another Swiss OA publisher which I already wrote a lot about. Yes, Frontiers published fringe autism theories, psychic lunacies and antivax quackery, they even started to dabble in covidiocies (this recent anti-lockdown paper by Jean-Francois Toussaint is doing serious damage now), but at least no outright racism so far. MDPI however does not hind behind the bushes.

Therefore, in my last article for this dreadful year 2020, I want to introduce you to MDPI’s founder, president and apparent sole owner, Shu-Kun Lin, his unsavoury political views, MDPI’s denials, and the blatant racist pseudoscience dreck authored by the most notorious white supremacists which MDPI published as peer-reviewed research just last year.

Like Frontiers, MDPI was once listed by Jeffrey Beall as potential predatory publisher, but was quickly removed from the list when MDPI deployed lawyers (Frontiers instead succeeded to get Beall’s list completely deleted with Beall losing his job at UC Denver). In 2018, 10 senior editors of a MDPI journal resigned claiming they were coerced into accepting bad papers from paying customers. But nowadays, what with the push for the total Open Access, MDPI is beloved by OA activists, scientists and research institutions alike. The turnaround time from submission to acceptance is record-fast and publication charges range from CHF 1000 to 2200, cheaper than Frontiers. What more do you need? Let’s give these people more reasons to love MDPI, shall we?

MDPI founder Lin was a controversial figure for years already. The recent affair of his political and social views was reported on Twitter by the British journalist Richard Poynder, who specialises in open access scholarly publishing, and also wrote about MDPI controversies when interviewing Lin in 2015.

Trump’s Rule of Law

Some background: in October 2020, Nature openly endorsed Joe Biden for the upcoming US presidential election, NEJM did the same. Biden won, Trump lost (although the fascist president does not concede, claims the election was stolen from him and even considers a military coup). Soon after Biden’s victory became clear, the MDPI president Lin posted this message on 4 December 2020, on a public board (highlights mine):

When Soros Foundation started to support OA publishing, most of the OA journals listed on the Soros Foundation sponsored website were the journals launched and operated by me. I have been working hard to run MDPI to become the largest OA publishing company and one of the 5 largest scholarly journal publishers. I would like to clarify that, as an OA publisher, I admire my colleagues and friends from Elsevier, Springer-Nature, Wiley, Frontiers, and many other companies or organizations who keep the same professional codes and standards of scholarly publishing service.

More broadly, I believe the so-called open society should also follow the rule of law and maintain law and order, like other kind of society. Rule of law is the very foundation of western civilization.

I had a short conversation with the president of the prestigious Swiss university EPFL. I know he does not like Trump and I said perhaps Trump is the man to save the western civilization because Trump has been protecting the social system of rule of law.

It is strange that the media, including scholarly journals (like Nature and NEJM abandons political neutrality and start to create hatred between genders, races, nationalities and perhaps classes, ….

I think people are taken as respectable and honorable or better fit of a good position only because of their merits. Nothing to do with their gender, race, nationality, etc.

I do not think Biden will give more money to support scientists to do research. He will take money from hard working people or tax payers to pay lazy people and there will be less money to distribute as research grants. As a chemist I know the French revolution killed the founder of modern chemistry, a best scientist. This kind of movement in the western countries supported by Biden will be disastrous to all of us. Sad, it becomes politically correct to say, like Nature said, Biden wear the most beautiful clothes. The silent majority, including me, see that the emperor has no clothes.

Now, I do not know if Lin really thinks scientists will be killed under Biden. but the fact is: unarmed Black people were killed by racist police with Trump jeering, refugee LatinX children were put in cages, traumatised forever, many lost their parents, possibly also forever. There are many more crimes and abuses Trump’s regime perpetrated on those who are not white and not rich, it is very unlikely Lin is unaware. Trump’s fascist and racist words and deeds are a known fact, but it seems certain people like Lin see them rather as the Rule of Law. Currently almost 350 thousands US Americans are dead from the COVID-19 pandemic, most of them poor, many Black and LatinX. Because of they poverty, they probably do not fit Lin’s definition of “hard working ” anyway. This is also Trump’s Rule of Law, which serves solely the white rich elite.

Now, Shu-Kun Lin is not just the CEO of MDPI. In an interview with Richard Poynder in 2015, Lin clearly stated to be the sole owner:

RP: As I understand it there are two separate organisations: the MDPI Sustainability Foundation (previously Molecular Diversity Preservation International, which was founded by you and Benoit R Turin in 1996), and MDPI AG, an open access publisher that was spun out of the above organisation by you and Dietrich Rordorf in 2010. Is that correct, and are you saying that you are the sole owner of MDPI AG (i.e. you own 100% of the company and there are no other investors)?
S-K L: That is correct, and currently I am the sole owner of the publishing house.

It seems, the ownership situation remains unchanged today: Lin is still the only authorized signatory at MDPI, other executives have no such authorization. Neither are there any investor-appointed signatories named. Just Lin, all alone. Other board member is a certain Mr Yu Lin, “principal author of 10 publications”, whose main qualification is likely being Shu-Kun Lin’s nephew, in any case, an heir. Then there are Milos Cuculovic (MDPI head of IT, the MDPI billing manager Alexandra Cuculovic is presumably his wife), and Edward Constable, materials science professor at University of Basel, who publishes his research mostly with MDPI. Interestingly, the last MDPI board member is Andreas Schlatter, who just happens to also function as co-director of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). In the Swiss value system, it makes sense that the businesses supervise themselves.

White Lives Matter

That was not the first time that MDPI owner Lin spouted such bigotted views. In June 2020, he commented on the scandal of Thomas Hudlicky, a Canada-based chemistry professor who managed to smuggle his bigotted views against women and minorities as an editorial into the elite journal Angewandte Chemie. It culminated in a withdrawal and deletion of the article, a public statement by the German Society of Chemists (GDCh), removal of two editors and resignation of the entire scientific advisory board of that journal. Of course there were also protests from the other side, here a particularly disgusting example. You can imagine which side Lin was on.

On June 8th, Lin posted this comment:

Too many hypocrites. I do not see any problem with Professor Tomas Hudlicky’s opinion. Black Lives Matter. White Lives Matter. All Lives Matter. Shu-Kun

Now, this is a classic racist trope, didn’t Lin know it before writing? He is ethnic Chinese, maybe his definition of “white” is the modern one which means “not Black”.

Black Lives Matter movement began exactly because Black lives are being extinguished by police and even armed white supremacists willy-nilly with little to no consequences. American citizens, male and female, even children, are being shot for entering a shop, for driving a car, for walking a street, for opening their door or for not opening their door, even for sleeping in their own bed, all while Black. Being Black is their only crime, which makes them by default police suspects and potential victims of police violence, sometimes lethal. There is no skin-colour specific danger to white people at all and Lin knows it. In fact, all a white (or any) person has to do to make any random Black person suffer or even die, is to phone the police and point finger. The police will always find some reason to deploy threats, handcuffs, taser or even guns.

Lin’s statement “Black Lives Matter. White Lives Matter. All Lives Matter” conveys that there is no particular discrimination against Blacks, and that whites are just as persecuted as Blacks are, or maybe even more, what with the #BlackLivesMatter riots! The logic in such statements being: Blacks are genetically criminal, if they are shot by the police, they must have deserved it one way or another.

Asked whether that “White Lives Matter” quip was his own or MDPI’s official opinion, Lin clarified:

Strictly my own. Now I regret to write it.

He does not regret having such an opinion though. Lin ended the scandal with an apology where he actually defended that part of his message board post:

I would like to deeply apologize here about the inappropriate message I posted yesterday about Prof. Tomas Hudlicky’s paper retraction from Angewandte Chemie. I am really sorry about the misunderstanding created around my own opinion about diversity and inclusion. In the first part of the message I meant to show my great concern as a publisher that an accepted and published paper (like Prof. Hudlicky’s) was suddenly erased, but at the same time with the second part of my message I wanted to defend the multicultural and gender diversity, and express that all people have to be considered equally.

I would like to make it clear that diversity and inclusion are important values to me and I support them. MDPI is a very multicultural organization and many female employees are promoted to managing positions including on the CEO position. There are over 60% women in managerial positions at MDPI and 20 different nationalities represented in the workforce. I even launched a journal Diversity
https://www.mdpi.com/journal/diversity. I have an editorial “Publisher’s Note: Children and Sustainability” when our journal Children https://www.mdpi.com/journal/children was launched, see: https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9067/1/1/3 where I expressed my own humblethought about racial diversity
.

However, these comments are my own views and do not represent MDPI’s position. I am sorry if I created confusion or if I offended anyone by writing this short message.

In that editorial he mentioned, Lin said something which sounds very progressive and open minded:

Notably, the black African and Caucasian races in America have started to intermarry and have already produced many children—one of them, a boy called Barack Obama, is the current President of the United States of America.

Yet scientifically, there is no such thing as the “black African” race (you will see below that peer-reviewed MDPI publications claims exactly the opposite), in reality the African ethnic and genetic diversity is in fact much higher than European. Neither is there a “Caucasian” race, which is an invention of the German racist, Johann Blumenbach. The term Caucasian may be popular in USA, but this is because the mighty nation was historically build on violent oppression towards non-white people: the holocaust of Native Americans, the horrors of Black slavery in the South and, Lin may have forgotten, the cruel and racist exploitation of Chinese labourers in the West. There is no such thing as human “races”, although it is nice to know Lin is not generally opposed to interracial marriages.

Also in June 2020, MDPI issued a statement to counteract the damage from Lin’s Hudlicky-related post (for some reason, they want us to think the views of MDPI’s owner have no impact on his business):

Such comments are made by Dr Lin as a private person and do not represent MDPI’s views. We found his message disconcerting and do not approve of it. However, in a subsequent reply Dr. Lin apologized and clarified the misunderstanding while affirming his efforts to foster diversity within the company.

We strongly reject the views expressed in Prof. Hudlicky’s paper.

At MDPI, we are used to working with multicultural and diverse teams representing 20 nationalities based in seven different countries. A majority of MDPI’s employees are female, both at entry level and in managerial roles. We remain committed to providing equal opportunities to employees, irrespective of nationality, gender, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. We also constantly try to promote gender diversity in science in our journals. See some examples here:

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/remotesensing/special_issues/shemaps

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/drones/special_issues/shemaps_drones

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/sensors/special_issues/Women_Sensors

Furthermore, we would like to assure everyone who works with us that MDPI, as an international and open access publisher, was founded on the principles of ethnic diversity, gender equality, respect and equal opportunities for all of its members, which is an integral part of our organization’s culture.

Delia Mihaila
Chief Executive Officer
On behalf of the MDPI management team

I have no idea why MDPI keeps on asserting its feminist stance, the “White Lives Matter” statement by its owner Lin had little to do with that. It’s very nice of MDPI to have a female CEO to accompany an all-male board of directors, but anyway: the board, the management team: they are all white, there are no dark-skinned people or those with Muslim names anywhere. Never mind, they did issue a journal named Diversity, where paying customers can share their scholarly insights into that subject also, while making Lin even richer.

Shu-Kun Lin, with MDPI team. Original photo: Richard Poynder.

But now, to another thematic issue, in the MDPI journal Psych, which current Editor-in-Chief is a German psychiatry professor, Thomas Schläpfer, who probably skipped school when the Third Reich was taught. I truly think this collection should have been mentioned in the MDPI diversity statement. In appeared in 2019, behold:

Special Issue “Beyond Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability”

Yes, reader, this collection is as racist as you think it is, or likely much worse. Grab you puke bucket for the content of this collection, hosted by Gregoire Canlorbe, a French writer with no academic affiliation. Yet for MDPI and its President Shu-Kun Lin, Canlorbe proved perfectly qualified, sufficiently appreciative of race IQ studies, racist scholars, Chinese intellectual supremacy (Canlorbe’s own quote: “the Jews of the East“), and Trump’s racist anti-immigration stance (“to reverse the current dysgenic migratory trends in America—formerly known as the “new Europe”“).

Canlorbe seems to specialise in admiringly interviewing various racists, he even got published by the agro-business lobby Genetic Literacy Project, where he interviewed the founder Jon Entine on the evolutionary correlation of colder climate on higher intelligence, Entine parades many unsavoury racist concepts as science facts. I understand that Genetic Literacy logic is: denying the genetic truth of intellectual inferiority of Black people is just as anti-science as denying the truth of glyphosate’s safety. I never liked the Genetic Literacy Project much, but I naively thought it was just industry shilling, never expected racism.

But I digress, now look at this paper from Canlorbe’s MDPI collection, by the Emirates-based Venezuelan scholars Gabriel Andrade and Maria Campo Redondo:

Gabriel Andrade and Maria Campo Redondo Rushton and Jensen’s Work has Parallels with Some Concepts of Race Awareness in Ancient Greece , Psych (2019), doi: 10.3390/psych1010028

Some may recall that the Canadian J Philippe Rushton and the US-American Arthur Jensen (both luckily dead) were unashamed racists who just despised Black people. You cannot exaggerate how racist these two intelligence researchers were. If you are keen to read about their and their fellow IQ racists and eugenicists legacy, I wrote these two articles on the topic, here and here. The MDPI paper celebrates the “landmark work” of Rushton and Jensen, whom it sees as “the most important theoreticians of race differences in the 21st century” and seeks to prove that

ancient Egyptians already had keen awareness of race differences amongst various populations. Likewise, the article documents passages from the Hippocratic and Aristotelian corpus, which attests that already in antiquity, there was a conception that climatic differences had an influence on intelligence, and that these differences eventually become enshrined in fixed biological traits.”

Here the author Andrade tweets his support for the “scientific racism” legacy of the Bell Curve of the US-American Charles Murray:

Feeling nauseous already? Here something from an “Independent researcher” from Quebec, Canada. Peter Frost apparently qualified as MDPI contributor because he spouts various racist ideas and “supports far-right and right-wing populist parties and argues for the white genocide conspiracy theory which he calls “Great Replacement“. His paper in the thematic series was this:

Peter Frost The Original Industrial Revolution. Did Cold Winters Select for Cognitive Ability? Psych (2019) doi: 10.3390/psych1010012

It is as racist as its title suggests:

Rushton and Jensen argued that cognitive ability differs between human populations. But why are such differences expectable? Their answer: as modern humans spread out of Africa and into northern Eurasia, they entered colder and more seasonal climates that selected for the ability to plan ahead, in order to store food, make clothes, and build shelters for winter. […] Over time, these humans would spread south, replacing earlier populations that could less easily exploit the possibilities of the new cultural environment.

No, actually, it’s even more racist than it looked. There seems to be an implied call for Nordic Master races to displace and replace the inferior races, that is, where it hasn’t happened yet. Congratulations to having waved this and other papers in the collection through peer review, Shu-Kun Lin and MDPI!

One of the first tweets by this journal!

There is also Canlorbe’s interview with the ethnic German Gerhard Meisenberg, who is obsessed with racial IQ differences and also once said this about women :

Neither economic development nor the progress of female emancipation or empowerment have been successful at virilizing female achievement levels“.

Meisenberg, who also contributed his own papers to the collection, is a former editor of Mankind Quarterly, which looks like a Nazi Rassenhygiene propaganda outlet, historically founded and financed by actual Nazis of the Pioneer Fund (which also funded Rushton, Jensen and all other academic racists), but as an MDPI reader you are expected to respect this journal and its editors and contributors. The MDPI series includes also a contribution by the misogynous xenophobe Helmut Nyborg from Denmark, who denounced Muslim immigration on eugenics reasons and was eventually found guilty of research misconduct which may explain why he calls himself “retired” from University of Aarhus.

Several papers were contributed by another Dane and “far-right eugenicistEmil Kirkegaard, current domain owner of Mankind Quarterly and publisher of “racist, pseudoscientific bullshit masquerading as legitimate research” in his pseudojournals OpenPsych. Kirkegaard, described by RationaWiki as “a global-warming denier, anti-feminist, ableist, homophobe, Islamophobe, transphobe” who “promoted white supremacy“, was also one of the organisers of racist eugenics conferences with “Neo-Nazi links” at UCL in London, where many MDPI authors discussed here, have participated. Kirkegaard once suggested (in a comment section here) “it is a good idea to legalize child porn. Some studies show that the availability of porn has reduced rape rates” and went even further in a now deleted post from 2012: “a compromise is having sex with a sleeping child without them knowing it (so, using sleeping medicine). If they dont notice it is difficult to see how they cud be harmed, even if it is rape.

None of the above disqualified Kirkegaard from contributing not one, but four papers to this MDPI thematic series. His OpenPsych partner and “racist Italian parapsychologist crank who claims to have psychic powers“, Davide Piffer, now sports an academic affiliation with the Department of Biology of the University of Tübingen in Germany (update 30.12.2020: university PR spokesman admitted Piffer was “employed briefly at UT some years ago, not anymore in 2019“), under which he contributed this racist paper:

Davide Piffer Evidence for Recent Polygenic Selection on Educational Attainment and Intelligence Inferred from Gwas Hits: A Replication of Previous Findings Using Recent Data Psych (2019) doi: 10.3390/psych1010005

You can imagine what vile racist eugenics Piffer postulates. Here a figure from his paper, says it all:

Chinese are up there with the white, both on IQ and educational attainment. Peer reviewed by fellow racists!

Another member of that racist team is the “anti-Semitic crank John Fuerst, who “frequently posts anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on Facebook” and “spends his time attacking Jewish people on Twitter” (quotes from Rational Wiki, whom Fuerst threatened with defamation lawsuits for quoting his own antisemitic tweets). There are no Jews on the MDPI board, so I guess it’s OK then.

The trio Kirkegaard, Piffer and Fuerst contributed several papers to the MDPI collection, one of their coauthors is the grandfatherly patriarch of academic racism and white supremacy: Richard Lynn, editor, founder and board member of Mankind Quarterly, which is published by Lynn’s invention, the Ulster Institute for Social Research (its fellows are Kirkegaard, Piffer and Fuerst; Nyborg and Meisenberg serve on advisory board). With this affiliation, they contributed this MDPI “study”:

John G. R. Fuerst, Richard Lynn and Emil O. W. Kirkegaard The Effect of Biracial Status and Color on Crystallized Intelligence in the U.S.-Born African–European American Population Psych (2019) doi: 10.3390/psych1010004

Yes, the paper predictably claims to prove that white are the most intelligent, Black are intellectually degenerate and “racially mixed individuals” are somewhere in-between. It concludes:

“these results further substantiate the statistical relation between intelligence and biogeographic ancestry in African and European American populations.”

Lynn, a retired Ulster University professor from Northern Ireland, is worshipped in the racist academic community for having catalogued the IQ worldwide, with the Africans as the least intelligent “race” and Chinese and Europeans as most intelligent “races” on Earth. I am sure MDPI owner Shu-Kun Lin approves of all his writings unconditionally!

Figures and text from Nyborg’s contribution in defence of race studies, referencing Lynn.

Lynn was of course also famously funded by the Nazis of the Pioneer Fund and is one of the last survivors of the old generation of the academic racists and women-haters, but there are many others willing to carry his white supremacy torch, like those fellows of his Ulster Institute. Lynn’s special contribution to the MDPI thematic series was this, where he painted himself a victim from “Attacks from Equalitarians“:

Richard Lynn, Reflections on Sixty-Eight Years of Research on Race and Intelligence Psych (2019), doi: 10.3390/psych1010009

Other authors of the MDPI collection are:

  • the wealthy Scottish aristocrat Michael Woodley of Menie, “a eugenicist and ecologist who first proposed the batshit-crazy spiteful mutant hypothesis“, his theories are extremely racist and misogynous, but too insane to be even comprehended. Canlorbe did an interview with that character, which is part of MDPI collection.
  • the “anti-semite and white supremacistEdward Dutton, a fellow of Lynn’s Ulster Institute, board member of Mankind Quarterly and associate of Kirkegaard and Woodley of Menie. Dutton also hates Muslims who he says have a retarded IQ, disapproves of interracial marriages, and agrees with Rushton that Black men have bigger penises because all these porn films they watched prove it.
  • Japanese eugenicist and Mankind Quarterly board member Kenya Kura, who contributed with Kirkegaard to the MDPI collection a paper on biracial children in postwar Japan, where they failed to find significant differences in IQ between children of Black–Japanese and White–Japanese parents, which the authors then blamed on the genetic degeneracy of the Japanese mothers involved.
  • the Dutch Jan te Nijenhuis, who propagates a “racial hierarchy in intelligence” and whose racist PhD thesis at the University of Amsterdam claimed that Black immigrants in Netherlands had lower IQ than native Dutch. To the MDPI collection, he contributed a study proclaiming the cognitive inferiority of non-white Latin-Americans.

Look at this joint effort:

Emil O. W. Kirkegaard, Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Robert L. Williams, John Fuerst and Gerhard Meisenberg Biogeographic Ancestry, Cognitive Ability and Socioeconomic Outcomes, Psych (2019) doi: 10.3390/psych1010001

Here two figures, where authors announce the genetically-enshrined cognitive superiority of the “European and East Asian” race over Blacks and Hispanics:

That was in fact the very first paper Psych published:

You do notice that Chinese like Shu-Kun Lin are again classified as intellectually at least equivalent to the Europeans in the current race theories? Where else to publish this racist garbage but MDPI indeed.

From New Zealand, James Flynn (the inventor of the Flynn effect, he died in December 2020) contributed a paper actually critical of Rushton’s and Lynn’s theories on race and intelligence. Maybe Flynn was mellowing with age, because he used to have no high opinions on women and certain ethnicities and was best mates with Rushton, Lynn, Nyborg, Satoshi Kanazawa and other racists, here visual proof:

J. Philippe Rushton, Helmuth Nyborg, James R. Flynn, Richard Lynn, and Satoshi Kanazawa. Source: Kanazawa..

Actually, why was Kanazawa not invited to contribute to the thematic series, maybe his LSE refused to pay the MDPI publication charges?

To deflect all claims of racism, the MDPI thematic series contained the following “I am not a racist, but” contribution by Noah Carl, who now goes as “Independent Researcher” after he was, according to RationalWiki, “stripped of his fellowship at Cambridge University and sacked from his job, over his publications in OpenPsych and links to far-right extremists, including Emil Kirkegaard“.

Noah Carl The Fallacy of Equating the Hereditarian Hypothesis with Racism Psych (2019) doi: 10.3390/psych1010018

“There is a large amount of evidence that groups differ in average cognitive ability. The hereditarian hypothesis states that these differences are partly or substantially explained by genetics. Despite being a positive claim about the world, this hypothesis is frequently equated with racism, and scholars who defend it are frequently denounced as racists.”

But they are all racists, who all hate Black people and refugee immigrants, all they disagree on is what exactly to do about Jews and Muslims. In this regard, my tip as an actual Jew to Shu-Kun Lin: all this admiration for Chinese cognitive superiority and especially the “Jews of the East” comparisons by Canlorbe and others are not meant as compliments. The old post-WWII generation of racist psychologists, funded by the Nazis of the Pioneer Fund, was very much antisemitic, and the new generation hides it slightly better, but not always (see Dutton). In their world-view, Chinese are the new superintelligent enemy of their own white Aryan master race in the struggle for world domination.

Update: Reader informs me that Psych‘s first Editor-in-Chief in 2019 was a certain “hereditarianism pseudoscientist” Bryan Pesta, who used to sport an academic affiliation with Cleveland State University, where he claimed to have a fictional lab with two fellows: Kirkegaard and Fuerst. Pesta is deep into racial intelligence and published some racist stuff with Kirkegaard, including in Mankind Quarterly. Psych was possibly meant as a successor to their discredited racist sewer OpenPsych, Kirkegaard denies it but claims MDPI specifically invited Pesta to run Psych. Indeed, Pesta was appointed Editor-in-Chief only in April 2019, after several papers in the racist collection were already published. In April 2020, after 7 months utter silence the Psych Twitter account announced the new EiC Schläpfer.

Update 31.12.2020

If you think that racist collection in Psych was a one-off: no. Reader alerted me to the following paper, published in January 2020, which declared Sakha or as Russian call them, Yakuts (an indiginous ethnic group in the Siberian north) to be intellectually inferior to ethnic Russians:

Vladimir Shibaev, Andrei Grigoriev, Ekaterina Valueva and Anatoly Karlin Differential Item Functioning on Raven’s SPM+ Amongst Two Convenience Samples of Yakuts and Russians , Psych(2020) doi: 10.3390/psych2010005

The lead author Anatoly Karlin is a Russian racist or possibly even Neo-Nazi with an affiliation of the Institute of Psychology of Russian Academy of Sciences. RationalWiki describes him as “a Russian white nationalist and global-warming denialist crank who espouses a bizarre form of anti-environmentalism called “Tropical Hyperborea”, which is “a white ethno-state and he will only grant entrance to “whites from the high-IQ European & Anglosphere countries” who are willing to “culturally Russify“.

Karlin also openly admitsyes, I’m racist and very happy with that“. His Twitter handle is @akarlin88, where he once declared to find 14 year old girls “hot”. Karin was born in 1988, but also 88 is the standard code in racist circles for “Heil Hitler”.

Now, may I humbly suggest that Shu-Kun Lin and his MDPI take their “diversity statements” and shove them up their arses?

And you, dear member of the scientific community, do you mind publishing in such journals? Right, indeed, you are not Black, so why should you care. MDPI is said to provide the best value for money and faster turnaround from submission to acceptance than any other publisher. Off you go, master races, submit your next MDPI paper!

Update 4.02.2021

On 5 January 2021, the Psych EiC Thomas Schläpfer replied to my email, thanked for my vigilance and announced to look into the affair. He did state though:

“I’m not sure, as editor-in-chief, I have retrospective responsibility for decisions made by a previous editorial committee.

Since then, Schläpfer hasn’t written to me, all my follow-up emails to him and his University of Freiburg went unanswered. The racist papers all remain standing, free from even an editorial expression of concern.


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64 comments on “MDPI and racism

  1. A great Wall of virtue signalling text. China stands in administration. A chant echoes from over the horizon: “Learn to code”.

    Like

  2. Excellent post. There’s also some odd things about a non-existent Bryan Pesta lab at Cleveland State University. The special issue editor of Psych’s “Beyond Thirty Years of Research on Race Differences in Cognitive Ability was Bryan Pesta who has described himself as a head of a laboratory at Cleveland, listing only two research fellows – John Fuerst and Emil Kirkegaard. The problem is, this laboratory doesn’t exist. Various people have emailed Cleveland State University and they’ve never heard of it. Spuriously the lababoratory page also only listed Fuerst and Kirkegaard who published in the same special issue of Psych.https://www.researchgate.net/lab/Bryan-J-Pesta-Lab
    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Bryan_Pesta#Bryan_J_Pesta.27s_lab

    I noticed Kirkegaard removed himself from the list (probably knowing it looks bad knowing he pretended to be a research fellow of a non-existent laboratory), too bad for him there’s a screenshot:

    https://archive.is/GXYXa

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Oliver, I added an update!

      Like

      • Another thing to look out for is the abuse of h-index/citation impact by John Fuerst and Emil Kirkegaard. Very few independent academics are citing their work, so these pseudo-intellectuals cite their own papers excessively to make it seem they’re being taken seriously by academics (when almost no one actually cites them or pay them attention), this includes excessively self-citing the papers they published in Psych, as well as OpenPsych.

        78% (!) of Kirkegaard’s citations in OpenPsych phoney journals are self-citations. And if you look at the rest, most of those are by people who publish in the same phoney journals or Mankind Quarterly, or are affiliated with OpenPsych/MQ

        http://closerlookattheissues.blogspot.com/2019/02/emil-kirkegaards-self-citations.html
        https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Emil_Kirkegaard#Self-citation

        “I recently looked at every paper Kirkegaard lists on his Google Scholar profile as having 1 or more citations. I aimed to determine how many of his 404 total listed citations were self-citations (i.e. citations in papers he authored/co-authored). The answer was remarkably high: 316 (78%).”

        To provide a Psych publication example:

        https://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?oi=bibs&hl=en&cites=7725605706636273528
        Biogeographic ancestry, cognitive ability and socioeconomic outcomes
        EOW Kirkegaard, RL Williams, J Fuerst, G Meisenberg

        This paper co-authored by Kirkegaard and Fuerst has 11 citations, but who are those by?

        4 = Emil Kirkegaard
        1 = Noah Carl
        1 = AJ Figueredo
        3 = Mankind Quarterly
        1 = MA Sarraf
        1 = RT Warne

        Figueredo sits on the Advisory Board of the Mankind Quarterly.

        So the few citations that aren’t self-citations by Kirkegaard turn out (with very rare exceptions) to be their close friends who publish in the MQ journal.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. To support conversation about MDPI journals I run 2 min google search using “MDPI” and “XRD”
    https://pubpeer.com/publications/919A02F6339DEDA25772AA23478C24

    Like

  4. Pingback: Il padrone del razzismo pseudo-scientifico - Ocasapiens - Blog - Repubblica.it

  5. MDPI runs a great business. Every single publisher is for profit. I doubt that racism would produce profit, and I do not think that MDPI will be les popular soon. When do we get again posts on Western blots, please? :))))))))))

    Like

  6. Smut Clyde

    You seem to have omitted Kirkegaard’s correct title, “Child Rape Apologist”.

    http://archive.is/szQ59

    Like

  7. We have examined hereditarians’ claims of persecution in this paper which may be of some interest to you: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1089268020953622

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There’s another far-right guy who published in Psych-

    https://www.mdpi.com/2624-8611/2/1/5

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Anatoly_Karlin

    “Anatoly Karlin (Анатолий Карлин)[3] is a Russian white nationalist and global-warming denialist crank who espouses a bizarre form of anti-environmentalism called “Tropical Hyperborea”. Karlin supports melting Greenland’s ice sheet and Siberia’s permafrost for agricultural development and building cities. He further wants to melt sea ice in the Arctic for commercial shipping. Karlin’s idea of “Tropical Hyperborea” is a white ethno-state and he will only grant entrance to “whites from the high-IQ European & Anglosphere countries” who are willing to “culturally Russify”.[4] Among his other views are anti-feminism, HBD (“human-biodiversity”) and anti-LGBT (for example, Karlin has argued homosexuality should not be promoted[5]).”

    In 2017 Karlin attended a white nationalist event and shared a podium with Richard Spencer. He is also another huge hater of black people –

    “I am quite happy that few blacks associate with Russia, considering the type of violence-ridden underclasses they tend to create in countries that open their doors to them. Not to mention the extreme chutzpah and aggressive sense of racial grievance they tend to act out towards their host countries. So yes, I’m racist and very happy with that. If /r/europe SJWs or Islamists such as yourself have a problem with that, oh well. Don’t care, really.”
    https://archive.is/HHip3

    Like

  9. Emil Kirkegaard wrote in 2012 a few disturbing comments on a blog that he thinks child porn should be made legal

    ”There is another potential reason why it is a good idea to legalize child porn. Some studies show that the availability of porn has reduced rape rates. Since child porn is a subset of porn, one could expect the same thing to happen with it. The causal theory is that when people have access to porn, they jack off to that instead and thus are less horny, and so less likely to rape. This reasoning applies just as well to child porn” – Emil Kirkegaard http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/07/three-reasons-child-porn-must-be-re-legalized-in-the-coming-decade/.

    Kirkegaard has not retracted these comments.

    He also wrote a disturbing blog post

    “For the rest, one is left to masturbate to porn, perhaps child porn (animated or not), and regular porn. That sucks, and there is nothing to do about it. Perhaps a compromise is having sex with a sleeping child without them knowing it (so, using sleeping medicine). If they dont notice it is difficult to see how they cud be harmed, even if it is rape. One must distinguish between rape becus the other was disconsenting (wanting to not have sex), and rape becus the other is not consenting, but not disconseting either (so, unaware of the action becus of sleep or coma or something like that). There is also the possibility of bodily harm that will be there after the person wakes up. This is especially the case with small children since their bodily openings are not large enuf for a regular sized male penis. To avoid this one shud not penetrate.” http://archive.is/c3Vy8

    A compromise is a pedophile having sex with a sleeping child? Emil Kirkegaard holds some disturbing views. Nobody sane would write that.

    If you merely quote Emil’s own words about this to him on Twitter he blocks people and as of 2020 he has not retracted these views.

    Like

    • Well aware of these abhorrent comments since I relied on them in the lawsuit to show I was forming an honest opinion from reading his comments. You can go to the same URL and find Emil Kirkegaard’s distasteful views on age of consent:

      “I have thought about this before. For ‘age of consent’-fiction (people can consent at any age, even babies consent and disconsent to stuff happening to them!), perhaps a dual approach. Either 13 years old or start of puberty, whichever comes first.”
      http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/07/three-reasons-child-porn-must-be-re-legalized-in-the-coming-decade/

      Note that females start puberty on average about 10 or 11, while boys 12. So Kirkegaard has written he supports reducing age of consent and legalising sex with children as young as 10-12.

      Anyone who quotes these comments and forms an opinion of what he might be – he threatens with lawsuits.

      Like

      • Who has seen these before? I managed to find them, they’re not mentioned anywhere else.

        Truly shocking, but not surprising given his online history of making such controversial comments about child pornography.

        Emil Kirkegaard in 2013 on a forum posted links to child pornography and said he views child porn but claimed to be covering his IP address with a TOR to avoid Danish police:

        “Af juridisken årsager synes jeg ikke, at du skal poste noget rigtigt børneporno her, da hjemmesiden risikerer at blive lukket. Dog kan vi fint henvise til noget. Nogle få af de sider på det danske børnepornofilter er stadig oppe og indeholder faktisk børneporno. Wikileaks offentliggjorde en version af blokeringsfiltret (listen er hemmelig) for nogle år siden. Hvis man er modig (evt. på en proxy/Tor), så kunne man jo tage et kik på de sider det handler om. eg vil dog ikke anbefale nogen at indrømme, at de har kikket på det, da det er meget ulovligt per dansk lovgivning.

        Google translate:

        “For legal reasons, I do not think you should post any real child pornography here, as the website risks being shut down. However, we can link to some fine. A few of the pages on the Danish child porn filter are still up and actually contain child porn. Wikileaks published a version of the block filter (the list is secret) a few years ago. If you are brave (possibly on a proxy / Tor), then you could take a look at the pages it is about. However, I would not recommend anyone to admit that they have looked at it, as it is very illegal per Danish law.”

        Emil Kirkegaard Fri, 2013-03-01 08:31
        https://web.archive.org/web/20130907111353/http://www.piratpartiet.dk/node/795

        In the same thread Kirkegaard also defends legalising child pornography.

        In another thread he claims he wants to get rid of age of consent laws:

        “Det er en dum ide at have rigide age of consent/seksuel-lavalder love.”

        Google translate:

        “It is a stupid idea to have rigid age of consent / sexual-minimum age laws.”

        Emil Kirkegaard Tue, 2013-07-09 22:46

        Like

      • Thanks. The second comment had no URL but I found it by a simple search: https://web.archive.org/web/20130908035102/http://www.piratpartiet.dk/node/957

        Like

      • LordZelda

        On the same link Emil Kirkegaard tries to justify viewing child pornography for “research”:

        Det er uansvarligt at lave love om ting man ikke ved noget om, så følgelig bliver man nødt til at faktisk kikke på det for at vide hvad man taler om.

        Translated:

        “It is irresponsible to make laws about things you know nothing about, so consequently you have to actually look at it to know what you are talking about.”

        So he admits to viewing child porn, he also admits to this since he claims to know certain pages of child pornography are still left up on the danish child porn filter: “A few of the pages on the Danish child porn filter are still up and actually contain child porn.”

        Note that his justification is a common one for pedophiles who have been caught with child porn on their computers. There was a recent case where a university professor said he was “researching” child pornography and had over 5000 child porn images on his hard drive.

        https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/18318425.oxford-university-lecturer-researched-child-pornography-jailed-child-abuse-images/

        Like

  10. Leonid Schneider I agree that MDPI have slipped up for letting racists like Emil Kirkegaard publish in one of their journals but MDPI publishes hundreds of journals. Clearly they do publish good science as well. Are you saying you want to dismiss MDPI completely because of a few racists?

    MDPI publish nearly 300 journals.

    https://www.mdpi.com/about/journals

    Their PSYCH journal no longer publishes racist content. Bryan Pesta, Kirkegaard, Dutton etc have all been kicked out of MDPI. Just because a few racists published in one of their journals we shouldn’t dismiss hundreds of their other journals.

    Like

    • You think the papers should be left standing as they are?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Emil Kirkegaard has brought OpenPsych back- the three old journals are now one journal:

        https://openpsych.net/about/
        https://openpsych.net/journal/OP/

        Here’s the referees:

        Editor: Emil O. W. Kirkegaard.
        Review team: Emil O. W. Kirkegaard , Bryan J. Pesta , Davide Piffer , Noah Carl , John Fuerst , Meng Hu , Gerhard Meisenberg , Marc Dalliard , Heiner Rindermann , John Protzko , Robert L. Williams , Peter Frost , Kenya Kura , Anonymous Reviewer 1 , Dr. g

        It’s the bunch of racists and white nationalists.

        Like

  11. Sergey Turgenev

    Anatoly Karlin is not a pedophile. Years ago he used to identify as a “hebophile”, he has attraction towards 15 and 16 year old girls. That is not the same as pedophilia, i.e children. Karlin has never had a relationship and appears mildly autistic on interviews on YouTube. I do not see him as a threat to young girls despite his admitted attraction towards them. The man is clearly a recluse. I do not support his sexual interests but the guy is not a threat to children he just has some weird sexual fantasies.

    Like

  12. I will urge Kirkegaard and others to take legal action against the owner of forbetterscience.com. Leonid Schneider clearly needs to be taken to court for libeling individuals. I am a real person with a noted background. I have 6.8 million views on Quora. I am Abd ul-Rahman Lomax. I have been in court over Wikimedia banning my account which was against my rights. I nearly won in court but the case was dismissed Lomax v. WikiMedia Foundation, Inc and I could not continue for health reasons but I would have won the case. Perhaps I will file against Leonid Schneider.

    Abd ul-Rahman Lomax

    Like

    • Sorry to be blunt Abd but you are a well known internet troll. We can all Google “Abd Lomax” and see you have been banned all over the internet for various harassment campaigns. You did not nearly win your lawsuit.

      https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14573324/lomax-v-wikimedia-foundation-inc/

      It was dismissed with prejudice by the judge. You were pro se because no lawyer would work your case. You are clearly insane and you have a long history of defending people from the alt-right.

      Like

      • And who are you “Mark”? An anonymous troll. I am a real person, I am Abd ul-Rahman Lomax with 6.8 million views on Quora. I do not care what they say about me on Google I have not looked.

        I have communicated a few times over email with Kirkegaard. He is a scientist published under peer-review. I do not defend the alt-right. I defend people’s rights. As I have said before civil liberties are not just for those with politically correct views, but for everyone, and if it becomes an offense to defend the unpopular, democracy is in double trouble. I have defended Michael Coombs, Emil Kirkegaard’s and Nathan Larson’s, Kenny Styles rights, not their actions. I do not have to agree with what they write or do. I could not care less if they are alt-right or white nationalist. They have the right to publish what they want.

        I have decided to ignore the trolls. They complain that I don’t supply proof. I have no obligation to supply proof. I testify to experience. I sat under Richard Feynman and I am published under peer-review. The owner of this blog is not a scientist like Emil Kirkegaard or Anatoly Karlin etc. I will not respond here again.

        Like

  13. Abd Lomax is the only friend of pedophile Nathan Larson. https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Nathan_Larson , Lomax even gave Larson a board game in prison. If you run a Google search on Abd Lomax and Nathan Larson many websites criticise Abd’s defense of Larson. https://wikipediocracy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=280189#p280189

    Larson was arrested last month when he was found to have abducted a 12 year old girl. This was all over the news yet Abd still defends Larson on Reddit despite his arrest. I think we can all see what sort of person “Abd Lomax’ is. BTW why do you use a fake name Abd? Because your real name is Dennis.

    Like

  14. Waller Joel

    Abd you wrote on Reddit a month ago you had a heart attack (because of your carnivore diet) and you were in rehab. I think you need to come off the internet.

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Abd_ul-Rahman_Lomax

    Like

  15. Anatoly Karlin has had his account restricted on Twitter:
    https://twitter.com/akarlin88

    I assume this is because he’s a MAGA troll spouting nonsense (since many Trump supporters got kicked off the site), a look at his feed shows he promotes conspiracy theories.

    https://rationalwiki.org/w/images/d/d1/Anatoly_Karlin_MAGA.png

    Like

  16. It’s shocking MDPI did no background check on the individuals they allowed to publish.

    Emil Kirkegaard has written he thinks age of consent is a fiction and suggested o reduce age of consent so adults can have sex with children as young as 10 (the start of puberty in girls) and said “babies consent” (wtf?):

    “For ‘age of consent’-fiction (people can consent at any age, even babies consent and disconsent to stuff happening to them!), perhaps a dual approach. Either 13 years old or start of puberty, whichever comes first.” – Emil Kirkegaard 2012-09-10
    http://falkvinge.net/2012/09/07/three-reasons-child-porn-must-be-re-legalized-in-the-coming-decade/

    Like

  17. Emil Kirkegaard is still associated with MDPI –

    Editorial
    Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Healthcare in 2020
    Healthcare in 2020. Healthcare 2021, 9 103.

    Published: 19 January 2021

    Kirkegaard is listed as a reviewer for the MDPI journal Healthcare.

    He has no background whatsoever in healthcare or medicine (he holds a BA in linguistics) and as other posters have pointed out above – he is on record as claiming he wants to legalise child porn and reduce age of consent to 10 year olds. Someone should email the journal and raise these concerns.

    Like

  18. Alexander Magazinov

    Well, MDPI likes sloppy scientists of all kinds.

    Just another example: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/applsci/special_issues/Applied_Quantum_Computing

    Nikolay Raychev, the “guest editor”, is (probably) not a racist. He is good at something different: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ctxbaFMAAAAJ

    Some of his “publications” are in outright predatory journals (Journal of Quantum Information Science, International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research, and so forth).

    Others simply do not exist (correct me if I am wrong with this one):

    Raychev, Nikolay. “Reply to” The classical-quantum boundary for correlations: Discord and related measures.” Abstract and Applied Analysis. Vol. 94. No. 4. 2014.

    But now the most interesting thing – his “works” aren’t quite as cited in our reality as G. Sch. shows. How comes that? These “citing” works are posted on Researchgate with altered reference lists – like

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305029215_The_Semicircle_Law_Free_Random_Variables_and_Entropy

    So that’s how you boost your citations on G. Sch.: detect some prominent people who aren’t on Researchgate, create fake accounts for their names, upload their articles with genuine core text but altered references, wait until G. gets it all indexed – and voila! You are now eligible to be a “guest editor” at MDPI.

    Like

  19. Pingback: Coronil and other peer-reviewed Ayurvedic scams – For Better Science

  20. Re: Psych Special Issue, terrible, incredibly racist. This what happens if you give a bunch of neo-nazis free reign, then you get this absolute dreck. These kinds of journals attract racists and other scholars from the gutter. “Personality and individual differences” is still the king of publishing racist dreck (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ykc2IL0AAAAJ&hl=en&oi=sra – would love to see your analysis on this), but Psych will catch up soon if MDPI does not get their act together. What I do have to criticize on is calling Shukun Lin, Chinese (you literally write: “You do notice that Chinese like Shu-Kun Lin”). He is naturalized Swiss. Linking this racist dreck with the ethnic background of the founder of MDPI is the pot calling the kettle black. Whether you were aware of this or not, but as a scholar of colour, I am constantly put in an ethnic category I simply do not belong to. The same as assuming that Yu Lin must be the founder’s cousin. Why? Because he is named Lin? You do know Lin is one of the most common names in China right? As a white man it would be good to be aware of your own racial biases.

    Like

    • Dear Mustafa, I am a Ukrainian Jew, and my German passport doesn’t change this.
      So I won’t debate your charges of racism, too boring.
      Otherwise: we did some investigations and Yu Lin is definitely a family member. We verified he is not Shu-Kun’s son. It seems he is very likely a nephew (not a cousin as you misquote).

      Like

      • Dear Leonid, you are free to self-identify with whatever ethnicity/”race” you feel you belong to, but allow others to do the same. Not a racism charge, but a moral appeal to practice what you preach.

        Like

      • Dear Mustafa,
        First of all, let’s get things straight. I wrote about Lin: “He is ethnic Chinese”, this is a fact. I also don’t think he is Swiss national, in Switzerland you need to live for 3 generations before you can apply for citizenship. Look it up.
        In any case, Swiss is a nationality, but not an ethnicity. Not one person in the world is ethnically Swiss.

        Like

      • Thank you for the great post – it was both very interesting and very horrific to read.

        I would like to point out that your reply “In Switzerland you need to live for 3 generations before you can apply for citizenship.” in this chain is utterly and blatantly incorrect – and stating that kind of thing like it is a “fact” inevitably leads to thinking what else there is presented as “fact” with similarly non-existing grounds.

        Like

    • TigerBB8

      Dear Mustafa, Let me provide you the source of evidence that Shu-Kun Lin has referred himself as an ethnic Chinese publicly. Specifically in the linked blog of Lin’s, he said “华人中也就本人林树坤正好是国际英文学术期刊编辑和出版人”, meaning “In Chinese, only me, Shu-Kun Lin, happens to be a publisher of international academic journals in English”. You can confirm my translation using Google or any other tools you trust.

      In that sense, how Leonid referring Lin as a Chinese is inappropriate?

      http://blog.sciencenet.cn/home.php?mod=space&uid=291821&do=blog&id=926467

      Like

      • You are missing the point here. I am arguing that there is no such thing as Chinese ethnicity. It does not exist. Great you show a source where Lin refers to himself as 華人 (华人 is simplified Chinese and simply grotesque to read, also funny that you automatically assume that I do not know Chinese, purely based on my name, that happens if you have a narrow view on ethnicity), but this term is also an invented term as this Wiki article will show you https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8D%8E%E4%BA%BA . Ethnicity just like race is a social construct. Things get even more complicated as Lin appeared to have lived most of his life outside of China, which will definitely have an impact on your identity. In the US everyone with an American passport refers to their selves as “American”. No one questions their Americanness as the US is a society of migrants. In Europe, people tend to have a very narrow definition of “non-natives”, such as the Auslander in Germany. Perhaps that makes Leonid assume that having a Chinese ethnicity is a “fact”. Re-reading the article therefore makes me think, if you criticise, Shukun Lin for talking about “races”, what makes you any better if you see ethnicity as “objective” fact of life? Lin has a very clunky opinion (borderline racist) about politics and race (but come on as if “you ain’t black if you do not vote for me” Biden is such an anti-racist, democrats have killed as much ‘brown’ people as republicans did), but linking Lin’s presumed ‘ethnicity’ with the racist dreck in one of his journals (which he might or not might be aware of ) just makes little sense. You have done great research on these lowlifes, that is the strong point of this article, but then assuming that Lin must agree with them, because it happens to be published by his company, is like blaming Kumsal Bayazit, CEO of Elsevier (and linking her “presumed Turkish ethnicity” with it) for the racist dreck published in Personality and individual differences. Now saying, oh Mustafa you are calling me a racist, is just putting words in my mouth. I don’t call you a racist, I believe you are not, but if you claim not to have any racial biases (like literally all of us), you ain’t telling the truth.

        Like

      • @Tigerbb8, Im sorry I realize my reply to you was a bit rude/too direct, especially as you addressed me in a friendly and civilised manner.

        Like

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