Well that's distressing. This article, and the underlying incident, is getting a lot of circulation in Classical Liberal and Free Speech circles but does not yet seem to have burst out into the ideologically postmodernist anti-science mainstream media. From Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole by Theodore P. Hill.
The basic facts appear to be that a respected establishment researcher investigates a well documented phenomenon (Greater Male Variability Hypothesis (GMVH)) in order to try and understand why there is greater variability. The core facts, that in most species there is greater male variability across multiple traits than among females, is both empirically well established as well as hotly contested on ideological grounds. Basically, on many, but not all, traits, men have a higher standard deviation within a population than do women, even if they have the same population mean. There are more very high IQ men than women but also there are more very low IQ men than women as an example and men and women have identical average population IQ scores - same mean, higher standard deviation. These variable traits range from birth weights to running speeds to reading scores, etc.
Hill was investigating why that might be. My personal suspicion is that males are the disposable gender of most species. You can have very few surviving males in a large population of females without significant impact on the sustainability of the population. The reverse is not true. You cannot have few surviving females in a large population of males and expect a sustained population level.
Consequently, especially in an evolving environment where you need some minimum degree of population variance (diversity) in order to evolve, it seems to me that there is a likely pressure that that variance might be concentrated in the gender most disposable. That's my guess. It's testable. And perhaps it is either untrue or it only accounts for a small portion of the variability.
At this point we don't know. One of the reasons we don't know is that the whole topic is anathema to ideologues uninterested in knowledge but intensely interested in protecting their faith-based beliefs and their consequent privileged positions.
Take IQ as an example. Among various categories of leftist postmodernists, all disparate outcomes are a consequence of privilege and discrimination and cultural constructions. If Nobel science prize winners go 65% of the time to males and only 35% to females, then that is safe evidence that women are being discriminated against. On the other hand, if it is true that (made up example) all Nobel science prize winners have an average IQ of 130 AND the distribution of people with IQ of 130 is 65% male and 35% female (GMVH), then the Nobel science prize imbalance is not especially surprising.
The corollary is that privilege, discrimination and social constructions are not real things determining the distribution.
If there is no such thing as social construction, if there is no discrimination, if there is no privilege that needs to be fought against, then a large number of government policies and their associated power and money, become unnecessary.
It doesn't matter whether the anti-scientists are fighting science because of their ideological beliefs or because they are protecting their social positions and financial sinecures, they are still opposed to knowledge.
Hill does his research. One science magazine commits to publishing the results and then, after an ideologically motivated campaign by anti-science postmodernists, retracts that commitment. Later, a different science magazine publishers the research results, and then, after a similar ideological campaign, removes the paper from its archives and replaces it with an ideological paper instead.
This is not new but it seems to be becoming more frequent, or we are simply becoming more aware of it.
One of the earliest instances I recall is from 2009 with the East Anglia University climategate affair. Emails were leaked or hacked, revealing that the anthroprogenic global warming researchers were attempting to alter data sets to support their position, coordinate public disinformation campaigns against skeptics, and coordinate with other researchers to preclude evidence disadvantageous to their hypothesis from being published.
The AGW continues but the sharp edges are smoothing. Many of the early claims are clearly wrong. Developing world countries are becoming less insistent about it because the political circumstances in developed countries have become less amicable to wealth transfers. Much evidence is accumulating about how threadbare is our understanding of all the complex, loosely coupled, chaotic, non-linear systems (geologic, chemical, industrial, currents, solar cycles, clouds, farming practices, currents, nino-cylces, economic developments, measurement systems, etc.) which contribute to climate change. Everyone agrees that climate changes, but we still do not have a line of sight on how and why and to what degree CO2 emissions contribute. Some ideologues are absolutely certain (on both sides), but increasingly conversations are much more contingent.
Climategate was an instance where academics with ideological and monetary vested interests attempted to suppress evidence. Hill is bringing to light the same dynamics regarding GMVH.
Just this past week, I gave an instance in Very bright idiots on the issue of gender pay gap. A doctor accurately commented that doctors who work fewer hours earn less and that there is no problem with that reality. He was then hounded, shamed, misquoted and force to apologize for telling the truth.
AGW, GMVH, Gender Pay Gap - all these are empirical questions which we can answer by investigating reality. The challenge is that there are powerful institutional interests who subscribe to a postmodernist, post-truth, post-fact faith who have powerful interests in suppressing facts.
We make fun of the Catholic Church and their persecution of Galileo and his empirical claim that the earth circles the sun. We especially revile the Church for conducting a trial of Galileo on his heliocentric beliefs, finding him guilty and forcing him to recant his empirical findings that the earth circled the sun.
We make fun of the medieval corrupted church but our postmodernists are behaving in exactly the same fashion. Defending ideological articles of faith while punishing scientists who seek the truth.