Grievance Studies Affair

The Grievance Studies affair, also referred to as "hoax" or the "Sokal Squared" scandal (in reference to a similar 1996 hoax by Alan Sokal), was the project of a team of three authors (James A. Lindsay, Peter Boghossian, and Helen Pluckrose) to create bogus academic papers and submit them to academic journals in the areas of cultural, queer, race, gender, fat, and sexuality studies. The authors' intent was to expose problems in grievance studies, a term they apply to a subcategory of these academic areas, in which "poor science is undermining the real and important work being done elsewhere."

The hoax began in 2017 and continued into 2018, when it was halted after one of the papers caught the attention of journalists, who quickly found its purported author, Helen Wilson, to be non-existent. This led to more media attention as the hoax was more broadly exposed by news outlets.

By the time of the reveal, four of their 20 papers had been published, three had been accepted but not yet published, six had been rejected, and seven were still under review. One of the published papers had won special recognition.