I gave you an example. There are university professors who would say that the sort of work Doreen Kimura did should not be done, because it might lead people to draw socially repressive conclusions regarding the capacities and rights of women. And I’m saying that the only job Doreen Kimura had as a scientist researching brain development in human males and females was to accurately describe what happens in that development. She shouldn’t have to worry in the slightest about the indignation of feminist professors, whether in her own psychology department or in any other department. She only should have had to worry about producing good research. If scientists have to worry about whether their results will offend people, and if they feel they have to adjust what they do and claim in order to anticipate possible offense, they are crippled. And this applies across the board, to historians, philosophers, religion scholars, etc.
You as a biologist are probably much less sensitized to this sort of activity in the university, but it absolutely dominates the Arts departments, both Social Science and Humanities. I and other scholars know this from very painful and costly experience.
How much time have you spent in Arts departments? How many close academic colleagues do you have in Arts departments, and how often do you discuss hirings, etc. with them? It’s not overblown. The professoriate in the Arts (in secular schools, I mean) is overwhelmingly leftist/feminist, way out of proportion to the percentages in the general population.
A young Ph.D. in Sociology who has become known for championing capital punishment in his academic articles and books, if he is looking to be hired for his first job or for tenure, had better plan on a fall-back, non-academic career, because he is not going to be hired in 95% of the nation’s Sociology departments. He could be the best sociologist in the country in terms of statistical skills, survey technique, communications skills, number of publications in good journals, positive student teaching recommendation, etc. – but he has almost no chance of ever being hired by his Sociology colleagues. The culture of Sociology is overwhelmingly leftist. And a literary scholar who thinks that most of feminist literary theory is a pile of deranged ideological rubbish, and says so in his publications, has very little chance of landing a job in an English department. It doesn’t matter how well he argues his position. It doesn’t matter that his history, philosophy, argumentative prose, classroom teaching ability, etc. are all superior to those of the people he is criticizing; the feminists in the English departments will make sure that he is not hired.
This is life in the Arts in the secular university. There are rare exceptions, the odd department or university that is different. But in the main, Arts departments have become clubs of the like-minded, with their own orthodoxies, just like the orthodoxies you deplore when they are religious rather than secular ones. And it’s orthodoxy as such that is the problem – there should be no orthodoxies in any university department. University faculties should be collections of oddballs and heretics who rarely agree on anything, except on the one fundamental principle that the only thing that matters is evidence and argument and that no position, no matter how unpopular, is to be ruled out in advance of serious consideration.
And by the way, I’m not a “religious conservative” as you seem to conceive of the term. You seem to have in mind someone like Ken Ham and things like Creation Science, and I’m on record, here and on BioLogos, as opposed to those things. I don’t think Biblical interpretation should control what scientists can say or do. Every hypothesis should be on the table for discussion, even hypotheses that conflict with a literal reading of Genesis. It’s not scientists’ job to worry about the possible hurt feelings of religious people. At the same time, it’s not the scientists’ job to worry about the indignation of secular feminist professors, either. It’s the scientists’ job to correctly interpret nature, and if that offends anyone on the political or religious left, or the political or religious right, tough. The university should have no allegiance whatsoever to right or left or any social or political ideology or religion. It should be a place where scientists and scholars seek to determine the truth. Unfortunately it very often fails to live up to that ideal of detachment.
If you want to learn more about what actually goes on in modern university departments to enforce ideology, you can read books like Illiberal Education by Dinesh D’Souza.