Wokeness is more prevalent than ever. Big businesses and public institutions are kow-towing to the latest activist trends. Cancel culture is engulfing more and more wrong-thinkers) in its (self-)righteous flames. Social media is awash with right-on, virtue-signalling images and essays, and almost daily there is a new racism scandal. Universities have long been recognised as a key battleground in the culture war. The blame is often placed on snowflake students. But the academy’s role in producing these developments stretches back several decades. Helen Pluckrose is the editor of Areo magazine and co-author, with James Lindsay, of a new book, Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity – And Why This Harms Everybody. spiked caught up with her to find out more.