An article titled "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity" appeared in the Spring 1996 issue of the cultural studies journal Social Text
. Written in a typical academic style (slightly overbearing, verbose, and armored with a bristling flank of footnotes), it appeared to be an unlikely candidate for controversy. But on the day of its publication, its author, physicist Alan Sokal, revealed that it had been intended as a parody, a fact which the editorial board of Social Text
had failed to recognize. Sokal argued that the publication of his parody demonstrated "an apparent decline in the standards of rigor in certain precincts of the academic humanities."