A Nice Professor in a Hard Place
Increasingly in the hard sciences, it’s about group membership, not competence.
Snowball Earth prof attacked by Cancel Culture, from Uncommon Descent.
Grad Student Demand Letter seeks to strip him of access, resources, and teaching responsibilities for advocating “against … setting up systems where group membership is a primary aspect of a candidate’s evaluation. I believe we should avoid discriminating against anyone for any reason.”
I don’t know Prof. Abbot personally, but in researching him, there’s nothing to suggest he’s a particularly political person, at least not publicly. He strikes me as a nerd, in the good sense:
Dorian Abbot uses mathematics and computational models to study climate, habitability, ice, and exoplanets. His research includes both studying ancient climates on Earth as well as climates and life on planets beyond the solar system.
His resume and body of research are impressive, and that’s putting it mildly. It’s also pretty interesting. One of his subjects of interest is “snowball Earth“:
“IF THE CLOUDS WERE TO STOP DOING THEIR WARMING, THEN WE WOULD BE A SNOWBALL EARTH.”
I’m sure I’m totally oversimplifying and distorting the subject matter, but if there is even a small chance the Earth could turn into a big snowball, I’d like to know about it.William A. Jacobson, “Cancel Mob Attacks U Chicago Geophysicist Dorian Abbot For Questioning Diversity Hiring Dogma” at Legal Insurrection
Jacobson warns, “What is so disturbing is the large number of graduate and post-doctoral students who signed the list of demands. I warned in 2017 that STEM would not be immune to the social justice (and racial) warfare tearing through universities.”
A friend points to the fourth slide a slide show Abbott produced, where he defends a Christian student who is being Canceled.
One real advantage of belonging to Cancel Culture is that, if a student plays the cards right, the question of actual performance will seldom or never come up. Everything will be about screaming, crying, sign-waving, and demands. Their real troubles won’t begin until they try getting a job.
See also: Iceball Earth is back
Cancel Culture tries to get a Nature Communications paper retracted We are informed that all science Twitter is in a ghastly rage over an open access paper in Nature Communications which seems to show that female scientists benefit more from male mentors than from female mentors. To a layperson with some life experience, that wouldn’t be a surprising outcome at all. In a system that has been male-dominated since forever, more guys would be higher up on the pole. And if you want to get ahead, it pays to know Top People… But, of course, the Outrage Mob is sharpening the guillotine. Their final enemy is, after all, reality in any of its forms.
So as we all are increasingly aware of — from the first paragraph to the last — the only legitimate science is science that tows the Party Line, not science that reflects reality.
It should be noted that the slid show Abbot made does not merely defend Christian students, but Asian ones as well.
and judge for yourself if he is a decent man, a ho-hum prof, or a wicked bigot.
Christians had better roll up their sleeves, and get ready to get a ton of actual science done, without the fat grants of the increasingly-delusional, intensely ideological university system.
Time to flee the burning temples.