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SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  June 2009

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE June 2009

Subject:

Re: Moderation note re Robt. Mann's post

From:

Mandi Smallhorne <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 2 Jun 2009 11:00:06 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (123 lines)

I agree with all who say such posts should not be censored.
What I found interesting about the website, to which I clicked from the
post, was that the paper-writers had selected ONLY women's studies,
African-American and American studies. I am pretty sure you could as easily
find bias which violates these academic freedom provisions in many other
departments - how about economics? - but Horowitz and his kin have certain
hot-button issues which mark them as rightwingers. I have absolutely no
objection to anyone taking issue with bias in the classroom, but then let
them be unbiased themselves. If it is wrong to steer students towards a
certain viewpoint, then it is wrong to steer them towards ANY viewpoint. One
point, surely, of tertiary education, is to teach youth to ask questions and
think for themselves.
I find evidence of bias in the courses as discussed, indeed (although I
think if the courses were renamed to indicate their content, I'd have no
objection - eg: Socialist perspectives on labour in the USA instead of Intro
to American Studies); but the authors give their own agenda away quite
clearly, in part through the language they use, which is rather emotive:
bell hooks is a 'plodding ideologue'; feminism is a 'sectarian ideology'.
To Bob: Mann has a long history of rather vicious anti-feminism on this
forum, so Michael G has very good reason to go carefully!
Mandi

-----Original Message-----
From: Science for the People Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of herb fox
Sent: Monday, June 01, 2009 9:07 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Moderation note re Robt. Mann's post

I agree w/ Bob Ogden that it would be helpful for posters to indicate
why they post a particular item. Certainly it would be foolish to
insulate ourselves from right wing activities and viewpoints, since one
must know the enemy to be able to successfully combat it.
I also recognize, as i believe most on this list do, that the left is
not homogeneous. Therefore we should not discourage respectful
discourse about important differences. The not-yet-resolved struggles
over political correctness may be one of these. Coercion on the left is
still coercion; and permitting insulting and degrading commentary is
misguided liberalism. Where the line between these is certainly open to
civil discourse.
herb

Robert David Ogden wrote:
> I do not think the posting should be denied because the source is
> right-wing or even evil; the Left hand needs to know what the Right
> hand doeth.
> I do think Robt should preface his post with a note of his own as to
> the reason for sharing this (as you did, Michael, when you posted the
> nuke weapons article from a right-wing think tank (tho not so evil as
> some).
> Based on his past statements and what he bold-faced, he has concerns
> about a weakening of academic freedom, some of it because of what he
> perceives as some sort of ideological hold of sinister feminist Post
> Moderns, or something.
>
> The issue of academic freedom could be a question of general interest
> on this list; it is certainly relevant to science and society. Does
> ideological rigidity, even from a feminist or socialist perspective,
> actually inhibit freedom of thought? Even if so, how does that compare
> with the restrictions on direction of research as occurred during the
> USA administrations between Reagen and George W. As before science
> depts begged at the door hat in hand to the DOD, now they direct
> grants to appear to serve DHS as well.
> Or is academic freedom a mere bourgeois value?
>
> But don't just dump articles as if the intent is self-explanatory.
> Posted articles should be a resource, not the self-evident basis for
> discussion. I think the posters should at least let us know what issue
> they'd like to explore.
>
> Greetings to all,
> Bob Ogden
>
>
>
> --- On *Mon, 6/1/09, Michael H Goldhaber /<[log in to unmask]>/* wrote:
>
>
> From: Michael H Goldhaber <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Moderation note re Robt. Mann's post
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Monday, June 1, 2009, 4:34 AM
>
> Dear list members,
>
> I'd like your opinions.
>
> There is no obvious insult contained in the post re the David
> Horowitz organization mentioned in Robt. Mann's post, but as this
> is the notorious right-wing organization, I am not very happy
> about it being included in SftP's list. Should such messages be
> refused in future?
>
>
>
> Best,
>
> Michael
> -------
> Michael H. Goldhaber
> SftP list moderator
>
>
>

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