Dear SftP list members,

If you approve, I am willing to take on the task of list "co-owner." 

George Salzman, who did so much to found this list and increase its membership has asked twice now to be relieved of the burden as "co-owner," which means, in essence moderator. I am grateful he has reinstated Michael Balter, though I was critical of the way he removed him in the first place. 

A while ago, in response to George's first request, I offered to be moderator, but most who responded did not want a moderator. In the light of that, and subsequent events, I want to make clear that I would try to avoid censorship of any sort, unless a clear consensus forms that someone is doing great damage to the list. The only exception would be clear emergencies. 

I am forwarding my original moderation guidelines unchanged, but want to make clear these would only be guidelines, not rules. If I note violations, I would suggest to the violator(s)  that maybe they could modify their posting habits accordingly. I would be open to further suggestions as to how to  improve these guidelines, of course. 

Herb Fox is willing to be a more passive (yet) co-owner, ready to jump in if I flag overmuch. 

Anyone else who wishes to be a candidate should let us all know. 



Begin forwarded message:

From: Michael H Goldhaber <[log in to unmask]>
Date: June 5, 2007 11:56:45 AM PDT
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Moderation
Reply-To: Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

I am willing to be one of several people taking turns moderating, but I would rather start my turn in about three  weeks. 
Here are the ground rules I would propose to  use:

1. A maximum of four posts per person per day, of which no more than two can be on the same topic or thread. (This will allow for the Phil's posts of articles.)

2. Respect for other's viewpoints in replies. If one can find no basis for respect, either one is very far out on a limb or enough others will feel the same that no reply is required.

3. Germaneness to the list. Does this post have to do with science? Does it have a connection with a left perspective, loosely defined? 

4. Originality. Does the post say something that has not been said within the last couple of months, at the very least?

5. Some respect for the intelligence and knowledge of the average group member in each post. 

6. No blanket condemnations or personal attacks. 

7. No posts whose point is to argue that one's particular version of leftism is better than someone else's.

8. An urge that everyone exercise self-restraint. Despite the limits of four post per day, most people should post far fewer, probably no more than one every few days.


9. Moderators should encourage the practice that each post should try to offer a constructive alternative to what is being criticized, for example a sounder policy about vaccinations or how drug innovation should properly occur. 

10. Moderators should encourage the practice of humility in the form of posts. It is an open question as to what would truly constitute "science for the people" or even how to bring about a better, fairer world. We have more questions than answers, and that is appropriate to acknowledge. 

If no one else is willing to co-moderate, I would urge everyone to try to follow these suggestions (perhaps a smodified by others) for the time being anyway. 

(In the meantime, for those who find the last few days entertaining, I suggest somene start a new list:Vituperation for the People. Each post would at least have to explain why the poster deserves to be on that list but someone else does not. )