I was glad that Robert posted the article, but agree that such articles should be accompanied by comments from the poster.  It's important to know about different interpretations of "academic freedom".  I think everyone knows about Horowitz' politics.

I personally feel there is nothing wrong with professors' letting their students know what their political leanings are, but professors should not proselytize.  My students generally know that I'm left in my politics and an atheist, for example.  But, of course, I don't dwell on it.  Nevertheless, I have no doubt that, in some cases, both devout Christians and Muslims manage to find offense, even though I clearly make the distinction between "respect for beliefs" (which I generally do not have), and "respect for the right to believe what one wishes" (which I generally do have).

In the past there have been gross violations of the separation of church and state (my college being a state institution) by professors who have even gone so far as to lead the class in prayer.  And there have been science professors (the odd adjunct, not full-timers that I know of) who have some pretty bizarre ideas about science and have expressed them to students.

On the other hand, there have also been instances where a "left-wing" professor has actively recruited students into the Progressive Labor Party.  I consider that grossly inappropriate, and not only because I consider PL folks to be lunatics...

Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2009 10:14:12 -0700
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Moderation note re Robt. Mann's post
To: [log in to unmask]

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? 


Michael H. Goldhaber
SftP list moderator

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