Dear List Members:

On behalf of the Moderating Council for Science for the People List, I just sent the following letter to Mr. Thomas Smith.




Mr. Thomas Smith:

On behalf of the SftP Moderating Council (MC), I want to inform you of our decision to put you on probationary ban from the list for a period of approximately three months, ending on January 31, 2014.  We will send you a notice when the time comes to rejoin the list on February 1, 2014 if you so chose with the understanding that similar conduct will result in your permanent ban from the list.  

A collegial and constructive mode of conduct is essential to the wellbeing of the list and fulfilling of its goal.

Unfortunately, from time to time the purpose of the list and individuals who have joined are undermined by destructive conduct. 

In your recent posts, not only you have chosen to attack individuals who you disagreed with but also call them names.  Such behavior cannot be tolerated as it undermines the very purpose of the list and people who have joined it.  What is worse, when two members of the MC—Herb Fox and Mandi Smallhorne— tried to draw your attention to the norms of conduct as specified by our Guidelines, you not only did not heed their request but also attacked them. 

Below you can find examples of your conduct: 

On October 25, responding to Herb Fox you wrote:

“It is just another canard you are creating, Mr. Fox. You seem to me to be a pseudo-liberal, who would like people to believe he has an open mind, but whose only real claim to “liberalism” is that he tries to shut the Marxists up. This sort of hypocrisy infuriates me about you ‘liberals.’”

October 26 post written in response to a post by Mandi Smallhorne addressing Herb Fox’s attempt to draw your attention to the list’s Guidelines you wrote:

“What a naughty boy am I for violating the bullshit-“liberal,” in reality anti-communist and demagogic rules insisted upon by Mr. Fox.”

On October 26, in another post you called Mandi Smallhorne a liar:

“Ahhh, a “quack buster”….

This is rubbish, Mandi. Your action was thoroughly repressive, and thus have nothing to do with science, and if successful would have deprived a cash-starved WBAI and Pacifica not only a great voice for science, and you certainly don’t understand it, but a powerful source of revenue….

‘…This is pure mendaciousness, like your other lies here…’”

I append to the bottom of this note a copy of the Science for the People List Guidelines. This letter will be sent to all members of the list to notify them of this decision. 

I hope you will find this note in the spirit intended—to fulfill the Moderating Council’s responsibility to safeguard the mission of the list.

Best wishes,

For the Moderating Council,

Kamran Nayeri

November 2, 2013

Moderating Council members are Sam E. Anderson, Eric Entemann, Herb Fox, Kamran Nayeri, Claudia Pine, Laurence Romsted and Mandi Smallhorne.

Science for the People list guidelines:

1.      The list's primary concern is to promote the interests of the world of the non-scientists (essentially the world's population) by promoting examples of science in the service of the people and exposing the use of science in ways that are destructive of the well-being of the world's population.
No-one who is interested in the substance of the discussion will be excluded. 
3.      No subject that is relevant to the list's primary concern will be excluded. Purely political posts that could and do take place in other fora should not be introduced.  If they are, the member will be warned once by a moderator that if they continue, they will be place on moderation.
Any and all members who indulge in ad hominem attacks will be placed on moderation for a period to be determined by the Moderating Council. Science for the People is a forum for open and thoughtful discussion. Should a member post on a topic with which other members disagree, no matter how intensely, members are expected to respond the content of the post, not the person who sent it.
When any member of the Moderating Council contributes to the list serve in that capacity, the post will clearly identify that he or she is speaking with the authority of the Moderating Council.
The Moderating Council will have the authority to declare a subject closed if it becomes clear that opposing views have been adequately aired and discussion is going nowhere.
The Moderating Council will confer with each other (at least a quorum of three) if a decision to place a member on moderation, or any other serious decision, is in play.
If queries arise about the decisions of the Moderating Council, members should feel completely free to discuss them.