What We’re Reading: “MIT Abandons Its Mission. And Me.”
“I am a professor who just had a prestigious public science lecture at MIT cancelled because of an outrage mob on Twitter. My crime? Arguing for academic evaluations based on academic merit.”
Flashback: “Memo reveals UNC plan to sideline ‘diversity of thought’”
Raleigh, N.C. — Three months ago, Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) sounded the alarm on the ascendant doctrine in American academic and cultural institutions.
He said of the doctrine’s adherents: “They seek to promote in students a theology, a belief system, that is fundamentally at odds with the Declaration of Independence, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Adherents target those who oppose the doctrine, seeking to punish them for speaking up.
Indeed, top leadership at UNC-Chapel Hill recently circulated a policy memorandum expressing the University’s active effort to target “diversity of viewpoint in our definition of diversity.” Campus leaders said that diversity of viewpoint and racial equity “cannot sit side by side without coming into conflict.”
The latest example is outlined on Bari Weiss’s substack. A University of Chicago professor proposed students and college applicants be judged on merit alone in a framework he cheekily dubbed “Merit, Fairness, and Equality (MFE)” to contrast with race-obsessed “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”
For his sin, a Twitter mob sought to silence the professor:
“They argued on Twitter that I should not be invited to give science seminars at other universities and coordinated replacement speakers. . .Sure enough, this strategy was employed when I was chosen to give the Carlson Lecture at MIT — a major honor in my field. It is an annual public talk given to a large audience and my topic was ‘climate and the potential for life on other planets.’ On September 22, a new Twitter mob, composed of a group of MIT students, postdocs, and recent alumni, demanded that I be uninvited.
“It worked. And quickly.”
The professor continues:
“We all need to decide what type of country we want our children to grow up in. Do we want a culture of fear and repression in which a small number of ideologues exert their power and cultural dominance to silence anyone who disagrees with them? Or do we want our children to enjoy truth-seeking discourse consisting of good-natured exchanges that are ultimately grounded in a spirit of epistemic humility?
“If you want the latter, it’s time to stand up and so say. It’s time to say no to the mob, no to the cancellations. And it’s time to be forthright about your true opinions.”