academic freedom Intelligent Design

First recipient of the Lysenko Award was one of Dorian Abbot’s Cancellers

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The award is, of course, named after Trofim Lysenko, the bogus Soviet scientist whose agronomy caused many to starve:

MTC’s Lysenko Award is for those in academia who promote or advocate the silencing of academic inquiry and speech, especially where the motive for doing so is based on political disagreement. Nominees for future awards can be sent to Managing Editor David Acevedo (acevedo@nas.org).…

While also involved in l’affaire Abbot, she is not on the MIT faculty or in its administration, so unlike Prof. van der Hilst, she was not thrust into the fray. Nevertheless, this Williams College department chair helped lead the keyboard warriors demanding that Prof. Abbot be disinvited from giving the Carlson Lecture—not because his science was unsound, or that he was unqualified, or that he had broken the law or committed a tort, but because he believes that individuals in higher education should be evaluated based on their individual merit rather than their membership in an identity group. Scandalous, I know. Apropos to the purpose of our award, when interviewed by the New York Times, our winner justified her actions thusly:

What, she was asked, of the effect on academic debate? Should the academy serve as a bastion of unfettered speech?

“This idea of intellectual debate and rigor as the pinnacle of intellectualism comes from a world in which white men dominated,” she replied.

Trofim Lysenko would be pleased, although he likely would have formulaically dismissed the need for academic rigor and debate as being the product of fascist-bourgeois-imperialist-capitalist culture, instead of the current wokeism of “straight white men” as the source of the world’s problems.

So congratulations, Williams College Professor Phoebe Cohen, you are the first recipient of the Minding the Campus Lysenko Award for the Suppression of Academic Speech.

Louis K. Bonham, “Introducing the Minding the Campus Lysenko Award” at Minding the Campus (October 28, 2021)

Why go to Williams College except to say that you have a degree from Williams College? But what if that stops being worth as much? Employers are not paying so much attention any more.

You may also wish to read: Is online learning poised to replace universities? Perhaps sooner than we think, if present trends continue. A degree may confer only social status — which depends on others’ acceptance.
Venture capitalist Peter Thiel doubts that a degree is a good investment today — he has called college administrators subprime mortgage brokers. Learn why.

and

Canceled exoplanets prof Dorian Abbot at the Wall Street Journal The thing is, in 2017, it was ultra-progressive places like Evergreen where the liberal biology teachers could be run off campus. Now it’s MIT, folks. Either Woke goes or science does. But bureaucrats find it easier to cater to Woke than to resist. The more bureaucrats there are, the less university there will be.

4 Replies to “First recipient of the Lysenko Award was one of Dorian Abbot’s Cancellers

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Lysenko was right. Darwin was wrong. Soviets were censoring BAD science. We’re censoring GOOD science. Given the fact that “freedom” is a myth, I’d rather be censoring bad science than censoring good science.

  2. 2
    JVL says:

    Polistra: Lysenko was right. Darwin was wrong. Soviets were censoring BAD science. We’re censoring GOOD science. Given the fact that “freedom” is a myth, I’d rather be censoring bad science than censoring good science.

    I assume you’re trying to be funny.

  3. 3
    Belfast says:

    I don’t like calling the award the Lysenko award, it is not particularly appropriate. He was wrong in some things and half right on others but he didn’t suppress- he argued with opponents. The fate opponents suffered lay at the hands of Stalin who made Lysenko’s theories State policy. Bit like Fauci-ism or FaceBook-ism where the powerful decides where truth lies today.
    Two thousand years ago the censors in Rome decided what was appropriate moral behaviour and deprived offenders of rights like voting. Around the Elizabethan era it was the Master of the Revels who went through plays cutting out bits the playgoers were not to see or hear.
    The Stalin Award is the most obvious name for suppression of thought. Hardly anyone knows the Censors or the Master of the Revels.
    But academics would not tolerate anything that hints at wrongdoing of the left.

  4. 4
    BobRyan says:

    Those who can, succeed on their merits. Those who cannot, seek the means to rid those who can. It is easier than working harder.

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