It was Mims who broke the Pianka story:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I would like to make clear that Mims has dishonestly mischaracterized Dr. PiankaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s statements,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Kathryn E. Perez, a postdoctoral fellow with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill department of biology, in the petition of support for Pianka. She personally believes that the Texas Academy should consider sanctioning Mims, who is a member of the organization, for what she calls Ã¢â‚¬Å“misleading propaganda.Ã¢â‚¬Â
From INSIDE HIGHER ED
And here’s Perez’s actual petition letter:
Members of the Texas Academy of Science.
I am sure many of you are familiar with the furor over Texas Academy of Science Distinguished Scholar Dr. Eric Pianka’s speech at the TAS Meeting. A member of the Academy has published several reports and given media interviews where he claims that during the talk Dr. Pianka “advocated for the extermination of 90% of the human species in a most horrible and painful manner”. This report goes on to state that “many of the Academy members present gave the speaker a standing ovation. To date, the Academy has not moved to sanction the speaker or distance itself from the speaker’s remarks.” The reports go on to worry that Dr. Pianka might be encouraging his students and audience to produce weaponized Ebola to fulfull his wishes. The full statement can be read here: http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/index.html
As ridiculous as this sounds it has gotten traction in the media partly because it has not been completely contradicted and debunked. If you were present at the talk and disagree with this characterization of Dr. Pianka’s statements and would be willing to sign your name to this petition supporting Dr. Pianka and support the TAS’s recognition of Dr. Pianka as Texas distinguished scholar, please respond to this email and I’ll add you to the petition.
Which reads: “I was also at Dr. Pianka’s talk at the Texas Academy of Science meeting and came away with a very different impression of his talk than statements by Forrest Mim’s. I think my impression was in the majority judging by the standing ovation given to Dr. Pianka by ~400 fellow scientists. I would like to make clear that Mim’s has dishonestly mischaracterized Dr. Pianka’s statements. Dr. Pianka in no way advocated billions of deaths from Ebola or said anything that would lead a reasonable person to think he was doing so.”
This will be sent to Dr. Pianka, TAS, and several national media outlets to demonstrate support for Dr. Pianka from other scientists who were present at the event. Please also feel free to respond with your impression of the talk and I will add these to anything I send out.
Sincerely, Kathryn Perez
Kathryn E. Perez, Ph.D.
SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellow, UNC-Chapel Hill
Department of Biology, Duke University
Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708, firstname.lastname@example.org