Thursday, September 2, 2010

Scientist's Firing After 36 Years Fuels 'PC' Debate at UCLA

I'm not buying the school's argument. And 36 years? It's not easy to fire someone with that kind of tenure, although UCLA's Department of Public Health hired some non-tenured faculty members on a contract basis. That's great as far as performance standards are considered (folks wanting to inject more market approaches to university appointments, etc). But the dude's dismissal looks pretty politically motivated. The story's at Fox News:
Dr. Michael Siegel, professor and associate chairman at Boston University's School of Public Health, says the reasoning raises some red flags.

"The mission of the department is to study the impacts of the environment on human health and that's exactly what Enstrom does," Siegel told "…What the department appears to be saying is it's not the nature of his research but the nature of his findings."

Siegel says he doesn't even agree with a lot of Enstrom's findings, but he agrees with his right to relay them without fear of losing his job.

"The significance of this is a threat to academic freedom and it's also a threat to academic science," Siegel said. "If scientists have to produce work that meets a certain view to keep their jobs, researchers are going to stop publishing negative findings for fear of being fired."

But UCLA says Enstrom's findings had nothing to do with his dismissal.

"The nature of research results, political views or popularity are not appropriate factors and are not considered when evaluating individuals for reappointment," Hilary Godwin, associate dean for academic programs at UCLA's School of Public Health, said in a statement.

She said Enstrom's position at the school was non-tenured and was appointed for fixed terms that are renewable subject to established departmental and university review procedures.
Hat Tip: Moonbattery.


Dennis said...

And one really wonders about why many of us question what universities have degraded into? Further, why would anyone with any intelligence at all want these "experts" running our lives? One only needs to look at the academics that populate the government to understand that many of these people are in way over their heads and haven't a clue how to utilize their educations for practical purposes and solve real problems. Education and experience in life, work et al go hand in hand to give one the tools necessary to begin doing that which is requisite to be effective and still one has to be open to constantly learning what works and what does not. Real life is NOT an academic debate or exercise because real people get hurt and killed in the process.
I heard it once said that academia is the only place where a bad idea can gain credence and live forever and what we see demonstrated in government and universities is the truth of that statement.

A Conservative Teacher said...

The university was correct in firing him. The university gets more money from peddling the global warming myth, and gets more grants from holding to the political line. Money and grants drives the profits that the university administration makes. By keeping this guy around, it may have been hurting them from profiting financially- they should have fired him. You're a fool and an idiot to think we live in a free nation any more.

Dennis said...

Hey Conservative Teacher I love it.