A professor of climate science who opposed diversity initiatives cries foul over a cancelled lecture.
Dorian S. Abbot, an associate professor of geophysics at the University of Chicago, is speaking out against the cancellation of a lecture he was recently scheduled to give at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He says he’s being punished for his views on higher education’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, which he’s referred to as a top-down “regime”.
“A Canceled Talk, and Questions About Just Who Is Politicizing Science”
Inside Higher Ed, 6 October 2021
Later, to protest against politicizing science, David Romps resigned as Director of the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center (BASC). He wrote on Twitter:
“Last month, the MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences canceled a science lecture because of the invited scientist’s political views. That scientist does excellent work in areas of interest to BASC…”
On Twitter, Abbot has been accused of racism. The issue, however, is highly controversial. It is not so clear under which definition of “racism” his views belong, if at all. Abbot’s views, triggering complaints and scandal, were presented in his article
“The Diversity Problem on Campus”
D.S. Abbot & I. Marinovic
Newsweek, 12 August 2021
Here, Abbot criticized the current policy of Western universities called DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). Abbot:
“The words ’diversity, equity and inclusion’ sound just, and are often supported by well-intentioned people, but their effects are the opposite of noble sentiments. Most importantly, ’equity’ does not mean fair and equal treatment. DEI seeks to increase the representation of some groups through discrimination against members of other groups. The underlying premise of DEI is that any statistical difference between group representation on campus and national averages reflects systemic injustice and discrimination by the university itself. The magnitude of the distortions is significant: for some job searches discrimination rises to the level of implicitly or explicitly excluding applicants from certain groups.”
In some cases, politicizing science involves suppressing some scientific investigations (e.g. the race/IQ studies). In the present case, however, because of Abbot’s views on equal treatment, his lecture on the other area — on geophysics — was cancelled.