“The Twitter mobs want to suppress scientific work that they find objectionable. What is really at stake: academic freedom, open discussion of important ideas, scientific inquiry. All are imperiled and all must be defended”
Dr. Stephen Hsu is a professor of theoretical physics at Michigan State University, where he also served as the vice president for research and innovation. He is now one of the latest casualties of the manic cancel culture currently gripping academia.
He is still on the school faculty as an educator, but recently resigned from his VP position when the mob declared him racist and sexist.
The charge against Hsu was led by the grad student employee union.
The Lansing State Journal reports:
MSU President Samuel Stanley Jr. in a press release Friday announced Hsu’s resignation from the position while confirming he will return as a tenured faculty member. The announcement comes after the Graduate Employees Union called for MSU to remove Hsu after statements he made about work by other researchers on intelligence and genetics and prior comments he made which the union members consider sexist and racist…
Hsu refuted the claims of racism and sexism on his blog, “Information Processing.”
“The attacks attempt to depict me as a racist and sexist, using short video clips out of context, and also by misrepresenting the content of some of my blog posts. A cursory inspection reveals bad faith in their presentation,” Hsu posted on June 12. “The accusations are entirely false — I am neither racist or sexist.”
“The Twitter mobs want to suppress scientific work that they find objectionable. What is really at stake: academic freedom, open discussion of important ideas, scientific inquiry. All are imperiled and all must be defended,” he added.
See if you can spot the key words in this part of the report:
The union petitioned and called for Hsu’s removal on June 11. Hsu “cannot uphold our university mission or our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” the union wrote in an open letter to the university.
In other words, the people committed to diversity and inclusion get to decide who is included. It’s Orwellian.
Supporters of Hsu appealed to MSU President Samuel L. Stanley with a petition of their own:
Dear President Samuel L. Stanley:
We, the undersigned, write out of concern with the risk of principles of academic freedom, scientific integrity, and fair play currently posed at Michigan State University (MSU) because of baseless allegations against a respected colleague, Dr. Stephen Hsu, VP for Research and Innovation.
The charges of racism and sexism against Dr. Hsu are unequivocally false and the purported evidence supporting these charges ranges from innuendo and rumor to outright lies. (See attached letters for details.) We highlight that there is zero concrete evidence that Hsu has performed his duties as VP in an unfair or biased manner. Therefore, removing Hsu from his post as VP would be to capitulate to rumor and character assassination.
President Stanley, you have the unique opportunity to show the leadership required to guide this great institution of higher learning through a difficult situation during this pivotal moment in history. The power is in your hands to reaffirm free inquiry and free expression as the core values of the academic institutions and show how they align with the other values to which we are all committed and have spent time and energy promoting. The voices demanding Hsu’s removal are exactly wrong in pitting diversity and inclusion against free inquiry and freedom of speech. Instead, true diversity flourishes best under conditions of free inquiry, because such a philosophy demands that everyone have a seat at the table and that views be evaluated on the basis of cogency of the supporting reasoning and strength and internal consistency of the accumulated evidence rather than the identity, power, number, or vociferousness of the people expressing them. Free inquiry is the most democratic and most inclusive method of engaging with the world.
Hsu posted his resignation letter on his blog:
President Stanley asked me this afternoon for my resignation. I do not agree with his decision, as serious issues of Academic Freedom and Freedom of Inquiry are at stake. I fear for the reputation of Michigan State University.
However, as I serve at the pleasure of the President, I have agreed to resign. I look forward to rejoining the ranks of the faculty here.
It has been a great honor working with colleagues in the administration at MSU through some rather tumultuous times.
To my team in SVPRI, we can be proud of what we accomplished for this university in the last 8 years. It is a much better university than the one I joined in 2012.
I want to thank all the individuals who signed our petition and who submitted letters of support. The fight to defend Academic Freedom on campus is only beginning.
We are witnessing the American version of Mao’s Cultural Revolution.
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