Cancel Culture Fail: Thousands Register for Lecture at Princeton by Prof Axed by MIT Over Twitter Mob
“I’m delighted to report that we’ve expanded the Zoom quota for Dr Dorian Abbot’s Princeton lecture–the one shockingly and shamefully canceled by MIT”
University of Chicago geophysics professor Dorian Abbot was supposed to give a lecture at MIT until the school caved to a campus mob over Abbot’s unwoke views on diversity.
His lecture got picked up by Princeton University instead and thousands of people have signed up for it.
Emily Crane reports at the New York Post:
Thousands register for geophysicist’s lecture after MIT caved to ‘Twitter mob’
Thousands of people have registered to attend a geophysicist’s remote lecture hosted by Princeton — after MIT canceled his initial one when a woke “Twitter mob” waged a war against him over his views on merit-based college admissions.
Dorian Abbot, an associate professor of geophysics at the University of Chicago, last week slammed MIT for caving to cancel culture after his upcoming public lecture on climate and the potential for life on other planets was axed.
Abbot said MIT told him it was canceling the lecture to “avoid controversy” after students and recent alumni demanded he be uninvited because he’d recently argued academic evaluations should be based on merit.
In the wake of the fallout, Princeton University decided to host Abbot’s lecture via Zoom on Oct. 21 — the same day it was scheduled to take place at MIT.
This is a win for academic freedom.
I'm delighted to report that we've expanded the Zoom quota for Dr Dorian Abbot's Princeton lecture–the one shockingly and shamefully canceled by MIT–and literally thousands of people have registered. It's October 21st (the day it had been scheduled at MIT) at 4:30 Eastern time. https://t.co/sFOPTOxDOZ
— Robert P. George (@McCormickProf) October 10, 2021
Last week, Abbot wrote at the Bari Weiss Substack about the incident that sparked the left’s outrage:
On August 12, a colleague and I wrote an op-ed in Newsweek in which we argued that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as it currently is implemented on campus “violates the ethical and legal principle of equal treatment” and “treats persons as merely means to an end, giving primacy to a statistic over the individuality of a human being.” We proposed instead “an alternative framework called Merit, Fairness, and Equality (MFE) whereby university applicants are treated as individuals and evaluated through a rigorous and unbiased process based on their merit and qualifications alone.” We noted that this would mean an end to legacy and athletic admission advantages, which significantly favor white applicants.
Shortly thereafter, my detractors developed a new strategy to try to isolate me and intimidate everyone else into silence: They argued on Twitter that I should not be invited to give science seminars at other universities and coordinated replacement speakers. This is an effective and increasingly common way to ratchet up the cost of dissenting because disseminating new work to colleagues is an important part of the scientific endeavor.
Louis K. Bonham of the National Association of Scholars recently called out MIT for their decision:
The Shame of MIT: Canceling Dorian Abbot
In today’s cultural moment, cowardly college administrators willing to jettison principles of academic freedom, free inquiry, and free speech rather than stand up to Twitter mobs are, unfortunately, commonplace. Even so, some cases stand out as particularly egregious examples.
Consider a certain soon-to-be-former dean of a major law school, who surrendered to the mere possibility of online outrage, preemptively hobbling the activities of a clinic in the law school’s newly-endowed “First Amendment Center,” while simultaneously pontificating about the importance of free speech in society. Or the dean of the business school at a major university, who within hours of a Twitter mob’s demands defied instructions from the university’s HR department and acted unilaterally to suspend and bar from campus a professor for refusing to grade students differently by race (and then retaliated against said professor after the university ordered him reinstated).
Enter Robert van der Hilst, chairman of MIT’s Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Studies department, who has essentially told these candidates for the Most Cowardly University Administrator award, “Hold my soy milk!”—proceeding to throw academic freedom under the bus and surrender to the keyboard warriors in a truly craven fashion.
Congratulations to Princeton for stepping in and hosting Abbot’s lecture. We need more people and institutions to stand up like this.DONATE
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