The director of the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center is stepping down from his leadership post in an apparent protest against cancel culture in higher education and the academy’s growing intolerance of viewpoint diversity.
UC Berkeley Professor David Romps explained his reasoning in a lengthy Twitter thread posted Monday, citing MIT’s recent decision to cancel a guest lecture because of the invited scientist’s political views.
Dorian Abbot, associate professor of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago, had been scheduled to give the John Carlson Lecture in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT on October 21, but the department canceled the lecture due to Abbot’s criticism of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Abbot has proposed an alternative framework to DEI called Merit, Fairness and Equality, which would treat applicants “as individuals and evaluated through a rigorous and unbiased process based on their merit and qualifications alone.”
Romps tweeted that, in response to MIT canceling the guest lecture, he asked the Berkeley Atmospheric Sciences Center faculty to give Abbot a platform “to hear the science talk he had prepared and, by extending the invitation now, reaffirm that BASC is a purely scientific organization, not a political one.”
Abbot had, in fact, given a guest lecture at Berkeley in the past.
“In the ensuing discussion among the BASC faculty, it became unclear to me whether we could invite that scientist ever again, let alone now,” Romps tweeted.
Full story at The College Fix.