By Alex Berezow — June 13, 2018 @ American Council on Science and Health
There's no nice way to put this. Academia is in the midst of self-destructing, not just in the United States but worldwide.
Recall that, just two months ago, Fresno State Professor Randa Jarrar went on a hate-filled Twitter rant against the recently deceased Barbara Bush. Her diatribe was so vile, that the university investigated the possibility of terminating or disciplining her. But, nothing happened, despite the fact that a video surfaced of her praising airplane hijackings (1:07) and making a sexual gesture at students (2:02).
Just a week later, the University of Alberta announced that it would honor David Suzuki, a professor who gained worldwide notoriety for being an anti-GMO activist. Not only does he defy the scientific consensus on biotechnology, he says that any scientist who says GMOs are safe (and most do) is "either very stupid or lying." To rub a little extra salt in the wound, the reason the University of Alberta was honoring him is because of his "promotion of science literacy" -- which is sort of like giving a Nobel Peace Prize to Yasser Arafat.
Note: Oh wait, the Nobel Committee actually did that.
There is literally nothing a professor can do to get fired. That is, unless a professor supports science. Then he can get fired for that.
Pro-GMO Professor Fired for Endorsing Glyphosate
David Zaruk is an expert in European Union regulations and risk communication. He writes a blog, titled The Risk-Monger, which largely examines regulatory issues involving biotechnology, such as GMOs and glyphosate. For nearly a decade, he also was an adjunct professor of communications at Université Saint-Louis in Brussels, Belgium.
As Dr. Zaruk writes in a lengthy blog post, he recently lost his job from the university. Why? According to Dr. Zaruk, it's because he is avidly pro-biotechnology and another professor (at a different university!) didn't like it. So, he pulled a few strings and got Dr. Zaruk fired. It should be noted that Olivier de Schutter, the professor responsible for getting Dr. Zaruk fired, is a militant anti-GMO, anti-glyphosate, anti-Monsanto ideologue.
Something Rotten in the State of Academia
Though widely touted, there is no such thing as "free speech" in academia. Instead, there are two sets of standards: There is one standard for a largely far-left-wing, postmodernist or activist type who reject science and basic decency, and there is another standard for everybody else. If you belong to the former, you can literally do or say whatever you want without any consequences; if you belong to the latter, simply accepting the scientific consensus can get you fired.
If things to do not change quickly, academia will not and cannot endure. Nor should it.