Lately I seem to have been blogging – and filing briefs – a fair bit on campus First Amendment issues, regarding both students and professors. The threats to free speech and academic freedom stretch far beyond the halls of Widener Universty and concern more than just the rules of political correctness.
This month, UCLA’s James Enstrom (34 years a professor) is fighting his dismissal from UCLA for submitting a paper to a regulatory board that denied that diesel particulates cause 2,000 premature deaths in California per year. The scientific literature published subsequent to his initial findings support his thesis and the conclusions his work refuted turned out to be written by a fraud who received his Ph.D. from a diploma mill. In short, he was fired for telling the truth.
Reason.tv produced an excellent (and infuriating) video detailing the story. The story exposes a corrupt political process, bogus credentials, cronyism, and trumped-up charges against a man guilty only of scientific rigor:
Thankfully, our friends at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education have taken Professor Enstrom’s case. You can read more about the sorry tale here. I wish the best of luck to FIRE and Prof. Enstrom in their fight.