A professor has his lecture at MIT canceled due to “Cancel Culture,” only to see thousands sign-up when the event is rescheduled at Princeton University.
Associate geophysics professor, Dorian Abbot, was scheduled to be a guest lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on October 21. However, MIT faculty canceled the lecture after complaints from campus activist groups following Professor Abbot’s editorial in Newsweek.
In the Newsweek piece, Abbot wrote: “The words diversity, equity, and inclusion are often supported by well-intentioned people, but their efforts are the opposite of noble sentiments…it requires being willing to tell an applicant, ‘I will ignore your merits and deny you admission because you belong to the wrong group.’”
In what some view as the professor criticizing current diversity, equity, and inclusion standards in higher education, Abbot wrote, “We propose an alternative framework called Merit, Fairness, and Equality, whereby University applicants are treated as individuals and evaluated on an…unbiased process based on their merit and qualifications alone.”
The long-standing practice of merit-based grading has come under fire in recent months. West Free Media reports that “Students at the University of Washington are demanding that black students should not face difficult exams and time constraints because they are too “busy fighting for [their] rights to sit down and study.”
Campus groups immediately took issue with Professor Abbot’s views and demanded the cancelation of his lecture at MIT. An MIT spokesperson told The New York Post “that the lecture on climate science and life on other planets, hosted by the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, wasn’t being held this year, at the discretion of the department.”
Audrey Unverferth, a University of Chicago student who planned on attending the lecture at MIT, has called out MIT’s decision as another example of “Cancel Culture.”
In a Fox News report, Unverferth, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, “The Chicago Thinker,” said she is “dedicated to challenging the mob’s crusade against free speech.”
Since the cancellation, Princeton University has invited Professor Abbot to present the lecture, on the same day, as part of their webinar conferencing program.
The response has been remarkable, with thousands of students registering for the conference and Princeton staff scrambling to increase the “Zoom quota” to accommodate participants.
Unverferth is pleased with the development. In her interview with Fox News, she stated, “I hope that Professor Abbott’s cancellation is one of the last if not the last. Maybe that’s a naïve hope, but I’m so heartened by the amazing support he’s gotten from all across the country.”
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