[Coral-List] list politics free

mdemetr at biophi.org mdemetr at biophi.org
Fri Nov 11 08:22:25 EST 2016

Dear Steve, 
They do not block on the list, the list does not work that way. They do occassionally run a message that reminds us all to not post political information because if we do the list will be taken down by NOAA. 

 I believe in treating all people with respect and dignity, those I agree with and those I do not. The fact that you doubt that any students would be offended speaks to the fact that academia has become homogeneous in ideology. While many students are liberal, there are conservative students everywhere and it is our responsibilty to protect all minorities. Conservatives and Republicans are minorities on college campus. I would guess that more than one student was offended. Microaggressions are real, and this was more than a microaggression, Diversity of ideas and beliefs are critical to developing students who are capable of making informed and reasoned decisions. We are not doing our students any favors by presenting them with biased information from an emotional vantage. It is a disservice to the scientific process to use fear-mongering in the classroom. 

The nice thing is, Steve, that you and I do not need to agree. 

One thing that I think is challenging for us to remember is that science is an endeavor that takes place within a social context. It is not devoid of impacts from that social context and the social context included many factors such as funding opportunities. For example, cancer research was skewed many years ago by the political clout of an investigator that held a specific belief (idea/theory) about how our bodies combated cancer. This individual was so important that funding moved in the direction of his ideas. It took many years for funding to shift back from that narrow focus and for other areas to regain funding traction. This was political and a social effect and had a huge impact on the discussion and direction of cancer research for years. It was overly focused and likely resulted in the delay in learning all we could about cancer. Recently we have had a particiular focus in some aspects of scientific research on global warming that has driven funding in a specific direction. Opening the funding up to other areas such as currents, pollution, microfibers, microbiomes, and a variety of other critically important areas may distract us long enough from an overly focused approach to learn other important information. If we take advantage of this opportunity, science will not be stopped or even impeded, it just may take a different course. As Obama said the other day, the sun will rise tomorrow. 

take care,

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Mussman [mailto:sealab at earthlink.net]
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2016 07:35 AM
To: mdemetr at biophi.org, coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: list politics free

body{font-size:10pt;font-family:arial,sans-serif;background-color:#ffffff;color:black;}p{margin:0px;}Dear Melissa,
 Sorry, but I must disagree. There are moderators for this list. If they believe a post is inappropriate they will block it. As for the professor creating a hostile environment, I doubt there were any students in that class who were offended or felt threatened by his words. Any sense of despair an aspiring marine biologist might feel was more likely the result of the reasonable expectation of a coming wave of anti-science sentiment. 

-----Original Message-
From: mdemetr at biophi.org
Sent: Nov 10, 2016 3:52 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Cc: sealab at earthlink.net
Subject: list politics free

Dear Steve, This list is politics free. Posting political messages puts the list at risk. Everyone, please try to keep this in mind as we move forward. 
I would comment that the college professor who wrote that open letter has created a hostile environment for students who do not hold his political beliefs. 
take care,

Melissa K. Demetrikopoulos, Ph.D.
Director of Scientific Communications and
Chair, Division of Program Development and Assessment
Institute for Biomedical Philosophy
PO Box 1528
Dunedin, FL 34697
TEL: 305-240-1522
mdemetr at BioPhi.org

Message: 2
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2016 07:42:58 -0500
From: Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net>
Subject: [Coral-List] What now?
To: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Message-ID: <442FA152-6AD7-46A6-B0C6-0C4BAD1F230F at earthlink.net>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset=us-ascii


I imagine that many of us are trying to wrap our minds around all the implications ......... . To the marine science community, ............... I thought that this letter written by a college professor to his coastal and estuarine ecology students might provide some much needed encouragement and motivation. .................

Sent from my iPad


More information about the Coral-List mailing list