[Coral-List] list politics free

Jim Hendee jim.hendee at noaa.gov
Sun Nov 13 13:36:50 EST 2016


    We take great care in moderating the list.  See here,


for more information on what is allowed on this U.S. government
sponsored list.  We do occasionally make a mistake, but also, allowing
some posts is a judgement call.  In the case of the letter to the
students to which this discussion is about, I was the one who approved
it.  I thought there was a redeeming message in there for the 50% of the
nation who might not have been so conservation minded; but that was just
my opinion.  We've been doing this for over two decades, so naturally we
make some mistakes from time to time.  Thank you so for your interest!


> Re: list politics free
> From:
> mdemetr at biophi.org
> Date:
> 11/11/16, 8:22 AM
> To:
> "Steve Mussman" <sealab at earthlink.net>, mdemetr at biophi.org,
> coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> 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,
> Melissa

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