Bats give head? Violation of academic freedom at UCC

generick

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This is pretty unbelievable, but it happens to be true.

Greg Lukianoff: Sex, Fruit Bats, and Politically Correct Zoology at an Irish College

Apparently, Dr Evans showed an article on fellatio in bats to a colleague, and was accused of sexual harassment. He has now been cleared, but due to this, has been placed under extensive monitoring.

His petition is doing the rounds of academia, and has attracted such luminaries as Steven Pinker and Daniel Dennett to sign it already.

I am a UCC student, and I find this utterly reprehensible and disgraceful.

Please show your support for Dr Evans at: Stop UCC from abusing its harassment policy to limit academic freedom

The original article is here: PLoS ONE: Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time

This is a clear violation of academic freedom, and an embarassment for UCC and Ireland more generally.
 


martino

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That's nuts. Any idea who the injured party is? Sounds like a particularly mean, petty and vindictive character.
 

Didimus

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Whether this is a breach of academic freedom is a moot point.
If Dr Evans brought this article to the attention of a colleague engaged in the same area of work as he is then it may well be.
If on the other hand he introduced it in a social context to someone who worked in another discipline it may not be.
And if it was the latter what are we left with?
The spontaneous introduction of the subject of fellatio, or other sexual practices, whether by fruit bats or fruitcakes, into a social workplace conversation would in some circumstances amount to sexual harassment, and would in many cases warrant some intervention from management.
 

Mossy Heneberry

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From the article:

But thankfully, here in the United States we have the awesome protections of the First Amendment to vindicate the rights to both free speech and academic freedom. Ireland, to my knowledge, does not have such powerful protections, leaving Dr. Evans in a bind
Do we not have something equivalent to that here in ireland?
 

martino

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Context would be important, but he does state he brought it up in context of a long running discussion with a colleague.
 

generick

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From the article:



Do we not have something equivalent to that here in ireland?
We sure do, article 14.2 of the Universities Act.

It says: (2) A member of the academic staff of a university shall have the freedom, within the law, in his or her teaching, research and any other activities either in or outside the university, to question and test received wisdom, to put forward new ideas and to state controversial or unpopular opinions and shall not be disadvantaged, or subject to less favourable treatment by the university, for the exercise of that freedom.

Seems like a clear violation of this on UCC's part, especially given that external examiners exonerated him.
 

ivnryn

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From the article:

Do we not have something equivalent to that here in ireland?
Yes, but our version is weaker (this is what caused the whole criminal blasphemy issue).

However, I doubt the first amendment would actually protect him in the US. It isn't like US colleges don't have PC monitoring boards in them.
 

Didimus

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Context would be important, but he does state he brought it up in context of a long running discussion with a colleague.
Agreed.
I do not know the complete context. However given that the subject was "an ongoing debate with the colleague in question about the relevance of evolutionary biology to human behaviour, and in particular about the dubiousness of many claims for human uniqueness" it is possible that the particular example he chose to illustrate his point was a genuine effort to move the debate forward.
On the other hand he may have just read the report in the guardian reporting on the research and took the opportunity to make a smart-alecky comment.
Whatever happened it seems to have been handled badly.
But let's not pretend it's about academic freedom.
 

Clanrickard

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Agreed.
I do not know the complete context. However given that the subject was "an ongoing debate with the colleague in question about the relevance of evolutionary biology to human behaviour, and in particular about the dubiousness of many claims for human uniqueness" it is possible that the particular example he chose to illustrate his point was a genuine effort to move the debate forward.
On the other hand he may have just read the report in the guardian reporting on the research and took the opportunity to make a smart-alecky comment.
Whatever happened it seems to have been handled badly.
But let's not pretend it's about academic freedom.
Tipperary Man is spot on that this total BS. The colleague was "upset" .......aaaaahhh the poor didums. There is far too much of this crap in this country. Sexual harassment laws are far too lax and leave people open to all kinds of false accusation. He was found not guilty yet he faces two years of probation. This should be a resigning matter for Prof. Michael Murphy.
 

martino

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It's comes down to evolution. Apparently the complainant, a devout Catholic, obected to elements of evolutionary behavoiur theory being introduced to the teaching of psychology. This antagonism has been going on for some time. Evans showed her the article in a spirit of jest and she reported him for sexual harassment, effectively ruining his career.
 

Didimus

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It's comes down to evolution. Apparently the complainant, a devout Catholic, obected to elements of evolutionary behavoiur theory being introduced to the teaching of psychology. This antagonism has been going on for some time. Evans showed her the article in a spirit of jest and she reported him for sexual harassment, effectively ruining his career.
Thanks Martino. Don't know where you got the info but it makes some sense of the story.
If it is accurate it does seem that that his action in introducing the topic was done to cause an effect other than simply further an academic argument, while the response of the authorities seems OTT.
 

martino

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Thanks Martino. Don't know where you got the info but it makes some sense of the story.
If it is accurate it does seem that that his action in introducing the topic was done to cause an effect other than simply further an academic argument, while the response of the authorities seems OTT.
Yep, the info is accurate. I know the man, though not personally. He's articulate, enthuasiastic and considerate, but a bit dogmatic with the whole atheism, Dawkins cult carry on. I don't know the other party but I see this as an intellectual argument gone personal.
 

Didimus

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Yep, the info is accurate. I know the man, though not personally. He's articulate, enthuasiastic and considerate, but a bit dogmatic with the whole atheism, Dawkins cult carry on. I don't know the other party but I see this as an intellectual argument gone personal.
Had a look at his website and he does seem to have a very eclectic CV.
Think you've called it right and I'm not sure that making this a cause celebre will do him any favours in the long run.
wonder had he run out of options re internal procedures/labour law etc?
 

cyberianpan

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How comes none of the Irish media reported on this first?

P.
Madame in the Irish Times runs a very socially conservative shop, mentions of sex are forbidden

THe other newspapers couldn't care about academic freedom

Let this be a salutary reminder: we have an extremely backward press in Ireland, compare to say Britain. The four "broadsheets" all are well able to talk about sex, and all support civil liberties.

cYp
 

orbit

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Is the person accused in a position of authority over the complainant? If not, then I don't see how sexual harassment could arise at all, unless there was a previous pattern of similar incidents.

If this happened in a "normal" workplace would be one thing, but to occur in a university sounds deeply disturbing and embarrassing for UCC (and Ireland) and doesn't say much for academic freedom in this country, assuming the story is being reported accurately here.
 

Cornerman

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I had a look at the offending article.

How could the ("devout Catholic") complainant object to the information that female fruit bats lick the base of the male bat's penis whilst the rest of his penis is inside her? Surely so long as the sexual act leaves open the possibility conception of new life the Catholic Church and it's devotees should be quite satisfied.
 

darkknight

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Ironically, one of Dr. Evans' special interests is the measurement of 'risk intelligence'! :roll:

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jZc6UQnwkE"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jZc6UQnwkE[/ame]
 


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