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Monday, March 31, 2014

Leiter Reports: Rochester Institute of Technology issues stronger statement in support of Professor Torcello

RIT now issues stronger statement in support of Professor Torcello

from Leiter Reports - A Philosophy Blog, March 31, 2014
Here.  Our earlier coverage was here.  Special thanks to all those who took the time to write to the RIT Administration, your efforts have produced a good result!
UPDATE:  Professor Torcello writes:
I am confident that your letter and the letters of other supportive academics proved an important counterbalance to the conservative campaign of harassment. I have no doubt that such letters helped give my administration the appropriate encouragement they needed to take a stronger stand. 
One reason I think a statement like this is so important is that if universities were to routinely issue a public acknowledgment of the scientific consensus on climate change in response to faculty harassment it would remove some of the incentive deniers have to instigate their campaigns in the first place. Universities still hold a significant level of institutional authority in the mind of many citizens so such statements affirming the existence of scientific consensus are meaningful in the public sphere. It is my hope that this new statement will get some attention in academic circles as an example of the sort of full-throat statement appropriate for universities to make in defense of faculty targeted by conservative propagandists. I hope some people will write thanking the RIT for taking a stronger stance. I have no doubt that some conservatives will be writing in again offering the opposite view. 

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