All posts filed under: Report

Education NGO Faces Backlash from Academics After Retracting Essay Citing Intelligence Research

A British education training nonprofit is being accused of censorship after it retracted an opinion essay challenging environmental determinism from its website. The essay, titled “Are there any limits to what schools can achieve?” was published on the website of Teach First last Thursday to foster more dialogue following an education summit in Wembley a day earlier. The essay’s author and summit panelist, Toby Young, says he was blindsided at the sudden retraction two days after its publication. “The first I knew about it [the article’s retraction] was when I heard about it on Twitter,” said Mr. Young, director of the New Schools Network, a charter school advocacy charity based in London. “As it was, I found myself on a Saturday morning having to defend myself from an organisation I have always supported and which I had always thought of as on the same side as me in the education reform movement.” Mr. Young’s opinion piece summarized some of the scientific literature on intelligence to cast doubt on the belief that environments alone can determine …

Academic Article Withdrawn Following “Serious and Credible” Threats of Violence

Editor’s note: the following article has been updated to include details obtained via a police report from Portland State’s Campus Public Safety Office regarding a voicemail threat sent to Associate Professor Gilley on September 14.  An academic journal that published a controversial article making a case for Western colonialism has withdrawn the piece after its editor received “serious and credible threats” of violence. “These threats are linked to the publication of this essay,” Taylor and Francis, the publisher of the Third World Quarterly (TWQ), wrote in a statement in place of where the article was formerly available. “As the publisher, we must take this seriously. Taylor & Francis has a strong and supportive duty of care to all our academic editorial teams, and this is why we are withdrawing this essay.” The article’s formal withdrawal concludes a month-long controversy that saw its author, Portland State associate professor of political science Bruce Gilley, at the center of an international firestorm culminating in threats of violence against both him and the journal’s editor-in-chief, Shahid Qadir. First published …

Best of the Web, 28th July 2017

Culture A Secularist vs. the Progressive Faith Tom Wilson, Commentary Liu Xiaobo and Twitter’s Theatre of Radical Cruelty Jamie Palmer, Tablet Magazine Science Don’t Believe in God? Maybe You’ll try U.F.Os Clay Routledge, The New York Times First Human Embryos Edited in U.S. Steve Connor, MIT Technology Review  How Species Originate Thomas Near, The Economist Ketamine Breakthrough for Suicidal Children Jack Turban, Scientific American Out of All Major Energy Sources, Nuclear is the Safest Hannah Ritchie Our World in Data  The Polygamous Town Facing Genetic Disaster Zaria Gorvett, BBC Future Politics and foreign policy Burke to the Future: The Evolution of Conservatism Emily Jones, History Today Unraveling the Mystery of Putin’s Popularity Jay Ogilvy, Stratfor Worldview Like Rome, America Could Be Ripe for Tyranny Robert W Merry, American Conservative

Richard Dawkins Celebrated by Activists and Ex-Muslims at London Conference for Free Expression

When ex-Muslim Bonya Ahmed reached out her hand to accept an award in London on Sunday, it was missing her thumb. Islamists hacked it off in Bangladesh, 2015. She had thrown her arms in front of her husband Avijit Roy to shield him from machetes as a mob cut the life out of him for criticising Islam. The attack happened in a crowded public street but the people – including police – stood by and did nothing. The ceremony that recognised this brave woman had to be held in a secret location because London is no longer safe for ex-Muslims, atheists or even secular Muslim believers who dare to say that Islam should not be implemented as a system of laws. Let that sink in: these people had to gather in an undisclosed location.. Not in Bangladesh, but in Britain. The room was filled with free thinkers from around the world: Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Pakistan, Iran, Tunisia, France, Poland, Turkey. They came from everywhere to attend the International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression. Many …

Best of the Web, 22nd July 2017

Culture Richard Dawkins deplatformed at a book talk in Berkeley for “abusive speech” about Islam on Twitter Jerry Coyne, Why Evolution is True Why it’s a Bad Idea to Tell Students that Words are Violence Jonathan Haidt & Greg Lukianoff, The Atlantic Aliens, Antisemitism and Academia Remi Adekoya & Landon Firm, Jacobin Science Two minds: the cognitive differences between men and women Bruce Goldman, Stanford Medicine Are we all racists deep in side? Michael Shermer, Scientific American Why Brilliant Girls Tend to Favor Non-STEM Careers Lee Jussim, Psychology Today The sex robots are coming. Do not fear them Debra Soh, The Globe and Mail Politics and foreign policy The Passion of Liu Xiaobo Perry Link, The New York Review of Books Is it racist to say Africa has civilizational problems? Remi Adekoya, Foreign Policy Russia’s Global Anti-Libertarian Crusade Cathy Young, Reason Magazine The Myths of 1953 Ray Takeyh, The Weekly Standard I’ve Worked with Refugees for Decades. Europe’s Afghan Crime Wave Is Mind-Boggling Cheryl Benard, National Interest