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Politically Correct Zoology 218

flynny51 writes "Dr. Dylan Evans of the School of Medicine, University College, Cork, Ireland, has had a two-year period of intensive monitoring and counseling imposed upon him and as a result his application for tenure is likely to be denied. His offense — sharing an article from a peer-reviewed journal on fellatio in fruit bats."


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Politically Correct Zoology

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  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot.hackish@org> on Sunday May 16, 2010 @07:09PM (#32231032)

    He wasn't even lecturing about it to students, if his protest letter is accurate. He was sharing it with a colleague, which I assume means another professor, a research scientist, or some other variety of non-student researcher, in the context of "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". Seems rather relevant, and strange to object to.

  • by Securityemo ( 1407943 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @07:41PM (#32231258) Journal
    How do you argue that violence is inherently bad?
  • by Flambergius ( 55153 ) * on Sunday May 16, 2010 @07:42PM (#32231264)

    I read the complaint, replies and rest of the documents. Made me miss the first period of Montreal @ Philadelphia.

    The lack of evidence is staggering and mind-boggling. Who knows what really has been going on, but what I do know that the investigators or the president don't know anything that would be warrant a two-year monitoring and counseling period.

    Let me repeat: not guilty.

  • by questionsaddict ( 1277150 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @07:57PM (#32231364)
    keep reading all of the letters and you'll see that she failed to report the guy about the fact that she found it creepy, and maybe even exaggerated some of his behaviour.

    the only thing that makes me vote for the guy is the fact that she refused apology and counselling when it would've been best. In my opinion, that girl is as shy as a mouse, and the guy is a bit of a jerk, but that ain't a reason to apply a formal complaint without trying to resolve the issue by their own means..

  • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @08:13PM (#32231460)

    Apparently I am really lenient guy. I read the summary real quick and thought he got fired for blowing fruit bats in front of other people and felt it was a bit extreme of a punishment.

    Of course that might have something to do with the fact "two-year period of intensive monitoring and counseling imposed upon him" and "fellatio in fruit bats" happened to be on top of each other (no pun intended) in bold and italics.

  • by linzeal ( 197905 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @08:15PM (#32231492) Homepage Journal

    That is not the point in these cases unfortunately. HR departments esp ones with affirmative action offices can often take unilateral action against you without any proof at all. The amount of power alloted against individuals in institutions by these and other offices on campus that are answerable to no one is unbelievable.

    We had a case here that involved a woman getting a man's disabled parking permit taken away because he honked at her once in a parking garage, which she claimed was harassment.

  • by GNUALMAFUERTE ( 697061 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <etreufamla>> on Sunday May 16, 2010 @09:18PM (#32231880)

    Remember the law passed not long ago making blasphemy illegal?

    So, how long until people realizes that this has gone too far. Censorship IS a problem. religion and corporate interests account for most of the censorship out there. Copyright is nothing but a form of censorship.

    Can we finally outlaw religion and copyright? We really need to ban and persecute all forms of religious beliefs. And we really need to get rid of copyright.

    Only then we'll be truly free.

    Now, go ahead and mod me troll or flamebait, but you all know I'm right.

  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @09:41PM (#32232034)

    no true scotsman.

    that's not *true* violence!

    The mental patient isn't necessarily going to hurt anyone, he may just not want to take his medication.

    The damage you might want to prevent by restraining someone need not be violent itself. merely harmful.

  • Re:Fuck Puritans. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Monday May 17, 2010 @01:35AM (#32233764) Journal

    If you actually bothered to RTFA, or even just TFFirstPost,

    I also read the actual complaint and the mail exchange. Follow the link at the bottom of TFA.

    The matter at hand is an accusation of sexual harassment...

    And there's serious doubt as to the merit of that accusation. In fact, an initial investigation did not find the professor guilty of sexual harassment, and the single reason he was disciplined was this one event. But the woman didn't give him any indication that this was disturbing to her -- to the contrary, she laughed and requested a copy -- and was unwilling to pursue any resolution other than the direct, formal approach. Even her report about this -- that he shared it with her alone in her office -- is in dispute.

    The professor also shared the paper with a dozen other colleagues, none of whom filed a complaint or gave him any indication that he'd done something wrong.

    This is basically coming down to her word against his, but he's actually got a witness to back him up at least partly (they weren't alone in the room), and again, sharing a single, published, peer-review paper shouldn't qualify as sexual harassment.

    Given all of this, the woman's reaction, and the President's, are both fairly unreasonable. It's difficult to find a motive other than that they either dislike him personally, or that they really do feel some "puritanical impulse to censor."

    Oh, and there was a comment by one of the investigators about the paper being "smut", so I think I'll let my original comment stand as-is.

    Stop, think, then post (maybe).

    You're right in that I didn't do that, though I suspect my post would've been somewhat more buried if I had. But I stand by it -- whatever other factors were involved, there is a puritanical element here. Peer-reviewed literature is not "smut", even if it makes you personally uncomfortable about female bats' ability to perform fellatio during intercourse.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:32AM (#32234346)

    Dr. Evans managed to pull the wool over the eyes of everyone save the president of the university who saw through all of the bullshit and slapped Dr. Evans with what amounts to a 2 year probationary period with some sensitivity training. If Dr. Evans pulled a stunt like this in the states he'd have been out on his ass.

    Here, let me fetch you a hose to get the giant wad of sand out of your vagina.

    Now that we've sorted that little problem out, let me tell you about a lecturer at my old university. He was a great guy, great programmer, a hacker in the old sense of the word (to the point that all of his web site scripting was done in CGI models written in C). From what I heard, he was in line for head of department, until he pointed out that one of the other lecturers was about as useful and competent as tits on a bull. He was absolutely right, this staff member was abominable and couldn't teach a kindergarten class about crayons, much less teach a 3rd year computing unit. Sadly, she managed to fabricate a harassment claim which not only diverted attention from her own total lack of competence, but also ended his chances for any kind of promotion.

    There's nothing more dangerous to an intellectually honest academic than a female co-worker who knows she's incompetent and is prepared to use sexual discrimination or harassment claims as a weapon.

  • Summary failure (Score:4, Interesting)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:05AM (#32235964) Journal

    To me it sounds like the good Dr. has done an admirable job of 'spin control'.

    Read her allegations. They are just that, allegations, but dispense with Dr. Evans interpretation of events, and read it for what it is.

    Dr. Evans engaged in what most of us would recognize as relatively sophomoric antics and flirtation - repeatedly engaging the complainant in discussions of a sexual nature, about Casanova, and ultimately showing her (I assume with much Junior-high-school snickering) an article on fellatio in Fruit Bats.

    It IS possible that all of this was just an unfortunate set of coincidences, showing nothing more than an autistic-level of disconnectedness by Dr. Evans in not understanding the context of the repeated discussions.

    Considerably more likely is the Dr. Evans had a serious boner for the alleged victim, and engaged in the sorts of feeble things 7th grade boys would do to try to 'spark' some interest in 'that hot girl' - with arguably similar results...she is shocked, disgusted, and goes running to the teacher crying "GROSS!".

    If the subsequent dinner "double date" was accurately represented in the reportage, as well as a YEAR of such antics, she (and the school administration) are entirely vindicated.

    I congratulate Dr. Evans on his ability to form a groundswell of public opinion in his behalf by mischaracterizing the event as some sort of Puritanical effort to "stifle academic freedom", a message which rings so readily in the ears of the political leanings of so many here on slashdot that its readily believed contrary to the actual reports. I'm sure he can look forward to many job offers from political parties looking for media consultants.

    I'd however recommend to both of them that they perhaps make sure Dr. Evans isn't working with any women.

  • by thegnu ( 557446 ) <thegnu@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Monday May 17, 2010 @01:45PM (#32240630) Journal

    they wouldn't be able to use sex as a tool to destroy you, so at least they'd have to destroy you based on your actual actions.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard