Monday, July 08, 2013

Throwing Caution To The Winds...

Ball State University, in the middle of a controversy surrounding one of its faculty, Eric Hedin, has just hired Guillermo Gonzalez, the astronomer who made waves a few years ago when he was denied tenure at Iowa State University.  He maintained that the reason for this was because he is a supporter of Intelligent Design.  He appealed the decision and lost the appeal.  It is hard to argue with his publication record up to the point—he had 66 publications in a little over twenty years (2007 data) and they were all in mainstream journals. Arguments were made at the time that he had not published acceptable science in some years leading up to the denial of tenure. A look at the actual published papers in his vita would seem to suggest otherwise. Furthermore, Iowa State faculty admitted later that his support of ID was a factor in the denial. Charles Huckabee, of the Chronicle of Higher Education writes:
The astronomer, Guillermo Gonzalez, made headlines when Iowa State University denied him tenure in 2007, a decision that was upheld by the university’s president and the statewide Iowa Board of Regents. He maintained that he had been denied tenure because of his advocacy of intelligent design. The university said the decision was based on scholarly concerns, such as a publication record that dwindled after a promising start. After leaving Iowa State, Mr. Gonzalez landed on the faculty at Grove City College, a Christian institution in Pennsylvania.
What effect this will have on the Hedin case is unclear but it will certainly make Ball State a lightening rod for more criticism from folks like Jerry Coyne.

1 comment:

  1. Even Karl Giberson, who teaches a similar course, thought Hedin's reading list was unbalanced.