The Pink Bunny of Battle Sees Red

The Pink Bunny of Battle sees red over The War on Academic Freedom. We see an echo of this war here in Florida, where Betty Castor the leading Democratic candidate for our open Senate seat, is being castigated for not having fired a tenured professor accused of aiding terrorists when she was a university president. (In fact, if Castor can be accused of anything, it was over-reacting to flimsy charges and suspending the man for two years on the basis of what was then quite little evidence.)

One thing I don't agree with the Bunny about, though, is the claim that legislatures have an obligation to support good science. I want them to, and I demand they support academic freedom — but I can't say that this includes any sort of duty to go beyond contractual committments. The state has no duty to provide research grants unless it's spelled out in a contract of employment. And if the legislature thinks it has better ways to spend the money, or even if it disagrees with the research on ideological grounds (think stem cells), it has a right to withhold funds. Think of it as a right to be wrong, if you disagree with the decision.

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3 Responses to The Pink Bunny of Battle Sees Red

  1. Pinky says:

    “legislatures have an obligation to support good science”

    His Rabbitness wishes to point out that he did not actually make this claim expressly, and in fact readily agrees with Prof. Froomkin’s position. The graf about conservatives working to stop certain types of funding was meant to provide a transition to the next section — it’s not an attack on academic freedom to stop certain types of funding, of course. A clarifying note has been added.


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