Skip to comments.Smithsonian Scientist's Complaint Backed [or "unsupported" -- about the Meyer ID article]
Posted on 08/17/2005 4:37:36 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
A preliminary federal investigation supports a government scientist's complaint that he was shown bias by Smithsonian Institution colleagues after a science journal he edited published a report on the theory of "intelligent design."
However, the Office of Special Counsel informed the complainant, Richard Sternberg, that it is ending the probe into the case because of jurisdictional questions and the Smithsonian's refusal to "voluntarily participate in any additional investigation" into his grievance.
[Snip, because we must excerpt articles from this source]
Mr. Sternberg, a research associate at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History, said he was "singled out for harassment and threats" by others at the Smithsonian, who viewed him as a "creationist" after the publication of the intelligent design article last year.
Mr. Sternberg said Mr. McVay "found strong support for my complaint" and cited "concrete examples" of where Smithsonian personnel demonstrated "discrimination" against him for perceived religious and political views.
Mr. McVay cited e-mail in which Mr. Sternberg was described as a "creationist." He said one message asserted that Mr. Sternberg had "extensive training as an orthodox priest" and that the paper he published was a "sheer disaster," which made the institution a "laughingstock."
[Snip, because we must excerpt articles from this source]
From December 2001 until last fall, Mr. Sternberg served as managing editor of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. In the August 2004 issue of the journal, Mr. Sternberg published an article on intelligent design written by Stephen C. Meyer, a fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle.
In his complaint with the special counsel, Mr. Sternberg said he was belittled by a Smithsonian supervisor and other employees after the article appeared. He said museum authorities contacted his employers at NIH, seeking his ouster.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Well now, that will send a message to any other federally employed scientist won't it? The RC of the 16th and 17th century would be proud.
One of these four comments is inappropriate. Sternberg's training as an Orthodox Priest is irrelevant and should not the the subject of a discussion over institutional email. Sternberg's paper and its impact are fair game, as are his peculiar views on biology.
Well, there is the small matter that the Smithsonian isn't his employer, and therefore can't practice employment discrimination. Just a technicality.
Again I ask: Who are these designers?
Where do they hang out?
Which one of these jerks was assigned the human male pelvic area?
BEHOLD THE DESIGNER'S NOODLY APPENDAGE!
The "Flying Spaghetti Monster" knows all; sees all!
"Thou shalt have no main course before Him!"
"In His Noodly Appendage we trust!"
We munch with gusto.
"Thou shalt covet not thy neighbor's Alfredo."
"Thou shalt not anoint thy pasta with Parmesan from a can, nor sauce from a jar."
"Thou shalt not over cook thy pasta, for it is an abomination."
It is a disgrace to politicize science like this.
Thanks for the ping!
IMHO, this case will end up in civil court where the Smithsonian cannot refuse to cooperate in discovery. In that regard it is akin to the potential lawsuit in Ohio - and the successful challenge which avoided a lawsuit in Texas.
The scientists and administrators who seek to defend the theory of evolution may have to learn the hard way - how not to cross the line of what is legal and what is not.
Sternberg is not an employee of the Smithsonian. He's an employee of NCBI.
Indeed, as when some one notes that "Mr. Sternberg had 'extensive training as an orthodox priest'...." As if this somehow makes him unfit as a scientist -- with two doctorates in evolutionary biology no less.
This entire episode is sick-making, disgusting. I hope Mr. Sternberg gets his day in court.
I've pointed this out many times before, but here we go again. Having two doctorates is not a plus. It's a red flag for weirdness. A doctorate is a credential that you're qualified to do independent scientific research. There is no point in proving that twice. You get a doctorate, then you move to a postdoctoral position. Even if you want to change fields, you usually do this via a postdoctorate.
The only conceivable reason, IMO, to get two doctorates (let alone two in the same field) is if you've so alienated your original doctoral advisor that he won't write recommendations; but even then, I've seen people work around this.
I don't think it is going to matter what his affiliation was concerning the Smithsonian. It is an abuse of power for one on the public dole to try to destroy a person's career, reputation and such:
I'm sure they'll find several legal theories to pursue - discrimination, abuse of power, tortious conduct and who knows what else... Once it is in court, the Smithsonian cannot refuse to cooperate.
He wasn't an employee.
Yes it is. As it was when the Dover School Board did it. As it was when the Kansas Board of Education did it. As it was when the Ohio School Board did it.
Sternberg made an ideologically motivated editorial decision that ignored the policy of the journal he managed. That is a mistake that future employers are entitled to weigh negatively against him. Whatever religious training he has is irrelevant.
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