Monday, October 15, 2007

Leftish Leaning Universities? Ahmadinejad and Summers

The Becker-Posner blog recently had a a debate about the lefty nature of American Universities.

Posner started off the relatively anecdotal discussion by contrasting the recent invitation of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (you know the one, Holocaust-denier, supporter of terrorism, etc.) to speak at Columbia and the recent dis-invitation of Larry Summers, (ex-Harvard president who was ousted for talking about the distribution of female vs. male IQ.), who had been invited to speak to the Board of Regents of the University of California.

This strange contrast and all of its potentially deeper meanings aside, the blog digresses into a general discussion of liberalism in U.S. universities.

We're certainly leftish in my field, which is concerned with population- patterns of health and disease, a topic inherently concerned with inequality and social responsibility. But please, think of the average medical school or finance department! It's pretty simplistic to talk about the "leftyness" of universities overall. But personally, I do not equate "PC-ness" with being liberal. There may well be a correlation but to me, left-leaning and liberal are far larger things. Also it's important to look at universities across the globe, many of which house students and faculty who openly study and promote socialism.

Although Becker made a good point...that perhaps it's not the universities that have moved to the left, it's the American public that has shifted to the right.

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