We’re going to have people saying unpopular things
J. Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University, has promoted a theory that his critics think is inaccurate, insulting and potentially damaging to transgender women. In the past few years, several prominent academics who are transgender have made a series of accusations against the psychologist…Lynn Conway, a prominent computer scientist at the University of Michigan, sent out an e-mail message comparing Dr. Bailey’s views to Nazi propaganda…Dr. Ben Barres, a neurobiologist at Stanford, said in reference to Dr. Bailey’s thesis in the book, “Bailey seems to make a living by claiming that the things people hold most deeply true are not true.”
Oh no, not that. If he does that then nothing is too bad to do to him.
Dr. Conway, the computer scientist, kept a running chronicle of the accusations against Dr. Bailey on her Web site…The site also included a link to the Web page of another critic of Dr. Bailey’s book, Andrea James, a Los Angeles-based transgender advocate and consultant. Ms. James downloaded images from Dr. Bailey’s Web site of his children, taken when they were in middle and elementary school, and posted them on her own site, with sexually explicit captions that she provided…Ms. James said in an e-mail message that Dr. Bailey’s work exploited vulnerable people, especially children, and that her response echoed his disrespect.
“What happened to Bailey is important, because the harassment was so extraordinarily bad and because it could happen to any researcher in the field,” said Alice Dreger, an ethics scholar and patients’ rights advocate at Northwestern who, after conducting a lengthy investigation of Dr. Bailey’s actions, has concluded that he is essentially blameless. “If we’re going to have research at all, then we’re going to have people saying unpopular things, and if this is what happens to them, then we’ve got problems not only for science but free expression itself.”
For science, for free expression, for research, scholarship, inquiry, thought – the whole shooting match. Not good.