A few days ago I posted a very important issue .. the 50% decline in funding rates at he NIH since the early 2000’s. I discussed why this should be of concern to all of us interested in the University School of Medicine. I also suggested that our federal representatives need to be educated about this issue since it is of special concern not to just to UW but to the larger community.
I also sent a version of that post to the AAUP listserv, ostensibly a forum for free speech. I was aware that the latter could raise issues on a concern about use of a state resource for lobbying. I was, therefore careful not to advocate any action on the part of the legislators.
Still the my post was censored. The message says nothing about lobbying, instead it gave the following reasons:
Your request to the AAUP mailing list
Posting of your message titled “NIH Cut is Approaching 50%!”
has been rejected by the list moderator. The moderator gave the
following reason for rejecting your request:
“FACULTY ISSUES AND CONCERNS encourages contributions and discussion
on issues relating to higher education in general and the University
of Washington faculty issues in particular. The editors try to balance
the goal of open discussion with the recognition that 1400 subscribers
do not want their inboxes overwhelmed with messages. Here are some
reasons that the editors may reject messages
1) Incivility. Please, no personal attacks or rude remarks.
2) Redundancy. We try to stop back and forth exchanges. One or two
comments per person in a particular exchange is about right.
3) Inconsequential. Short comments that add little to a discussion are
This kind of censorship, in my opinion, casts a shadow on the content of the listserv. I suggest that any of you who disapprove of this sort of limitation of free speech in an academic forum either post your comments here or send your comments to the AAUP.