New Zealand academic cancelled for objecting to school curriculum plan

How academic in New Zealand got CANCELLED after he condemned plans to teach Maori folklore on creation of the earth in science classes as he faces expulsion from country’s Royal Society

  • Working group suggested Maori knowledge should have same weight as science
  • Seven professors wrote a letter saying it could not be on par with scientific facts
  • Letter’s authors included Garth Cooper, professor at University of Auckland
  • After letter was published, Royal Society received five complaints about authors
  • The Royal Society of New Zealand launched a formal disciplinary investigation
  • Fury has erupted after academics in 新西兰 were threatened with expulsion from the Royal Society for criticising plans that would see Maori knowledge added to the school curriculum.

    Current and former professors at the University of Auckland wrote a letter to the editor of the New Zealand Listener criticising a government working group’s plans to give the same weight to Maori mythology as they do to science in the classroom.

    The letter was signed by seven professors, including Garth Cooper, a professor of biochemistry and clinical biochemistry at the University of Auckland.

    Five members of the Royal Society of New Zealand complained about the letter, saying it caused ‘untold harm and hurt’, prompting the society to launch a formal investigation.

    Critics claimed the ongoing investigation was an attack on free speech and that scientists were being punished for defending science.

    在信中, titled ‘In Defence of Science, the professors accepted indigenous knowledge should be taught in schools as it is ‘critical for the preservation and perpetuation of culture and local practices, and plays key roles in management and policy’.

    But they argued it could not be treated on a par with biology, chemistry and physics, 加: ‘In the discovery of empirical, universal truths, it falls far short of what we can define as science itself.’

    After the letter was published in July, the Royal Society of New Zealand received complaints from five members demanding disciplinary action against three society fellows: Professor Cooper, philosopher Robert Nola, and psychologist Michael Corballis. Mr Corballis died suddenly last month.

    Fury has erupted after academics in New Zealand were threatened with expulsion from the Royal Society for criticising plans that would see Maori knowledge added to the school curriculum. 图为, Maori warriors celebrating Waitangi Day in 2017

    Fury has erupted after academics in New Zealand were threatened with expulsion from the Royal Society for criticising plans that would see Maori knowledge added to the school curriculum. 图为, Maori warriors celebrating Waitangi Day in 2017

    A letter criticising plans was signed by seven professors, including Garth Cooper (图为), a professor of biochemistry and clinical biochemistry at the University of Auckland

    A letter criticising plans was signed by seven professors, including Garth Cooper (图为), a professor of biochemistry and clinical biochemistry at the University of Auckland

    The authors of the letter argued they were exercising their rights under New Zealand’s Education Act, which allows academics and students freedom to ‘state controversial or unpopular opinionsas well as ‘question and test received wisdom’.

    But those complaining said the authors had committed at least nine breaches of the Royal Society’s code of professional standards and ethics, which included claims of failing to behave with ‘integrity and professionalism’.

    The complainants included Dr Siouxsie Wiles and Dr Shaun Hendy, two colleagues of Professor Cooper.

    Maori beliefs argue that all living things originated from Tane Mahuta sending his father Ranginui up to the sky and his mother Papatuanuku down to the earth.

    Columnist Rod Liddle, writing in today’s 周日时报, called the reaction to the professor’s letter ‘madness and stupidity’.

    他写了: ‘(Professor Cooper) signed an open letter suggesting that, while it was important everybody knew about the interesting Maori take on creation, “In the discovery of empirical, universal truths, it falls far short of what we can define as science itself.”

    ‘Yet for once freedom of speech is not the crucial issue for me here. It is instead the burgeoning madness and stupidity, condescension and racism that are propelling us towards the De-Enlightenment.

    ‘All of those academics, and the Royal Society, know full well that the Maori explanation for the creation of the world is not correct. 但是, hypocritically and patronisingly, they pretend otherwise.

    原来, five members of the Royal Society complained about the professors’ 信件, but three pulled back after the society asked them to identify themselves.

    Two of the complainants remained, prompting the Royal Society of New Zealand to launch a formal investigation, before saying it cannot comment until the disciplinary process has ended.

    Columnist Rod Liddle (图为) called the reaction to the professor's letter and the ensuing investigation 'madness and stupidity'

    Columnist Rod Liddle (图为) called the reaction to the professor’s letter and the ensuing investigation ‘madness and stupidity

    Commentator Toby Young (图为) said the plans would give Maori schoolchildren 'even greater disadvantage'

    Commentator Toby Young (图为) said the plans would give Maori schoolchildren ‘even greater disadvantage

    Commentator Toby Young argued the government working group’s plans would give Maori schoolchildren ‘even greater disadvantage if their teachers patronise them by saying there’s no need to learn the rudiments of scientific knowledge’.

    写在 观众, 他加了: ‘The moment this letter was published all hell broke loose.

    ‘The views of the authors, who were all professors at Auckland, were denounced by the Royal Society, the New Zealand Association of Scientists, and the Tertiary Education Union — as well as their own Vice-Chancellor, Dawn Freshwater. In a hand-wringing, cry-bullying email to all staff at the university, she said the letter had ‘caused considerable hurt and dismay among our staff, students and alumni’.

    ‘Two of Professor Cooper’s academic colleagues, Dr Siouxsie Wiles and Dr Shaun Hendy, issued an “打开信封” condemning the heretics for causinguntold harm and hurtand said it pointed tomajor problems with some of our colleagues”.’