Debate at Middlebury Over Co-Author of ‘Bell Curve’

February 28, 2017

Many at Middlebury College are objecting to the political science department co-sponsoring an appearance this week by Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve, a book that linked intelligence and race and that has been widely condemned by many social scientists (even as Murray has been supported by others). Vermont Public Radio reported that Murray, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was invited by a student group, but much of the criticism is over the political science department's decision to co-sponsor the event. The political science department says it co-sponsors any event related to political science that some on campus want, and the co-sponsorship is not an endorsement of Murray's ideas. Middlebury, which has a policy of not blocking controversial speakers, is not preventing the event from happening.

Mike Sheridan, chair of sociology and anthropology at Middlebury, told Vermont Public Radio that Murray should not be viewed as just another speaker. "I think he's more of a scientific racist, pseudo-scientist rather than a straight-up political scientist," he said.

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