Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Persecuted MIT Stem Cell Research Professor Locked Out of Laboratory
Life News ^ | 7/2/07 | Steven Ertelt

Posted on 07/02/2007 4:29:41 PM PDT by wagglebee

Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) -- A Massachusetts Institute of Technology stem cell researcher who has been denied tenure has no been locked out of his laboratory. Dr. James L. Sherley, a black associate professor of biological engineering who opposes embryonic stem cell research and human cloning, has said he is a victim of racism.

Sherley has been an outspoken advocate against human cloning -- including the kind of therapeutic cloning his colleagues and other scientists want to use to create and destroy human embryos for their stem cells.

He has been fighting for tenure at MIT for over two years and hoped a hunger strike would change the minds of top school officials earlier this year but it didn't.

Now the researcher, who saw his appointment at MIT end June 30, has been locked out of his lab on campus.

Sherley was unable to access the lab over the weekend to complete the transfer of his experiments and property to a new location.

According to a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Dr. Sherly wrote an email to MIT President Susan Hockfield saying he is concerned about the live rats, animal stem cells and human adult stem cells at his lab that he had been using in research.

Sherley wrote that “the forced closure of my laboratory is an illegitimate injustice by your office” and said that the institute had not yet given him a “fair hearing” regarding his complaints of discrimination.

The publication said that Douglas Lauffenburger, who heads the biological-engineering division at MIT, wrote to Sherley on June 20 confirming he would need to leave by the June 30 expiration of his appointment.

In the letter, Lauffenburger complained that Sherley had not provided enough information to MIT officials about the transfer of his research and when he would vacate his laboratory.

Sherley's hunger strike in February lasted for twelve days and ended without the hoped for results. However, Sherley said the attention he received for his efforts justified the strike.

Though he decided to end the strike, he posted comments on the MIT web site saying he still wants the administration to grant him tenure and to address his allegations of racism.

The university posted its response on the college's web site and said it will "continue to work toward resolution of our differences with Professor Sherley."

"MIT is fully committed to addressing these issues," the MIT statement at that time said of the allegations of racism.

MIT says that less than half of its junior professors obtain tenure and Sherley's colleagues in the university's Biological Engineering Division wrote a letter saying the decision about his tenure was a "fair and honest" one.

"We state with certainty and a clear conscience that race did not play any role in the decision that resulted in Prof Sherley's case not being taken forward," the letter said.

Sherley regards embryonic stem cell research as the taking of human life because days-old unborn children are destroyed in the process.

His adult stem cell research has been widely heralded and, in September, he won a prestigious Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health and a $2.5 million grant.

Sherley, the son of a Baptist minister, told the Boston Globe in January 2005 that fellow professors label him “stubborn” instead of “independent-minded" because he refuses to endorse human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.

Sherley was hired in July 1998 as an assistant professor and later promoted to associate professor. He previously said Lauffenburger told him that he had strong recommendations letters for tenure but that he was denied it because of his views on stem cell research.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: prolife; stemcellresearch
The culture of death will persecute all who oppose them.
1 posted on 07/02/2007 4:29:43 PM PDT by wagglebee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: cgk; Coleus; cpforlife.org; narses; 8mmMauser

Pro-Life Ping


2 posted on 07/02/2007 4:30:27 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee

I’m pro-life, but as an MIT guy I can say this particular gentleman seems to deserve the tenure denial.


3 posted on 07/02/2007 4:34:16 PM PDT by newguy357
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee

I salute this man for opposing embryo research, but he hasn’t published much lately and he played the race card when denied tenure. My guess is that if he’d published a borderline acceptable amount, race would have been a positive factor for him. Opposition to embryo research, definitely a negative factor.

When I was there, they denied tenure to an extraordinarily popular math professor - they probably just wanted fresh blood, nothing wrong with the man’s work. Students protested vigorously to no avail, and the professor went on to a decent life and work at another institution.

Mrs VS


4 posted on 07/02/2007 4:38:39 PM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee

It isn’t racism. It is intolerance for opposing views.


5 posted on 07/02/2007 4:40:30 PM PDT by vpintheak (Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked. Prov. 25:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vpintheak
It isn’t racism. It is intolerance for opposing views.

Which is the modus operandi of the left.

6 posted on 07/02/2007 4:42:27 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee
I think it’s sad that he’s claiming racism.He’s being treated badly...very badly...but it’s because of his moral/political views not his race.A Maoist institution like MIT would have treated him every bit as badly if he was white.
7 posted on 07/02/2007 4:43:03 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative ("The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."-Karl Marx)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative

He’s getting treated this way because he hasn’t published since 2003.

web.mit.edu/ccr/faculty/pages/sherley.htm

Mrs VS


8 posted on 07/02/2007 4:52:21 PM PDT by VeritatisSplendor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative
He’s being treated badly...very badly...but it’s because of his moral/political views not his race.

Sounds to me like he's being treated fairly. His scholarship wasn't up to par so he was denied tenure. His appointment ended and instead of acting like an adult and making arrangements to move his stuff over the weekend, he has a hissy fit when he's locked out of his former lab.

A Maoist institution like MIT would have treated him every bit as badly if he was white.

Maoist? Heh.

9 posted on 07/02/2007 4:57:26 PM PDT by cryptical
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee
The Jooooz honkies did it.
10 posted on 07/02/2007 5:03:11 PM PDT by gcruse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cryptical
Maoist? Heh.

You obviously haven't spent much time in Cambridge Massachusetts.

11 posted on 07/02/2007 5:09:45 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative ("The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."-Karl Marx)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: VeritatisSplendor; Gay State Conservative; wagglebee; newguy357; cryptical; gcruse
He’s getting treated this way because he hasn’t published since 2003.

That's getting a bit stale for most universities. I'd think MIT would expect at least one publication per year.

12 posted on 07/02/2007 5:13:15 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: VeritatisSplendor; wagglebee; All

I don’t think we are giving Mr. Sherley enough credit. He is having some fun with these left wing Bostonians. I grew up in Newton, and tweaked them constantly in high school,
Boston College, and Harvard Biz : )


13 posted on 07/02/2007 5:14:02 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker ( Hunter/Thompson/Thompson/Hunter in 08! "Read my lips....No new RINO's" !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: stephenjohnbanker

Cambridge in the mid seventies was like a banana republic : )


14 posted on 07/02/2007 5:16:06 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker ( Hunter/Thompson/Thompson/Hunter in 08! "Read my lips....No new RINO's" !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: stephenjohnbanker
Boston College, and Harvard Biz

How did you wind up being a conservative?

15 posted on 07/02/2007 5:16:13 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee

A business degree does wonders for appreciating what it takes to make capitalism work. Lefties have a harder time staying lefty.


16 posted on 07/02/2007 5:20:04 PM PDT by gcruse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Paleo Conservative

” I’d think MIT would expect at least one publication per year.”

ouch!


17 posted on 07/02/2007 5:20:34 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker ( Hunter/Thompson/Thompson/Hunter in 08! "Read my lips....No new RINO's" !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Paleo Conservative
That's getting a bit stale for most universities. I'd think MIT would expect at least one publication per year.

And there's certainly *no* way that word has gotten around the scientific community about his moral/philosophical position about stem cell research and that he was "black balled" (no pun intended) by the editors of publications in which researchers of his ilk would submit articles,right?

Given his CV and his very,*very* un-PC views on stem cell research I'd bet my last nickel that lack of productivity or scholarship isn't the *real* reason he was denied tenure.

18 posted on 07/02/2007 5:26:24 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative ("The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."-Karl Marx)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: stephenjohnbanker

A Professor who hasn’t published any papers since 2003 is not going to get tenure at most any university. There’s the old saying “publish or perish”.


19 posted on 07/02/2007 5:26:55 PM PDT by flaglady47 (Thinking out loud while grinding teeth in political frustration)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: stephenjohnbanker
I grew up in Newton, and tweaked them constantly in high school, Boston College, and Harvard Biz : )

So are the Harvard business faculty any more sane than their arts faculty?

20 posted on 07/02/2007 5:27:32 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: stephenjohnbanker
I grew up in Newton...

It's a small world! I grew up in the Highlands...how about you?

21 posted on 07/02/2007 5:28:27 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative ("The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."-Karl Marx)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee

“How did you wind up being a conservative?”

My dad was a conservative(mom was a bleeding heart lib, but a great mom). When I was 14, I happened across a copy of National Review. Russell Kirk, WFB, et.al. I was sold on the truth a few issues later.


22 posted on 07/02/2007 5:35:31 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker ( Hunter/Thompson/Thompson/Hunter in 08! "Read my lips....No new RINO's" !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Paleo Conservative

“So are the Harvard business faculty any more sane than their arts faculty?”

Much more sane!


23 posted on 07/02/2007 5:37:23 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker ( Hunter/Thompson/Thompson/Hunter in 08! "Read my lips....No new RINO's" !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: stephenjohnbanker

Good to hear. GWB also got his MBA from Harvard, but his conservative credentials have turned out to be much more lacking than even the skeptics thought.


24 posted on 07/02/2007 5:39:49 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative

I grew up in Newtonville, right off Albemarle Rd, near the Fessenden School.


25 posted on 07/02/2007 5:40:50 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker ( Hunter/Thompson/Thompson/Hunter in 08! "Read my lips....No new RINO's" !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative

“And there’s certainly *no* way that word has gotten around the scientific community about his moral/philosophical position about stem cell research and that he was “black balled” (no pun intended) by the editors of publications in which researchers of his ilk would submit articles,right?

Given his CV and his very,*very* un-PC views on stem cell research I’d bet my last nickel that lack of productivity or scholarship isn’t the *real* reason he was denied tenure.”

Agree 100% !

BUMP


26 posted on 07/02/2007 5:42:21 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker ( Hunter/Thompson/Thompson/Hunter in 08! "Read my lips....No new RINO's" !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee

I never the Bush clan were conservatives....they both threw us a bone, and went for the NWO!


27 posted on 07/02/2007 5:47:32 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker ( Hunter/Thompson/Thompson/Hunter in 08! "Read my lips....No new RINO's" !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: vpintheak
It isn’t racism. It is intolerance for opposing views.

No it isn't. MIT is known as one of the world's top academic institutions because its requirements are among the highest. This man has not produced enough good quality research.
28 posted on 07/02/2007 5:52:13 PM PDT by newguy357
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee

The prof was NOT a victim of racism.

He was dumb enough to use bad science that he knew was false.

So he should lose his job.


29 posted on 07/02/2007 5:54:04 PM PDT by ArmyBratproud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative
Given his CV and his very,*very* un-PC views on stem cell research I'd bet my last nickel that lack of productivity or scholarship isn't the *real* reason he was denied tenure.

Or maybe he wears pink underwear and that's the reason. Again, it is irrelevant. Even if his stem cell views were in-line with leftists, his record would still demand that he be denied tenure.
30 posted on 07/02/2007 5:55:10 PM PDT by newguy357
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee

In a furtherence of “symbolism over substance” embraced by the left, the University is more interested in Grant Money than beneficial Scientific/Medical Research.


31 posted on 07/02/2007 5:59:22 PM PDT by G Larry (Only strict constructionists on the Supreme Court!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newguy357
No it isn't. MIT is known as one of the world's top academic institutions because its requirements are among the highest. This man has not produced enough good quality research.

Says who?

32 posted on 07/02/2007 6:04:18 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative ("The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."-Karl Marx)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: newguy357
I’m pro-life, but as an MIT guy I can say this particular gentleman seems to deserve the tenure denial.

Why.

33 posted on 07/02/2007 6:27:57 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (Jesus loves you, Allah wants you dead)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: cryptical
Yeah! He's SUCH a slacker! /humor

His adult stem cell research has been widely heralded and, in September, he won a prestigious Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health and a $2.5 million grant.

34 posted on 07/02/2007 6:30:46 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (Jesus loves you, Allah wants you dead)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative

His departmental peers. Look at what they did to achieve tenure.


35 posted on 07/02/2007 6:35:34 PM PDT by newguy357
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: newguy357; ArmyBratproud
newguy357 :This man has not produced enough good quality research.

ArmyBratproud :He was dumb enough to use bad science that he knew was false.

Did you both miss this gem?

His adult stem cell research has been widely heralded and, in September, he won a prestigious Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health and a $2.5 million grant.

36 posted on 07/02/2007 6:38:37 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (Jesus loves you, Allah wants you dead)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: newguy357
His departmental peers. Look at what they did to achieve tenure.

Would you care to hazard a guess as to what his departmental peers think about embryonic stem cell research? Or would you hazard a guess as to what the editors of publications connected to stem cell research think of the opinions of individuals like this man?

Do you think it might be possible that the embryonic stem cell research "community" might see views of those like Dr Sherley as a threat to the research grant "gravy train"?

37 posted on 07/02/2007 6:46:34 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative ("The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."-Karl Marx)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative

Most of his colleagues work with adult stem cells, and NIH funding for work with adult stem cells far exceeds funding for ES cells. The theory that he was opposed for his stem cell opinions does not hold water. Some of his colleagues, like him, object to creation of ES cells. You can easily find such information in the press releases this year about work by his colleagues (no press released about his work, as he does not publish).


38 posted on 07/02/2007 8:00:43 PM PDT by loveadultstemcells
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...
MIT Stem Cell Researcher Threatens Hunger Strike Over Tenure
 
A Stem-Cell Heretic Makes His Case MIT Scientist Says Embryo Research is Unlikely to Lead to Cures
 
Professor vows tenure or death
 
Stem cells create tumours, says expert

39 posted on 07/02/2007 10:11:07 PM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, insects)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee

He may be being discriminated against but certainly not because of race. The discrimination comes from opposing view points.


40 posted on 07/03/2007 1:23:04 AM PDT by Pinkbell (I'm a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order. - Mike Pence)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ArmyBratproud
He was dumb enough to use bad science that he knew was false.

Do you have a source for that, or did you just make it up?

41 posted on 07/03/2007 2:08:14 AM PDT by BykrBayb (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub ~ )
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: loveadultstemcells

Welcome to FR.

This is the first I’ve read that his colleagues share his opposition to embryonic stem cell research. You say it’s easy to find press releases that verify this claim, but I couldn’t find them. Since it’s easy for you, would you mind providing links? Thank you.


42 posted on 07/03/2007 2:15:00 AM PDT by BykrBayb (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub ~ )
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee
Pinged from Terri Dailies

8mm


43 posted on 07/03/2007 4:01:53 AM PDT by 8mmMauser (Jezu ufam tobie...Jesus I trust in Thee)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative
Do you think it might be possible that the embryonic stem cell research "community" might see views of those like Dr Sherley as a threat to the research grant "gravy train"?

Of course it is possible. Last time I checked "possible" is not sufficient to prove causation, especially when more probably alternatives are readily available. As someone within MIT I can tell you that your "possible" hypothesis does not fit with the way things are done here.
44 posted on 07/03/2007 1:29:45 PM PDT by newguy357
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Pinkbell
The discrimination comes from opposing view points.

Do you have evidence of discrimination? Is tenure denial at MIT a rarity?
45 posted on 07/03/2007 1:32:22 PM PDT by newguy357
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: wagglebee
a black associate professor of biological engineering who opposes embryonic stem cell research and human cloning, has said he is a victim of racism.

Uh, professor, it's not racism. It's the culture of death not tolerating any dissent.

46 posted on 07/03/2007 1:32:58 PM PDT by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: newguy357
As someone within MIT I can tell you that your "possible" hypothesis does not fit with the way things are done here.

So MIT is pure as the driven snow when it comes to those within the "community" whose political/social/religious/moral views don't jibe with those of the "community" as a whole? Is the "community" that open minded,that tolerant of views that not only directly contradict the "progressive" views held by most members of the MIT "family" and could also cost the University billions and billions of dollars worth of grants (from public and private sources) that might be forthcoming for the purposes of embryonic stem cell research?

And for the record,having worked for 20+ years at one of the major Harvard teaching hospitals,I'm not completely unfamiliar with how things work,research grant-wise,at Harvard or at MIT.

47 posted on 07/03/2007 1:46:11 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative ("The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."-Karl Marx)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: newguy357
Do you have evidence of discrimination? Is tenure denial at MIT a rarity?

What percentage of faculty members with both a doctorate *and* a medical degree from Hopkins have been denied tenure at MIT in the last 20 years? For that matter,what percentage of *blacks* with these credentials have been denied tenure there in the last 20 years?

48 posted on 07/03/2007 1:53:53 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative ("The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism."-Karl Marx)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: Gay State Conservative
So MIT is pure as the driven snow when it comes to those within the "community" whose political/social/religious/moral views don't jibe with those of the "community" as a whole?

I am not a faculty member and not working toward tenure, so it could certainly be different in those circumstances, but my particular coworkers and the community as a whole have been very accepting of my outspoken conservative/libertarian/pro-life views--as long as I keep doing good physics. I concede that I am not in a position to affect funding, but I also must disagree with the notion that MIT would have funding at risk if they granted tenure to this man, since he is an adult stem cell researcher (and has never much issue with funding problems in the past).
49 posted on 07/03/2007 5:22:01 PM PDT by newguy357
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: newguy357

I don’t have evidence. I just said their “may be discrimination”. If there is, I believe that it would be because of his views regarding life and embryonic stem cell research, not the color of his skin.


50 posted on 07/03/2007 9:18:47 PM PDT by Pinkbell (I'm a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order. - Mike Pence)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson