So this happened – Brian Dunning pled guilty to wire fraud. I wasn’t aware of Brian Dunning before – my knowledge of the Skeptics’ Who’s Who is shamingly incomplete or even in fact inadequate. The “skeptic community” is much upset at the revelation that Dunning is imperfect, as PZ notes.
Everyone seems to be regarding this as a great tragedy and the loss of a hero, and I agree that there is an element of that — it certainly is a personal tragedy for Dunning. But maybe we should also recognize it as a gain, the exposure of a criminal and the cessation of illegal activity. People aren’t one-dimensional heroes or villains, and Dunning, like everyone, is a bit of both.
If I could do anything I would. Many of you recognize that we link extensively to Skeptoid on this site and have taken great joy in its success around the world. I’d never tell people to pray or send good thoughts but I can’t help wishing I could do something. Best wishes, Brian, Lisa and family. Nothing can erase the positive things you do in the world. At least not with me.
Nothing? That’s not very skeptic. Loyalty to friends is a great thing, but it can be in tension with other great things, like honesty and transparency, which tend to be of value to skeptics.