Since Hsu is getting pestered by these accusations of scientific racism and demands that he be dismissed from his administrative (not academic) role, he has decided to refute those claims with a letter and petition of his own. Curiously, he isn’t able to deny the accusations with evidence, which doesn’t stop him from simply asserting his denial, and has decided instead to respond with signatures from his scientifically authoritative friends in his support.
What’s amusing is that those signatures are from a bunch of known scientific racists. It’s like getting a bunch of Aryan Nation skinheads to testify that no, he ain’t racist, nosir, not racist at all. Very convincing!
As Kevin Bird says,
To be clear, all these academics are free to research, write, speak, and publish as they wish. However, in the context of defending a colleague against accusations of scientific racism, a more strategic decision may have been to not sign at all. Furthermore, a concern for MSU is that many academics of questionable reputation and/or people who have been misled about the campaign and charges against Hsu are jumping to defend freedom of inquiry despite it’s inappropriateness in this case. The inability of counter-campaign proponents to distinguish academic freedom from the powers and privileges of university leadership is a substantial shortcoming of the counter campaign.
Hsu is free to do all the physics he wants, that is what he was hired for. His extra-curricular ravings about biology can be dismissed out of hand, and really, he shouldn’t be rewarded with a high position in the administration where it looks like he’s representing Michigan State.