UM research suppressed by lawmakers

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 | 10:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:25 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

If anyone in Jefferson City is wondering why it is taking so long to acquire a new president of UM and why so many top scholars are leaving Mizzou, they might ask themselves a simple question. What self-respecting academic would want to be associated with a state university that is restricted by those who fund it in the kind of research it might explore? The anti-intellectual Bubbas in the state capital who feel that they are superior to the university scientists and would limit academic inquiry might examine the obstacles they have placed in front of present and future faculty and students. In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin placed similar strictures on the academy and produced nothing but party hacks willing to abandon decent principles and toe the Marxist party line. The most infamous case was that of Timofei Lysenko, a self-styled geneticist, who won Stalin’s approval and whose work proved disastrous not only for Russian genetics but for many other areas of scientific study as well. We can hope that enlightenment will prevail in Missouri.

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