In a backfire to cancel culture, the response to a Chicago geophysicist's Zoom lecture has been so overwhelming that Princeton University has had to expand the Zoom quota to accommodate viewers.
The move comes after University of Chicago professor Dorian Abbot initially had the lecture cancelled by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology due to an organized protest of students opposed to Abbot's views on merit-based evaluations, Daily Mail reports.
Abbot's talk won't include his controversial views on that subject. He was instead set to deliver MIT's annual Carlson Lecture, devoted to "new results in climate science" and hosted by MIT's Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.
The online lecture will take place on the same date, Oct. 21, as the original MIT lecture was scheduled.
"I'm delighted to report that we've expanded the Zoom quota for Dr Dorian Abbot's Princeton lecture — the one shockingly and shamefully canceled by MIT — and literally thousands of people have registered," said Princeton professor Robert P. George, who has backed Abbot.
"I am a professor who just had a prestigious public science lecture at MIT cancelled because of an outrage mob on Twitter," Abbot wrote on Bari Weiss' Substack. "My crime? Arguing for academic evaluations based on academic merit."
Abbot said he typically doesn't talk about politics, but felt he had to speak out when he saw "the street violence of the summer of 2020, some of which I witnessed personally in Chicago, and the justifications and dishonesty that accompanied it …"
He posted YouTube videos in which he "argued for the importance 'of treating each person as an individual worthy of dignity and respect' and 'giving everyone a fair and equal opportunity when they apply for a position as well as allowing them to express their opinions openly, even if you disagree with them.'"
According to Abbot, a group of graduate students at the University of Chicago's Department of the Geophysical Sciences "immediately" targeted him for "cancellation."
The effort failed. The school's president, Robert Zimmer, released a statement supporting free expression of all faculty.
Abbot went on to co-author an opinion column on the subject in Newsweek. Critics responded by demanding he not be offered opportunities to lecture.
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