A University of Chicago affiliate geophysics professor spoke out towards Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Tuesday after the college cancelled his visitor lecture amid criticism from campus activist teams.

During an look on “America’s Newsroom,” Dorian Abbot stated that after listening to the information about his cancelled occasion, his spouse, who was born in Ukraine and needed to be baptized in secret, likened the scenario to her time residing underneath the Soviet Union.

“When she heard about what was happening on campus when I first told her she said ‘it sounds like what my mother told me about Soviet times,’” Abbot stated. 

“The free society’s at stake here,” he added. 


Abbot stated that the activists and MIT lecturers had been outraged by feedback he and one other professor, Ivan Marinovic, made in an August Newsweek opinion piece, whereby he criticized present range, fairness, and inclusion requirements in greater training. 

In the piece, Abbot characterised the requirements as “treating people as members of a group rather than as individuals, repeating the mistake that made possible the atrocities of the 20th century.”

While talking with Trace Gallagher, Abbot additional clarified his assertion, noting {that a} basic precept of ethical philosophy is treating “each person as an individual with inherent dignity.” Violating that precept would run the danger of repeating earlier human rights atrocities, stated Abbot.

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Yet, Abbot asserts that these statements had nothing to do with the speech he was set to offer at MIT. Instead, he was set to concentrate on local weather science and the opportunity of life on different planets throughout the John Carlson Lecture.

According to the MIT Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences website, “The John Carlson Lecture communicates exciting new results in climate science to the general public.” Abbot added that politics in his area can hurt scientist debate, and advocated to “get the politics out of science” and preserve the concentrate on the analysis and information. 

“I think censorship wherever it exists should be opposed,” Abbot added.


After MIT introduced that Abbot would not be talking on the lecture, the geophysicist wrote a piece on the “Common Sense with Bari Weiss” substack. 

“I am a professor who just had a prestigious public science lecture at MIT cancelled because of an outrage mob onTwitter,’ Abbot wrote.

“This shouldn’t be a partisan situation. Anyone who’s within the pursuit of reality and in selling a wholesome and functioning society has a stake on this debate. Speaking out now could appear dangerous. But the price of remaining silent is much steeper.”

An MIT spokesperson told The New York Post in a statement that the lecture, which is hosted by the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, wasn’t being held this year “on the discretion of the division.”

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“We felt that with the present distractions we might not be able to carry an efficient outreach occasion,” van der Hilst said in a statement. They added that Abbot was invited to present his scientific work on MIT’s campus to students and faculty.

“Prof. Abbot embraced this provide, and the division has been working with him on setting a date,” the spokesperson said.

The department head, Professor Robert van der Hilst, added that the lecture wasn’t just a scientific talk for scientists because it included a public outreach component.


“We felt that with the present distractions we might not be able to carry an efficient outreach occasion,” van der Hilst said in a statement.

“I made this determination at my discretion, after consulting with college and college students within the division, and realizing that some may mistake it as an affront on tutorial freedom — a characterization I don’t agree with.” 

Bari Weiss herself famously quit The New York Times in 2020 with a scathing resignation letter in which she detailed bullying by then colleagues in an “intolerant atmosphere.” Her resignation letter addressed directly to Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger sent shock waves across the media industry. Weiss detailed a toxic work environment that caved to online activists.

Weiss said back in June that the Times editors “dwell in whole concern of web mobs” and have publishers who “know what’s proper however can’t appear to seek out the braveness to do it.”

The New York Post contributed to this report.