Sage at No Minister blogs:
A British scientist has been disciplined for sexual harassment by his Irish university for showing a female colleague a research paper about fellatio in bats, triggering an outcry over academic freedom.
Leading scientists and academics including Steven Pinker and Daniel Dennett have rallied to support Dylan Evans, after University College, Cork (UCC) placed him on probation for two years and ordered him to have counselling.
Supporters of Dr Evans, a behavioural scientist, said the university’s actions sent a dangerous message that areas of legitimate academic debate can be deemed off-limits if certain people find them offensive for personal reasons.
While an investigation cleared Dr Evans of sexual harassment prior to his showing her the bat fellatio paper, it found that this incident amounted to a joke with sexual innuendo, though it accepted he had not intended to offend.
Professor Michael Murphy, the UCC president, declared that the complaint of sexual harassment had been upheld, and punished Dr Evans by imposing a two-year period of “monitoring and appraisal” and requiring him to complete special training.
What an hysterical over-reaction.