Abbot claimed Wednesday that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology canceled a lecture he was scheduled to give there, but not on the basis of something nefarious like a scandal or scholastic record, but because of his philosophical views:
Abbot, the host explained, is a Ph.D. in applied math who received his undergraduate degree in physics from Harvard.
“He responded [to MIT] by co-authoring an op-ed in Newsweek, in August, that kind of laid out what was at stake,” Carlson said, going on to read aloud from Abbot’s personal statement of values:
And you wrote this, “I practice fair admissions: I select students and postdocs on the basis of scientific ability and promise, and I do not discriminate against any applicant based on anything else. Period. I encourage freedom of expression and the creative exploration of ideas in my group”.
“I value diversity,” Abbot replied – dissenting from any claim of being discriminatory:
“So if I develop theory, I’m a theorist. If I develop theory, I make a prediction, and somebody tests it– and I’m wrong sometimes. I’m actually wrong a lot. It’s not– it’s OK to be wrong as long as you’re being creative and coming up with new ideas,” he said.
Abbot first became alarmed by the collapse of civility and discourse at his university and in Illinois writ large in 2020:
“[O]n campus, I was uncomfortable with the variety of, sort of, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts that to me, appeared to be discriminating against certain groups of people. And I felt that didn’t treat them as individuals worthy of dignity and respect. And to me, that has to be the fundamental of any moral system that we’re implementing,” he said.
“And what I mean by that is I was uncomfortable with with ideologies that discourage discourse. Because when you can’t speak with the other side, the only recourse is violence [to them],” Abbot added.
Abbot further explained that he has been unduly targeted as something he is not, pointing out that he helps the underprivileged in several ways including by teaching a night high school for people who have been imprisoned.
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