Three brave profs

The University of Florida is barring three professors from providing expert testimony in a lawsuit concerning a new state law that restricts voting rights, The Associated Press reports. The university said in a statement that testimony by professors Dan Smith, Michael McDonald, and Sharon Austin as paid experts for the plaintiffs would be “adverse to the university’s interests as a state of Florida institution.”

Lawyers for the coalition of civics groups challenging the law said in court papers that the university told the professors their testimony would create a conflict for the school because it would clash with the position of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration. Critics of the Florida law, which reduces drop-box and mail-in voting, say it discriminates against voters of color in violation of the Voting Rights Act. (Washington Post, 5th Nov 2021)

My comment: “… it would clash with the position of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration“.

This is a disgraceful statement. It is part of the remit of an academic to speak freely and stand in opposition to the government of the day when necessary, and this is very necessary! What sort of message does that give to the students of the said professors?: “Don’t rock the boat?”, “Whatever you do, conform?”. “Don’t think for yourself?”. “Your parents are not forking out huge sums to keep you at a university, only to find that you have the audacity to think for yourself”.

I will forebear to comment on De Santis myself. Epicurus wouldn’t have done so either. He would have advised his followers to have nothing to do with politics and politicians. (Associated Press)

4 Comments

  1. hello. I have come across your blog while searching the web. I would really like to get in contact with you in order to discuss some of these topics further. I am very interested in getting some insight into this website and the purpose behind it. Thanks!

    • Very happy to answer any questions you have. Basically, I am trying to interpret the thoughts and teaching of Epicurus and apply them to modern issues, advocating moderation, thoughtfulness, kindness andconcern for the planet and all creatures upon it. The purpose is to try and make people think about their behavior – and have an occasional giggle on Epicurus.Today

        • I was born in England and have an honors degree in Modern History from Oxford University and an MA in Business Studies from London University. As for Epicurus I think I have read most, if not all, the books, essays and commentary on what is now called Epicureanism. I am not claiming that I remember it all! And I am not an expert.

          What I am doing is reacting to the selfishness, money worship, gun violence stressfulness and divisiveness of modern life, trying to guesstimate what Epicurus, were he alive today, would say about the daily news and international events. I also sprinkle jokes, aphorisms and quotes among the serious stuff to lighten up the reading. Academics can make Philosophy so grim, serious and (often) boring.

          What is your interest in this and your own educational background? Do you work outside the home or are you retired – oh, lots of questions! Oh, and do you live in the US? ( I won’t ask where).

          Please drop in when you can and comment!

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