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MIT cuts ties with Walter Lewin

  1. Dec 11, 2014 #1

    nsaspook

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    http://tech.mit.edu/V134/N60/walterlewin.html
    Removing his physics lecture videos! Who thinks that punishing others with this is the right response?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2014 #2

    drizzle

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  4. Dec 11, 2014 #3
    You know what, forget everything I wrote. I think it it is a right response after reading their point of view. That is assuming they are not lying about their reasons.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  5. Dec 11, 2014 #4
    Lewin is victim
     
  6. Dec 11, 2014 #5

    SteamKing

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    A little taste of the Cultural Revolution comes to the banks of the Charles River in Cambridge.

    IDK if Lewin is a victim, since the nature of the alleged harassment and the details turned up in MIT's investigation have not been linked to here on this forum.

    I do agree with some of the commenters on the MIT Tech link that pulling all of Prof. Lewin's videos is not directly punishing him, but punishing those students who used the videos to learn physics.
     
  7. Dec 11, 2014 #6
    Not sure if this is the complete series, but Lewin's lectures are still available here.
     
  8. Dec 11, 2014 #7
    wow, i wasnt even through watching his physics 2 video lectures on ocw.
     
  9. Dec 11, 2014 #8

    nsaspook

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  10. Dec 11, 2014 #9
    Usually, when things become no longer usable, they are dumped away. Excuses ? Plenty!
     
  11. Dec 11, 2014 #10

    Astronuc

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    Ostensibly, there is credible evidence of misconduct. A complaint was filed, and there should be evidence, as in an email or other electronic record that investigators would have to confirm in order for MIT to take action. If one engages in harassment, there are consequences for such behavior.

    Many institutions have clauses in employment/business contracts related to ethical and moral behavior, and violations of such clauses can mean termination of employment/benefits/relationship.
     
  12. Dec 11, 2014 #11

    SteamKing

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    I don't think anyone is saying that the administration at MIT doesn't have the right to discipline current or former members of its faculty, but pulling the instructional videos, which by all accounts did not themselves harass the complainant, seems a little excessive.

    This is not the first time a scientist has gotten into hot water for his views or conduct. Should we disavow the use of all transistor based electronics because one of its inventors held some rather controversial views? Should we throw out genomic science because one of the discoverers of the DNA molecule made some disparaging social commentary?

    If we follow the MIT model here, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle becomes the ????, because he worked on the Nazi's atomic bomb project.
     
  13. Dec 11, 2014 #12
    :approve: :nb) True analogy!
     
  14. Dec 11, 2014 #13

    Astronuc

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    That's up to MIT with which he had an affiliation.

    Not while he was employed at or under contract with a US university. That was a matter for the US and British governments to decide, as was the case for many German scientists following the extraordinary event that was WWII.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  15. Dec 11, 2014 #14

    Evo

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    I don't think it's right, what he does academically has nothing to do with his private life.
     
  16. Dec 11, 2014 #15
    You know SteamKing, you made me change my mind. I do now think it is actually excessive. Here is a quote of my own post I deleted myself:
    But all in all, yes, I now think it was excessive.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  17. Dec 12, 2014 #16
    They probably figure that they can record different lectures by someone who they don't have sexual harrassment evidence against, and they'll be up in a few months. The way some of you are reacting, you'd think MIT erased physics from existence.
     
  18. Dec 12, 2014 #17
    Dammnn I loved that guy. Sure he was eccentric, but also such a genius when it came to teaching. Sad..
     
  19. Dec 12, 2014 #18
    Lewin is eccentric but a very good teacher. I'm curious to know what exactly he has done to that woman.
     
  20. Dec 12, 2014 #19
    It's not the same. On one hand you have discoveries which are objective facts and have by themselves nothing to do with the discoverer, and on the other you have lectures that have everything to do with the person who made them. MIT removing his lectures from their website just shows that they do not wish him to represent them. Sure, it's gonna be unpractical for allot of people, but letting the videos stay might send the wrong message..

    MIT chooses to be uncompromising when it comes to morals, even at a loss to them, and I personally respect them for that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  21. Dec 12, 2014 #20
    http://media.abovetopsecret.com/thumbs/5e8181e518f2d0d8.jpg [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
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