Press Release

BY CHRIS BRAND

re Edinburgh University's dismissing him

The decision to sack me was a disgraceful capitulation to the Anti-Nazi League. At every turn since Wiley & Sons withdrew my IQ book in April 1996, Edinburgh University gave in to these noisy, illiberal, self-appointed 'anti-racists.' The University's Principal let himself be reported by the Guardian and other British papers as finding my views "false and personally obnoxious"; the University tolerated students not attending my lectures; the University mounted a witch-hunt where any complaint against me could be heard anonymously; the University forbade me to use its Internet facilities to communicate my views; students were allowed to shout me down when I tried to give a research seminar before some forty colleagues; and the University suspended me merely on the basis of press reporting of my urging clemency for a 73-year-old Nobel prizewinner accused of minor paedophile acts from ten years previously.

      All I have said is what Britain's best-known psychologists have always said. The leading figures of the London School of psychology (Sir Francis Galton, Charles Spearman, Hans Eysenck and, today, Emeritus Professors Richard Lynn and Arthur Jensen) have all thought that the scientific evidence showed that human differences in intelligence were substantially genetically inherited; and that there are substantial race differences in general intelligence that most likely have partly genetic origins. Academic evidence of the 1990's strongly supports such views; but most British psychologists are too frightened to say so. Now it turns out that a once great university, the University of Edinburgh, will not even defend the academic freedom of speech of a member of staff whom it had employed for 26 years without complaint. The Principal actually prides himself publicly on never having read my book on intelligence; and no-one in the University has so much as asked me for my evidence for my conclusion -- shared by others in psychiatry, psychology and criminology -- that the normal case of paedophilia does no harm that researchers are able to detect. (Normal paedophiles should not be confused with child murderers, child rapists or abusive step-parents.) I am being sacked on the basis of what was said in the newspapers at a time when the University itself actively assisted the suppression of my considered views.

      Because what I actually said and wrote about IQ, race and paedophilia could not possibly constitute 'gross misconduct', the University offered other evidence to its Tribunal that I was hard to live with. In particular, it was alleged to the Tribunal that I had sometimes made 'sexist' remarks -- in my own home, ten years ago, with senior colleagues present and agreeing with me, to a female student who herself stayed to argue the toss rather than leave the party I was giving. On another occasion I had supposedly made sexist remarks during a university lecture -- but no detail of these ten-year-old remarks could be recalled by the witness provided by the university. The University further alleged 'racist' and 'sexist' remarks in the late-1980's even though Staff-Student Liaison Committees and the Head of the Psychology had considered the allegations at the time and taken no action except to say that any future student allegations would need to include proper detail. In fact, as some of the University's witnesses had to learn, I have always held, and I say in my book, that IQ testing shows (as since 1910) the overall equality of the sexes in average intelligence. All told, none of these complaints against me concerned anything of recent vintage; they should have been (and sometimes were) investigated ages ago; and they were sometimes plainly ignorant. Claims by the University that I had been given 'oral warnings' had to be withdrawn at the Tribunal because they were without foundation; and, under the University's disciplinary code, even any oral warnings that had been given would have been considered "spent" within a year unless they had been turned into written warnings (which themselves would have been "spent" for disciplinary purposes after two years good conduct). I accuse senior members of the University of harassing me -- repeatedly trying to bring me down despite their own acknowledgments at many points that I was guilty of precisely nothing. The University is very lucky that my health has proved robust against the repeated witch-hunting by those in authority over me. As it is, I have learned something of what it once felt like to be a witch or a Jew and what it feels like today to be labelled a paedophile.

      I served Edinburgh University well for 26 years. My work had one of the higher rates of academic citation as compared with my colleagues in the Psychology Department; and External Examiners' reports on my work were quite as favourable as for other staff members. My fault is merely to have spoken the truth about intelligence, race differences, sex differences and paedophilia to audiences that prefer fantasy to reality. Over the last two years, a witch-hunt has been run against me by illiberal egalitarians, social-environmentalists and unread student enthusiasts for such ideas. These people don't like facing the possibility that their beliefs about how human psychological differences arise are largely mistaken. That an Act of Parliament (Education Act 1988) should allow them to remove academics like myself from university positions is a national disgrace. As my dismissal shows, British academics have no version of academic freedom strong enough to help them if they choose to speak out on controversial topics. It can only be hoped that British academics will now wake up.

Chris Brand, Edinburgh, 26 iii 1998

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