by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Daniel Klein writes for the Martin Center about one academic who’s unwilling to go along with colleagues’ left-leaning views.
On 30 April 2019, St. Edmunds College, University of Cambridge, rescinded a fellowship to the outstanding young researcher Noah Carl, who self-identifies as a conservative. The rescinding was unjust, and it came after a sustained and equally unjust campaign of leftist protest and demonstration against Dr. Carl. The campaign was unjustly supported by leftist press outlets, including Varsity, the University of Cambridge student newspaper.
I was the external examiner on Dr. Carl’s DPhil from Nuffield, Oxford, so I am familiar with his work. It is a data-intensive investigation of cognitive ability (or intelligence) and its correlates, including ideological views, trust, and self-rated happiness. He wrote a report for the classical liberal Adam Smith Institute on why British academics lean left, and argued that intelligence does not work as explanation. He has published several analyses of the Brexit vote. He follows the scientific literature in recognizing that both “nature” and “nurture” affect the development of cognitive ability. He has not conducted research on race or ethnicity as factors in cognitive ability, but he has written a courageous and thoughtful essay about the ethics of preemptively shutting down such research.
Dr. Carl, then, is a serious and highly accomplished researcher who simply does not conform to leftist ways of interpreting the world and who is not cowed by leftist taboos. As such, he has been singled out as a miscreant. Disgraceful means have been used to take him down. The charges are defamatory.