Re: [asa] Sternberg quote

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Tue Mar 27 2007 - 08:35:56 EDT

I litigated a number of employement discrimination cases back in the day,
and I've been in countless other kinds of cases in which a witness'
credibility is being (fairly or unfairly) attacked for one reason or another
(I've both done it to adverse witnesses and defended it against my own
clients). I know very well how this game is played.

Having read some of the internal emails relating to the Sternberg matter,
there's no doubt at all in my mind that some of his superiors were out to
get him because of his creationist leanings. Simply no doubt at all. In my
view, it's ludicrous to claim otherwise.

If this were a lawsuit and I were defending the Smithsonian in this matter,
here's how I'd advise them: don't deny that a few people were biased
against Sternberg simply because he was perceived to be a creationist.
That kind of denial hurts the credibility of what might be very legitimate
concerns about some of Sternberg's decisions concerning the Meyer article.
Instead, admit that a few overzealous people said some inappropriate things,
but stand firm on the position that those few rogue statements don't
represent the overall policy or views of the institution. At the same
time, shift the focus to the scientific merits of some of Sternberg's
actions, and reaffirm the institution's right and responsibility to protect
the integrity of the scientific process.

Anything else just doesn't pass the sniff test.

On 3/27/07, PvM <> wrote:
> Other than the fact that the assertion of discrimination could benefit
> from an example since as far as I have been able to ascertain, despite
> the vague accusations of the report, no evidence of real
> discrimination were found. Insinuations perhaps but that's all.
> perhaps you could explain what you considered discrimination and why
> you consider it to be unreasonable?
> The most devastating evidence against Sternberg's claims and the
> claims of the report is the appendix of the report which shows that
> while people were upset with Sternberg, care was taken not to make him
> a martyr.
> In fact the NCSE was quick to point out that one should avoid such an
> approach and instead focus on the issues.
> Pim
> On 3/26/07, David Campbell <> wrote:
> > Perhaps further clarification is in order:
> >
> > As far as I can tell, Sternberg was subjected to unreasonable
> > discrimination after publishing Meyer's article, and many popular
> > criticisms were pure rumor. On the other hand, I don't think Meyer's
> > article should have been published, both as off-topic for the journal
> > and as being an inaccurate attack on evolution.
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Received on Tue Mar 27 08:36:21 2007

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