We in the Science Division continue to be dismayed by your choice of speakers and the pseudoscience they espouse. Last year the issue was scare-mongering and cherry-picked data surrounding the dangers of electromagnetic radiation and now Vandana Shiva is invited to promote her anti-science views at the expense of the college. One should be wary of corporate influence in science, but that is not a license to make up facts to suit an agenda. Shiva has repeatedly claimed that farmer suicides in India have skyrocketed as a result of GMO crops when in fact they have not risen in the last 20 years and that the cause is anything but GMOs which are in high demand because of increased crop security and reduced pesticide poisoning. Much of the science she presents contradicts the same scientific consensus that we trust on climate change and are obligated to teach. We are taken aback when informed that 80 percent of science is aimed at large-scale violence and that farmers planting such crops are guilty of something analogous to rape. We wonder what the reaction of the Peace Center would be to learn that her website briefly featured a call to murder scientists and journalists who appear to be in collaboration with the evil Monsanto. Or that she requested the UN withdraw aid to cyclone victims because of GMO ingredients. Or to learn that she opposes researching Golden Rice which could potentially reduce malnutrition in the developing world. This is not someone we feel lives up to the ideals of the college to think critically and act responsibly. While we support the mission of the Peace Center, blatant misinformation and alarmism are not consistent with those goals and we seek a dialog on these issues.
Signees: Paul Bunson, Gary Mort, Stacey Kiser, Doug Young, John Thompson, Brooke Taylor, Christine Andrews, Paul Ruscher (Dean), Susie Holmes.
*this story has been modified to fit with formatting guidelines. As such, some footnoted references have been removed from the original letter.