University President Denies Appeal in Tenure Case of Intelligent Design Astronomer at Iowa State University - Evolution News & Views

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University President Denies Appeal in Tenure Case of Intelligent Design Astronomer at Iowa State University

Ames, IA -- Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, co-author of The Privileged Planet and an advocate of the scientific theory of intelligent design, has lost his first appeal to overturn the decision to deny him tenure at Iowa State University (ISU).

President Gregory L. Geoffroy announced the decision yesterday to deny Dr. Gonzalez's appeal, despite the fact that Dr. Gonzalez published 350% more peer-reviewed journal articles than is "ordinarily" supposed to show research excellence in his department.

"It's a sad day for science and free inquiry when tenure is denied to a scientist of Guillermo Gonzalez's caliber," said Dr. John G. West, associate director of Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture, where Dr. Gonzalez is a senior fellow. "President Geoffroy has clearly demonstrated that academic freedom is not as important to Iowa State University as passing an ideological litmus test."

Faculty in Gonzalez's department admitted to World magazine that his intelligent design work played a role in their decision to deny him tenure. Given Dr. Gonzalez's level of achievement, many suspect that he is the latest victim of discrimination against proponents of intelligent design theory.

According to the Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS), Dr. Gonzalez has the highest "normalized citation count" among astronomers in his department for his publications since 2001, the year he joined ISU's faculty. The normalized citation count is a standard measure of the scientific impact of a scientist's research in the scientific community. Dr. Gonzalez's research has been featured in Science, Nature, and on the cover of Scientific American, and other professors in his department use a peer-reviewed astronomy textbook he co-authored, which was published by Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Gonzalez has twenty days to decide whether to appeal President Geoffroy's decision to the Iowa State Board of Regents.


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