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News Conference Will Reveal New Evidence about Guillermo Gonzalez Tenure Case at ISU

On Monday December 3rd, at a news conference in the Iowa state capitol, Discovery Institute will release a record of secret emails exchanged among faculty at Iowa State University about ISU astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez. The emails demonstrate that a campaign was conducted against him by his colleagues, with the intent to deny Gonzalez tenure because of views he holds on the intelligent design of the universe, expressed in his 2004 book The Privileged Planet.

Gonzalez was denied tenure at ISU earlier this year. While ISU president Gregory Geoffroy claimed that the decision was because Gonzalez "did not show the trajectory of excellence that we expect" and not because of his views on ID, it has become increasingly clear that his views on ID are exactly what led to his being forced out. Indeed, the day after the president announced his decision ISU professor John Hauptman published an op-ed in the Des Moines Register in which he contradicted the university and admitted that ID was the specific reason that he voted against Dr. Gonzalez receiving tenure.

Here is Dr. Gonzalez's trajectory of excellence, a trajectory that far outstrips most other faculty at ISU with tenure, even in his own department.

Dr. Gonzalez:

  • has authored 68 peer-reviewed scientific articles in refereed science journals.
  • is an author of Observational Astronomy, second edition (2006), a college-level astronomy textbook published by Cambridge University Press (authors: D. Scott Birney, G. Gonzalez and D. Oesper).
  • work has been cited in Science, Nature and many other scientific journals. All told, there were nearly 1,500 citations to his articles and research in science journals by the end of 2005.
  • research led to the discovery of 2 new planets.
  • is building new technology to discover extrasolar planets.
  • served on the NASA Astrobiology Institute Review Panel in June 2003 and the National Science Foundation Advanced Technologies and Instruments review panel in January 2005.
  • has served as a referee for Astronomical Journal, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Astrophysical Journal (and Letters), Icarus, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Nature, Naturwissenschaften, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Origins of Life and Evolution Biospheres and Science.

For more background about Dr. Gonzalez and his tenure situation, click here.

"This is a clear First Amendment case," said Discovery attorney for public policy and legal affairs Casey Luskin, who will be presenting at the news conference in Iowa next week. "Dr. Gonzalez's persecution demonstrates the limits of academic freedom at ISU and similar institutions."