For some years I have been organizing the London Conference on Intelligence, which brings together about 25 invited researchers to present papers and debate issues in a critical but friendly setting. (“The London School” was the name give to those who argued that intelligence had a general component, and was heritable). Speakers are chosen for innovative work, independent thought and for being more interested in whether things are true than whether they are comfortable. We are in favour of the under-dog and the rebellious, but if there is a theme at all is that all views must have empirical support.
As you would expect from any group of academics, there were many differences of opinion, and less emphasis on organization. We made sure there was plenty of time for informal discussion, and that resulted in many of the researchers working together on scientific papers. In fact, about half of the presented papers eventually ended up as published work, slightly better than the norm for conferences. The only common project we ever agreed upon was that the Lynn database of country IQs should be thoroughly revised and every aspect documented on a public database.
By way of background, I had originally intended that these meeting would be public, with university students attending, and journalists invited. Speakers told me I was naïve to even consider that option, because many of them were already under political pressure, and feared loss of grant money, promotion, or even their academic survival. So, we moved to invitation only, and reduced publicity.
One young speaker was a bit different because he was a sociologist by background, and attended the group primarily to seek a sounding board for his work on the link between political attitudes and intelligence. He did no work on race and intelligence, though he later wrote a paper explaining why in his view such research should continue, and that suppressing it would be wrong.
Last year he won a Fellowship at the University of Cambridge, the best of over 900 candidates. This was a great achievement. Before he could take up this prestigious post, which deservedly would have launched him on a brilliant career, a political campaign was launched against him, and one of his supposed crimes was to have attended the London Conference on Intelligence. Additionally, he had written an empirical paper arguing that people’s views of immigrant groups were affected by that immigrant group’s criminality.
Short story: Cambridge threw him out. He lost his job, and effectively has lost his career. We had no way to defend him from this outrageous injustice. We wondered how he would ever find a job, in today’s very censorious climate.
It is a pleasure to report that he has launched a crowdfunded lawsuit against the Cambridge College which hounded him out. He is doing this simply to show that he was unfairly judged. Any surplus funds, should there be any will be held over for the next person to be treated in this awful way.
Could you please support him? It turns out that the investigation into his appointment process confirms he was the best person to get the job.
Even $10 from each person reading this blog would help him mount a case, and I think he will win. This could be a turning point.