Astronomer Suspected of Creationism Turned Down for UK Post

Ashley Thorne


Today in the Chronicle of Higher Education Innovations blog, Peter Wood writes about Martin Gaskell, who contends that the University of Kentucky discriminated against him and did not appoint him as the director of its new observatory because the search committee suspected him of being "potentially evangelical." Dr. Wood writes:

Imagine the reaction if the search committee had worried if its lead candidate were “potentially Muslim,” “potentially Jewish,” “potentially Catholic,” or “potentially atheist,” and then charged off looking for clues that his beliefs might interfere with the integrity of scientific work — a hunt that would include soliciting hearsay from others about what they suspect the candidate believes. The University of Kentucky administration, to its credit, tried to steer the search committee away from its eagerness to investigate Gaskell’s religious views, and some members of the department quite clearly felt uncomfortable with the tone of the discussion. But the record, at least to my eye, shows a department struggling to find a plausible professional cover story for a decision that is deeply infected by religious prejudice.
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