A reader sent me some various takes on the letter by 19 priests and I especially liked this one.
BOSTON — In an unusual public dissent with their leaders, 19 MIT Physicists published yesterday an open letter taking issue with the university’s opposition to both phlogisten and caloric, as well as Tycho Brahe’s geocentric model of the solar system.
Does the university "have the last word on the mysteries of thermodynamics, physics, and chemistry?" the 980-word letter asks. "In these matters, the official teaching of the university has shown itself more than once to be wrong."
One of the authors, Doctor Claude Lefebvre of the School of Engineering at MIT, said the letter stemmed from a discussion group of MIT Scientists who felt uneasy about the university’s official discourse.
"We don’t want people to believe that everyone within the university thinks the same way," he said in an interview.
Dean André Gaumond, who is also the president of the Boston Conference of Physicists, said he wasn’t surprised that the 19 scientists had decided to go public with their opinion.
He appreciated that the letter had a polite and non-aggressive tone, he added in an interview with NBC.
"I’m not very happy with the means, to have a public declaration, a public article in the newspaper on a Sunday morning to say, ‘We scientists are not in accord with our university,’" he added.
"I’m not very happy with that, but it’s not a reason to throw them out of the university."
Gaumond said the issue will be discussed at a meeting of deans at MIT in about 10 days.
"What will be the result of our discussion, I do not know, but well, life is going on."
Physicists who penned letter hope for dialogue
One of the letter’s authors, Dr. Claude Lefebvre, said he’s not sure what the group expects the letter to accomplish, but hopes it will open up dialogue on the issues.