Is David Steffen and elitist bigot?
steffen at mbir.bcm.tmc.edu
Thu Dec 19 14:03:01 EST 1991
In article <9112191757.AA02256 at genbank.bio.net> MACRIDES at WFEB2.BITNET
(Foteos Macrides) writes:
[I have deleted the stuff about reorganization, as I have no comment
on that. I have also deleted a lot of friendly comments Fote made
about and to me. I appreciate these, and have responded to Fote by
mail. However, I DID want to comment on the following:]
> When I posted my message making reference to David Steffen's use of
>the word 'outsider' many readers may have perceived that as a flame, despite
>the disclaimer in my signature. I did not include his name (just in case
>someone read it in isolation), and posted that message after receive private
>e-mail of the sort Dave K. also receives. Here is an exerpt:
>>There's one [message] there about "outsiders", well, that's just
>>like saying "ain't no niggers allowed here" _because_ you all are on
>>USENET feed and it's an all comers deal on USENET!
Hmm, I had to go back several messages to even figure out what this
was all about. What I found was:
>John Nash (Nash at biologysx.lan.nrc.ca) and
>Chris_Upton at darwin.biochem.ualberta.ca
>ask why we don't make better use of sci.bio. I think sci.bio is a
>good group and I monitor it. To a large extent it is used by
>non-biologists to ask questions about biology which biologists answer.
>This is NOT what I want to see on bionet.general, and I will argue for
>redirecting such topics to sci.bio as they occur. I strongly believe
>that all the bionet groups should be for discussions between
Then Fote said:
>Did you know that the first rigorous study of menstrual synchrony,
>published in a high quality journal, still heavily cited decades
>later, was done by an undergraduate at a then all-women's Boston-area
>college. She just happened to be taking a rigorous statistics course
>together with a dynamic general course in biology.
>I wonder what would have happened if she had posted an "announcement"
>of her curiosity to bionet.general/BIONEWS, gotten private e-mail
>about it being insulting, read public discussion about whether her
>question was really serious, and about the triviality of discussion
>efforts in that forum, explained as predictable because the question
>came from an "outsider" ;-(.
(1) I stand by my position.
(2) The abovementioned undergraduate probably not have received email
from me, as from the description, the posting would have been
professional in tone. I say that because of the statement "published
in a high quality journal".
(3) Of course this group uses usenet feed. It also uses Internet,
paid for by your tax dollars. And I'm sure it uses lots of other more
or less public facilities paid for by a variety of people for a
variety of reasons. Even if I wanted to, there is no way I could ever
prevent anyone from posting to this group. However, that does NOT
mean that everybody should post about everything on every group.
There are times I read alt.slack. I enjoy it. I do not want a
discussion of the pinkness of republicans or the deity of Bob Dobbs
on bionet.general. These forums work because we all have (more
or less) good manners and agree that certain kind of discussions take
place in certain groups. If you are not a biologist (i.e. you are not
interested in doing professional level work in this area) but just
have a question for biologists, I propose you post your question to
sci.bio. I propose that bionet.general be reserved as a matter of
courtesy for discussions between people with a professional interest
in biology. As long as sci.bio exists, this is not censorship.
I have to admit I am puzzled by the great concern with censorship in
this discussion. If bionet.announce is moderated, and bionet.general
is opened up for wide ranging discussion, how is this censorship?
Post to bionet.general; it is more fun anyway!
Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX 77030
Telephone = (713) 798-6655, FAX = (713) 790-0545
Internet = steffen at mbir.bcm.tmc.edu
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