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U of A honorary degree to David Suzuki

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  • U of A honorary degree to David Suzuki

    I must say I am troubled by the response of the University president. If they had actually vetted his name throughout the U of A faculties, engineering, science, etc he likely would have been removed. Supposedly he was with Genetic sciences at U of A years ago and even then the other faculty weren't high on him due to his radical approach of only one way or the highway.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...zuki-1.4633529
    My antidepressent drug of choice is running. Cheaper with less side effects!

  • #2
    Huh.

    I know he's a polarizing figure with some fairly extreme views but I'm more surprised by the juvenile responses from the Engineering Dean, and some sponsors.

    It's a University. Universities don't (or at least shouldn't) avoid opinions or opinionated people simply because they don't align with our short term economic self-interest.
    There can only be one.

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    • #3
      They are worried donations will go down, or pulled. That's already been declared by some donors.
      Animals are my passion.

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      • #4
        ^^
        "That the university has aggrieved Albertans with a single decision, demonstrates, I believe, that our university has become, certainly in this process, too disconnected from the people that we are meant to serve."
        I don't consider the Dean of Engineering's response above juvenile.

        When Suzuki's honorary degree was first announced, it struck me as incredibly tone deaf coming as it does at a time when emotions over the oil sands in general and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in particular are very raw. Dr. Andrew Leach, who outside of Premier Rachel Notley, has faced more slings and arrows over the carbon leadership plan than anyone in Alberta, agrees with the Dean of Engineering in this instance.

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        • #5
          It's a dumb move by the U of A and incredibly poorly timed, but the hysterics about it are more than a bit over the top.

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          • #6
            I guess that I don't think that universities should be in the business of telling people what they want to hear.

            And it seems like his statement is as likely to inflame those raw feelings as to sooth them.
            There can only be one.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by East McCauley View Post
              ^^
              "That the university has aggrieved Albertans with a single decision, demonstrates, I believe, that our university has become, certainly in this process, too disconnected from the people that we are meant to serve."
              I don't consider the Dean of Engineering's response above juvenile.

              When Suzuki's honorary degree was first announced, it struck me as incredibly tone deaf coming as it does at a time when emotions over the oil sands in general and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in particular are very raw. Dr. Andrew Leach, who outside of Premier Rachel Notley, has faced more slings and arrows over the carbon leadership plan than anyone in Alberta, agrees with the Dean of Engineering in this instance.
              Yes, the University should be in the business of sucking up to mostly American oil companies. Everyone that's on faculty or attending as a student should be throughly vetted to ensure that they support the oil sands. Anything less is treasonous </snark>

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              • #8
                I don’t really get the whole honorary degree thing in the first place.

                But given that, I’m ok with this. Suzuki has performed a lot of public education over the decades. Covered hundreds or thousands of areas of interest.


                The engeering prof’s concerns don’t make much sense to me. Almost an irrational rant I’d say.

                Biggest crisis at the university in 30 years? Give me a break. This is worse than on campus rapes, sexual harassment and all the other problems? Worse than student fees, cutbacks, etc???
                Last edited by KC; 25-04-2018, 05:18 PM.

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                • #9
                  EDITORIAL: University of Alberta fails with Suzuki degree | Edmonton Sun

                  http://edmontonsun.com/opinion/edito...-suzuki-degree


                  Law firm pulls donation from University of Alberta as Suzuki backlash continues | The Star

                  https://www.thestar.com/edmonton/201...continues.html
                  Last edited by KC; 24-04-2018, 05:13 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kkozoriz View Post
                    Originally posted by East McCauley View Post
                    ^^
                    "That the university has aggrieved Albertans with a single decision, demonstrates, I believe, that our university has become, certainly in this process, too disconnected from the people that we are meant to serve."
                    I don't consider the Dean of Engineering's response above juvenile.

                    When Suzuki's honorary degree was first announced, it struck me as incredibly tone deaf coming as it does at a time when emotions over the oil sands in general and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in particular are very raw. Dr. Andrew Leach, who outside of Premier Rachel Notley, has faced more slings and arrows over the carbon leadership plan than anyone in Alberta, agrees with the Dean of Engineering in this instance.
                    Yes, the University should be in the business of sucking up to mostly American oil companies. Everyone that's on faculty or attending as a student should be throughly vetted to ensure that they support the oil sands. Anything less is treasonous </snark>
                    Snide remark, yes. Perhaps even a juvenile response.

                    The issue is not about sucking up to mostly American oil companies, or requiring loyalty oaths of any faculty member or student attending the U of A. It's about the University Senate's tone deaf decision to award an honorary degree to an almost uniquely polarizing public figure. A person that is not a climate scientist, and whose criticism of fossil fuels goes well beyond reasoned analysis and borders on what some call climate alarmism.

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                    • #11
                      He has also said that economic theory is a former of mental illness or brain damage. That's a rough paraphrase. How do economics faculty feel about that?

                      https://www.theglobeandmail.com/repo...rticle4602350/

                      Sure must be easy to feel that way on his private island, sitting on a personal fortune in the tens of millions.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by East McCauley View Post
                        Originally posted by kkozoriz View Post
                        Originally posted by East McCauley View Post
                        ^^
                        "That the university has aggrieved Albertans with a single decision, demonstrates, I believe, that our university has become, certainly in this process, too disconnected from the people that we are meant to serve."
                        I don't consider the Dean of Engineering's response above juvenile.

                        When Suzuki's honorary degree was first announced, it struck me as incredibly tone deaf coming as it does at a time when emotions over the oil sands in general and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in particular are very raw. Dr. Andrew Leach, who outside of Premier Rachel Notley, has faced more slings and arrows over the carbon leadership plan than anyone in Alberta, agrees with the Dean of Engineering in this instance.
                        Yes, the University should be in the business of sucking up to mostly American oil companies. Everyone that's on faculty or attending as a student should be throughly vetted to ensure that they support the oil sands. Anything less is treasonous </snark>
                        Snide remark, yes. Perhaps even a juvenile response.

                        The issue is not about sucking up to mostly American oil companies, or requiring loyalty oaths of any faculty member or student attending the U of A. It's about the University Senate's tone deaf decision to award an honorary degree to an almost uniquely polarizing public figure. A person that is not a climate scientist, and whose criticism of fossil fuels goes well beyond reasoned analysis and borders on what some call climate alarmism.
                        Personally, I don't have a problem with him getting an honorary degree, but he has said political things that put people off and have not as well reasoned as science is. It's up to the University Senate to award an honorary degree to whoever they want, until the University decides to change that process, but it is a free country and people can disagree with it too, it doesn't mean that they are sucking up to foreign oil companies. If you have to cast those sort of aspersions, you probably have a weak argument.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
                          He has also said that economic theory is a former of mental illness or brain damage. That's a rough paraphrase. How do economics faculty feel about that?

                          https://www.theglobeandmail.com/repo...rticle4602350/

                          Sure must be easy to feel that way on his private island, sitting on a personal fortune in the tens of millions.
                          I suspect they might not be thrilled about him getting an honorary degree either. Although, I'm guessing Suzuki does not have a degree in Psychiatry, so his remarks would not be considered a qualified medical opinion.

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                          • #14
                            They would however, be offensive to those who actually deal with mental illness.

                            For fun, here's another case of Suzuki misleading the public: https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/g...bout-fukushima

                            Maybe he was an honest and effective communicator of science in the past. Unfortunately, he jumped the shark 10+ years ago. I don't see how he's deserving of an award given his recent record of misinforming the public.

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                            • #15
                              Let's just say the U of A has a track record of bestowing honorary degrees to controversial individuals...

                              March 2012:

                              Nestlé CEO given honorary degree amid protests

                              Dozens protested outside the Timms Centre at the University of Alberta on Thursday over the award of an honorary degree to Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe.

                              The university bestowed the honour on Brabeck-Letmathe for his work as a responsible steward for water around the world.
                              But protesters say that as the world's largest bottled water company, Nestlé is causing water scarcity, not solving it and is trying to privatize a public resource.

                              "I'm afraid that the university is positioning themselves on the side of the commodifiers, the people who want to say that water is not a human right that everyone has the right to, but is just a product that can be bought and sold," said Scott Harris from the Council of Canadians.

                              ....But some professors were angry enough at the university to join Thursday's protest.

                              "I'm ashamed at this point, about what the university is doing and I'm also very concerned about the way the president of the university has been demonizing people who oppose this," said English professor Janice Williamson.

                              http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...ests-1.1178702
                              Ha ha. Maybe Suzuki receiving one this month evens things up on the U of A Wall of Fame.

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