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March 09, 2011

Comments

Im a conservative republican and I have been very embarrassed that people cannot see the true Paranoid whining Robinson they supported as a candidate. (I do/did not support him). I also do not support DeFazio.
Mr Robinson. Have your kids release OSU so they can put out the facts to the public and quit putting baseless accusations out there. If these accusations are true then the facts will show it. T

My husband heard him on Lars Larson while he was driving home and said he nearly drove off the road in his anger at the kind of stuff Robinson was saying with Larson talking as though how brilliant Robinson is.

Robinson home schooled his kids, as I recall, which pretty well explains their problem in any school of higher education. The fact that he got anywhere near being in Congress and had so many people putting up signs favoring him says a lot about the Republican party today. It's all sad.

If I were a professor of nuclear engineering and I knew that taking on a doctoral advisee would mean dealing with Art Robinson for the next 5-7 years, I would have second thoughts about agreeing. You can't force a professor to take on an advisee; advising represents a huge investment of a professor's time and effort, to say nothing of taking on responsibility for a young person's professional future. Once in a while, a student cannot get any faculty member to agree to advise, which means the student falls through the cracks. That is what appears to have happened here.

A Eugene TV station interviewed Robinson, asking him if he had proof of his allegations against OSU.
http://www.kval.com/news/local/117619993.html?

The story says:

“I don’t have definitive proof," Robinson said. "That is what I believe. Basically, I know what happened. I cannot tell you the motives of the people doing it.”

What a jerk. He doesn't have any evidence that global warming isn't happening, but he believes this is true. He doesn't have any evidence that OSU is doing anything wrong, but hie believes this is true.

Robinson needs to learn the difference between the inside of his own deluded head and external reality. Why anyone takes him seriously is a mystery to me ("a sucker is born every minute" is the best explanation, I guess).

Ask yourself this, why would Art Robinson jeopardize his children's educational success by making this claim if it were baseless? I spent 30 years in the public educational system; if this type of "antic" were without foundation, 1) his three children would denounce him, and 2) he would be jeopardizing their credibility and success within the university. Let's separate what you happen to think of Art Robinson's knowledge of science and examine the claim at hand. What would be his motivation? What good would come out of this for his three children by doing this at a critical time in their educational journey? And why would this be happening concurrently with all 3 children? Lastly, what would Professor Higginbotham have to gain by blowing the whistle of the actions of the department?

To Darkwing Duck: Up until the time the powerful clique that recently took control of the department decided to kick out the Robinson children, despite their excellent work, nobody had to deal with Art Robinson. Obviously, you have never met any of those young people. Any honest person who had a serious job to do would be highly privileged to have any one of these talented, gracious, extremely hard-working young people on his team. How can you say such mean-spirited things about people you have never met who are having their young lives destroyed through no fault of their own!

Ha, ha, ha,

Do you seriously believe that university departments are immune to politics, power, and corruption? You're crazier than you claim Art Robinson is.

Where do you get the number that 98% of all climate scientists believe in AGW? Oh, that's right, if you don't believe in it, then you can't be a real scientist.

I've read at least two different articles in which the reporter pointed out to OSU that one of the Robinson kids had provided a formal waiver and OSU still refused to answer questions.

Kennon, here's a link where you can read about the study which found that 98% of scientists who publish research on the subject of climate change accept that human activity is warming our planet.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10370955

Of course, some non-scientists, or scientists who haven't done reputable research, have a different opinion. But I'm going to believe experts in climate science, not Internet wackos.

It's a fact: the consensus that humans are causing potentially catastrophic climate change is almost universal among the genuine scientific community. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

Ignoring the AGW digression ...

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Oregon State seemed to have more room for differing viewpoints. In those days, one might hear protestors against the Vietnam War one day, ROTC candidates singing the memorable ditty "We want to go to Vietnam, We want to kill a Viet Cong", and later someone on a guitar might be singing Little Bunny Fru Fru (or Foo Foo, depending on variant -- which had the punny moral "Hare Today, Goon Tomorrow".

Back to the AGW digression ... could political correctness, backed by government funding be a unifying thread between AGW and whatever is befalling the Robinson PhD candidates?

I graduated from from OSU's Radiation Health Physics Department (part of the Nuclear Engineering Department) and had a few classes with the Robinsons...

@Rain - Saying that the Robinson kids are probably struggling because they were homeschooled is absolutely absurd. They are brilliant students and do well in all of their classes. I know... I was in those classes with them. There is no reason they would be dismissed for academic reasons. The Nuclear Engineering Department at OSU is a very small one. And all of the professors work very hard with their students to ensure their success, so students very rarely (I actually didn't see it at all, but I assume it happens) get dismissed. And the Robinsons would not be the ones struggling... I'm pretty sure I saw them at the Radiation Center more than any other students. I wished I had that kind of dedication to my studies.

@Darkwing Duck - Once again, it's a very small department and students don't just 'fall through the cracks'. When I was thinking about getting my Master's, I had lots of professors in the department offering advice and doing all they could to get me in, and I was not a particularly stellar student. Oh, and they never asked me who my dad is in the application process.

Hearing about this has really disappointed me. I know what great students the Robinsons are. And I know how interested the professors of that department are in the success of their students. How disappointing that politics are getting in the way of great students' success and professors doing their job. Dr. Higginbotham happened to be my advisor and hearing that he is being attacked infuriates me. He doesn't deserve it. And neither do the Robinson students.

I'm an academic and teach at an Oregon university (not OSU). I can tell you that if Pete DeFazio (or any other politician) came to my university demanding that we punish his opponent's children, he would be laughed out of the building. We don't do that, and neither does OSU.

An editorial in the Register-Guard summed it up pretty well:

"To accept [Robinson's claims] requires believing that a chain of malice and corruption reaches from DeFazio to the president of OSU, from the president to the administration and from the administration to the university’s Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics, where two of Robinson’s children are pursuing doctorates and a third is working toward a master’s degree.

At every link along that chain, one person would have said to the next that OSU must punish its own students for their father’s political activities. Everyone along the chain had a professional, ethical and legal obligation to tell the person making such a demand to go to hell. Yet Robinson would have Oregonians believe that orders for a political hit are transmitted smoothly from Washington, D.C., to Corvallis, never encountering so much as a speed bump of principle, integrity or academic independence."

@Jane Orient: I did not impugn the character of Art Robinson's children. So far I've read about nothing to suggest they are not decent people. As a member of the faculty at Art Robinson's Institute of Science and Medicine, you would have a far greater familiarity with them than most.

"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." - Sherlock Holmes' corollary to Bayes' Theorem

I can think of three explanations for this spectacle, of varying improbability:

1) Peter DeFazio and other powers-that-be, for the purpose of punishing Art Robinson through his children, inveighed upon OSU administrators and professors to SIMULTANEOUSLY drive out all three Robinsons and whomever dared to defend them (Professor Higginbotham) -- exceedingly unlikely.

2) The hitherto talented, assiduous, and ethical Higginbotham and Robinsons ALL misbehaved so as to deserve expulsion from OSU -- very unlikely.

3) Art Robinson is over-reacting to a perceived slight toward one or more of his kids, or, disgruntled after his electoral defeat, is pursuing a vendetta against his enemies, or both; and his dutiful children cannot bring themselves to gainsay their father by setting the record straight -- merely unlikely.

My vote's for 3).

Art Robinson has a long history of paranoid behavior. This is just the most recent. Send this wacko back to his cave in 2012.

In Dr Art Robinsons very own book "Common Sense in 2012",he makes many claims of his scientific background and yet states "there are very few children concieved thru rape".Another wingnut we don't need.

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