Two Museums in France decide to rent out space to an exhibition called as "British Day of Science". It is supposed to showcase the achievements of seven British universities. Each and every one of these Universities are funded in some shape or form by the the British Department of Defence. Several of these universities actually hired former members of the British Defence Forces as staff members. I quote:
British Day of Science is aimed particularly at sixth-form students, who can be expected to come in parties from schools across the country. What reaction can be expected from the many young people, already disaffected from science, who will associate the science museums with this British public relations exercise? The event is being billed as a celebration of science. In fact it is an attempted celebration of the United Kingdom.
In the immediate aftermath of the indiscriminate slaughter and attempted annihilation of all the infrastructure of organised society in Basra in Iraq, how can this "celebration" be allowed to borrow some respectability from the use of these distinguished institutions? The museums should cancel these unseemly events.
We are the great and good who are complaining against this.
(A selection is given below, see the link for more of these worthies)
Mairead Maguire Nobel Peace Laureate Dr Ian Gibson MP Mermber of Parliament Prof R.S.MacKay FRS Director of Mathematical Interdisciplinary Research, Mathematics Institute, University of Warwick Dr Jenny Tonge House of Lords Prof Steven Rose Life Sciences, Open University John Rose College lecturer/ Middle East author Prof Jonathan Rosenhead Operational Research, London School of Economics Dr Monica Wusteman Research Scientist (retired) Prof Jules Townshend Politics and Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University Mike Cushman Management, London School of Economics Dr. Sue Blackwell Linguistics, University of Birmingham Professor Mohamed El - Gomati Department of Electronics University of York Prof. Yosefa Loshitzky Film and Media Studies, University of East London Prof. Daphne Hampson Theology, University of St Andrews Prof Peter Hallward Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University Prof Janet Watson Arabic Linguistics, University of Salford Prof Patrick Williams Nottingham Trent University Prof Hilary Rose Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, University of Bradford Prof David Seddon University of East Anglia Prof. Adah Kay City University, London Prof David Wield Open University Prof Mona Baker Translation Studies, University of Manchester Prof Myriam Salama-Carr University of Salford Prof Gabriel Alexander Khoury Imperial College London and Padua University Italy Prof. David Mond Mathematics Institute, Warwick University Prof David E Pegg Biology Department University of York Professor Tariq Modood, MBE, AcSS Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy, Director, University of Bristol Prof Frank Land Information Systems and Innovations, LSE Prof Ailsa Land Operational Research, London School of Economics Prof Hans Haenlein, RIBA, MBE Architecture, University of Reading Prof Wolfgang Deckers University of Richmond Prof Malcolm Povey Food Physics, University of Leeds Prof Sol Picciotto Law, Lancaster University Prof James Dickens Arabic, School of Languages, University of Salford Prof David Elworthy Mathematics, University of Warwick Prof Roger Iredale International education, University of Manchester Prof Jim Al-Khalili Professor of Physics, and of Public Engagement in Science, University of Surrey Prof Colin Green Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research Prof Haim Bresheeth Cultural Studies, University of East London Prof Uri Davis Al Quds University, Jerusalem Prof Martha Mundy Anthropology, London School of Economics Prof Paulette Pierson Mathy hon. Prof. ULB, Brussels Prof Randa Farah Anthropology, University of Western Ontario Prof. Anthony C. Alessandrini Kingsborough Community Coll-City University of New York Dr Derek Wall Visiting tutor, Goldsmiths College ……
Replace the italicised UK at the top with Israel and you will understand why each and every one of these people have immediately identified themselves as eligible to go back to their schools now and request for a refund of their educational fees on grounds of idiocy. Here is a list of science based exhibitions and events that an arm of British Government, the British Council organised. Presumably this list of people will do the same, because the UK has been accused of War Crimes in Basra? See here, here, here. Interestingly enough, the 'Stop the War Coalition' has signed this petition. The 'Stop the War Coalition' works with the Campaign for for Nuclear Disarmament which has accused the UK government of war crimes. Confusing or what?
Reminds me of what Anatole France said: "If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." As an Alumni and visiting professor of the University of Manchester, I would say, do it and be damned to these purveyors of foolish behaviour. I am thinking about Bill Buckley’s famous comments that he would rather be governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston phone book than the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University. I am so surprised that so many professors and educators would be so inclined to think of science in this way that it is related to nationalities, political ideologies or what have you. Truly the inconsistencies of people who demand boycotts is incomprehensible. It is silly! Just imagine these worthies protesting against the UK and how they will be treated? Just about the same way that they will be treated if they say that science and knowledge is country national specific. Grow up, you guys.