Article on Statistical Errors Unfairly Criticizes Nature Article

To the Editor:

Your article, “A New Theory on How Researchers Can Solve the Reproducibility Crisis: Do the Math” (The Chronicle, June 28), raises some good points about the need for statistical rigor in scientific research.  However, we felt it was unfair of you to single out our article in Nature, especially since it does not suffer from any of the statistical shortcomings enumerated in the article.

First, you report that we did not consider the null hypothesis. However, we did consider the nul…

Statistical Errors May Really Just Be Different Interpretations

To the Editor:

One major problem not mentioned in your article, “A New Theory on How Researchers Can Solve the Reproducibility Crisis: Do the Math” (The Chronicle, June 28), is the frequent lack of consensus among even supposedly “expert” statisticians when it comes to proper selection of analytic tools and interpretation of results. In my field we rely quite a bit on analysis of time series data over time via graphic presentation. This approach is often criticized as overly subjective, etc….

Teach Students That They Likely Overestimate How Much Their Peers Drink

To the Editor:

The Chronicle has published several articles in recent months regarding serious problems related to fraternities. An integral component with these problems is alcohol abuse.

The National Center for Education Statistics estimates approximately 22.5 million students will attend American colleges and universities in the fall of 2017. Many students are away from home and parental supervision, and parents are concerned for their welfare. One of their concerns relates to problems associ…

Advice to Colleges on Handling Internet Outrage Was Misguided

To the Editor:

Your article, “What Colleges Can Do When the Internet Outrage Machine Comes to Campus” (The Chronicle, June 26), takes the position that appeasing right-wing trolls is more important than protecting the values of academic freedom and critical inquiry that are at the root of the university enterprise. Knowledge and understanding can only be developed in an environment in which it is possible to express ideas that are controversial, and controversial ideas are sometimes offensive. W…

Academics Who Opine on Controversial Subjects Have to Expect Dissent

To the Editor:

Anyone who engages in public discourse on controversial issues must be prepared to “own” their words completely. Accolades and expressions of full agreement are not the only responses you will get. And people will not always treat your words as you would like them to be treated. Hence my sympathy for professors facing backlash for social-media comments, as discussed in your valuable recent article (“Professors’ Growing Risk: Harassment for Things They Never Really Said,The Chron…

An Open Letter Regarding Rand Paul’s Teaching Appointment at GWU

Dear Dean Vinson,

I recently learned that Rand Paul, the junior U.S. Senator from Kentucky will be teaching a course on dystopian literature at George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. I’m an anthropologist at the early stages of my career, currently teaching at Georgetown and trying to figure out how to make it in academia. I was wondering if you might be able to answer a few questions about this faculty appointment so that I might make my CV line up a bit more wit…

Real Issue Around Rescinded Offers at Harvard Is Responsibility, Not Freedom

To the Editor:

Freedom vs. responsibility.

Harvard and the students both have freedoms. These freedoms are at the core of what it means to be an American, and to live life in the United States. Yet it is not these freedoms that should be at the core of the discourse surrounding this incident (“Free Speech Loses Ground as Harvard Retracts Offers to Admitted Students,The Chronicle, June 13). The concept of freedom will be defended every time and distracts from what truly needs evaluation. We’v…

Article on Evergreen State Misrepresented Professor’s Positions

To The Editor:

Your article on the recent protests at Evergreen State College (“How a Campus Fight Drove 2 Left-Leaning Professors to Fox News,The Chronicle, June 9) quotes me in a way that attributes to me positions I do not hold. The article does so by framing the entire matter in a simple but mistaken “for Bret/against Bret” binary (referring to Bret Weinstein). Here is the key paragraph:

Many people blame Mr. Weinstein for the fallout. Peter Dorman, an economics professor, told The Chronic…

An Open Letter in Support of Continuing Improved Relations With Cuba

Dear President Trump:

We write to you, as American scholars and educators, to express our concern about a possible reversal of our nation’s improving relations with Cuba, specifically in the area of travel, due to political pressure from elected officials in Florida and New Jersey. Since you ran for office on an America First platform, we wish to share with you that we vigorously oppose such a reversal as it is not in the best interests of the United States.

We represent all segments of the poli…

National Academies Report on Genetically Engineered Crops Guarded Against Bias

To the Editor:

You recently published an article titled “Under Fire, National Academies Toughen Conflict-of-Interest Policies” (The Chronicle, April 25). A premise of the article is that this toughening was triggered by claims of personal conflicts of interest “tainting” the Academies’ report on genetically engineered crops (GE crops) that we authored.

The Academies have already gone on record to dispute this false claim, but our concern is that you have specifically sown undeserved doubt about …