The chair of the political science department at Middlebury College is defending the sponsorship of a controversial speaker invited to the campus next month despite “grave concerns” raised by some professors and students.
Charles Murray, a libertarian political scientist and author, is scheduled to speak March 2 at the college about his book “Coming Apart.” Murray is a fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, DC. He was invited to the campus by a Middlebury student club under the AEI banner.
Some faculty and students have objected; one department chair criticized Murray as a “pseudoscientist” while the head of the political science department defended co-sponsoring the event, saying Murray’s talk was of value to a significant portion of the campus population. A group of faculty opposing the talk plan to meet Monday.
Murray is best known for his 1994 book, “The Bell Curve,” where he and a co-author discuss human intelligence. The book drew controversy when the authors wrote about racial differences in intelligence, the reasons why, and the social implications. Their work was criticized by some and praised by others; Murray has said some in his field quietly congratulated him.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified Murray as a “white nationalist” who has…