Henry Bauer: Wikis

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Henry H. Bauer (born Austria, 1931[1]) is an emeritus professor of chemistry and science studies, and emeritus dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University ("Virginia Tech").[2] Bauer earned his Ph.D. in 1956 from the University of Sydney. He became editor-in-chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, a publication devoted to fringe science, after his retirement in 1999.[2] Bauer is a AIDS denialist and opposes affirmative action.

Contents

Life and work

Henry Bauer was born in Austria. As the Nazis came to power in German-speaking Europe, Bauer and his family emigrated to Australia.[1]

Bauer earned his PhD from the University of Sydney in Australia and was awarded the degree in 1956.[1] He conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Michigan, then taught at Sydney and in Michigan. In 1966, he moved to a faculty position at the University of Kentucky. Bauer became dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Virginia Tech in 1978, a position he held until 1986. Bauer was a professor of Science Studies and Chemistry at Virginia Tech until his retirement in 1999.

Bauer has had short-term teaching assignments at the University of Southampton, and in Japan with a program of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science: at the University of Kyoto and in 1974 at Sophia University and Rikagaku Kenkyusho.

Although trained as a chemist, Bauer's interests shifted in the late 1960s from electrochemistry to "science studies," an interdisciplinary mix of history, philosophy, and sociology of science; his special interest is in what he calls "scientific unorthodoxies", like the Loch Ness Monster, Immanuel Velikovsky, and other topics.

After retiring from Virginia Tech, Bauer became the editor of a fringe science publication, the Journal of Scientific Exploration. He also became an AIDS denialist, writing a book and maintaining a website arguing that HIV does not exist and does not cause AIDS.

Academic Interests

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From Chemistry to Science Studies

Bauer was trained as an electrochemist and reported his research in numerous publications during the 1950s and 60s. From the 1970s, although he remained a professor of chemistry in title, Bauer researched fringe science and pseudoscience topics. At Virginia Tech, Bauer was a founding member of a program for science studies, an interdisciplinary mix of history, philosophy, and sociology of science. Bauer's book on science studies, Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method, has been listed on the bibliography for several university courses.

During his investigations of what constitutes pseudoscience, Bauer came to believe in the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, UFOs[3] and other "scientific unorthodoxies". He compares the lack of acceptance of pseudoscientific beliefs by the scientific community to the persecution his family suffered at the hands of the Nazis, stating, "I guess I am kind of naturally contrary....I think you can make a pretty good case that it's not worth just accepting whatever is the standard."[4]

Loch Ness Monster

Bauer developed an interest in the Loch Ness Monster and based his belief in the Monster's existence on a film made by prominent “Nessie” enthusiast Tim Dinsdale.[4] The film purportedly shows an object, commonly thought to be a boat, moving in the Scottish lake.

In the 1980s, Bauer researched and wrote a book on the Loch Ness Monster and the popular fascination with it. "The Enigma of Loch Ness" was reviewed favorably in The University of Chicago's Isis journal.[5] Bauer maintains a website arguing that there is strong evidence for the Loch Ness Monster, which he says the media have conspired to trivialize by sensationalizing the story.[6][7] During his tenure as professor at Virginia Tech, Bauer took over twenty trips to Loch Ness, searching for the Monster.[4]

In a news interview, Bauer commented on his belief in the Loch Ness Monster and how it has influenced his career: "I've been quite open about it....if I had been a biologist instead of a chemist, I couldn't have gotten away with it. People could smile and say, 'Well, he's got his hobbyhorse.'"[4]

Immanuel Velikovsky

In his book, Beyond Velikovsky: The History of a Public Controversy, Henry Bauer criticizes the research of Immanuel Velikovsky, author of the pseudoscientific and pseudohistoric New York Times bestseller Worlds in Collision (1950). Time refers to Bauer's book as "the definitive treatise debunking Immanuel Velikovsky."[7] Bauer's book on Velikovsky was reviewed in Science[8] and Nature.[9]

Controversy

Opposition to affirmative action and diversity programs

Bauer says he left the Dean’s office at Virginia Tech "when political correctness arrived" in the 1980s.[2] Bauer joined the anti-affirmative action conservative group called the National Association of Scholars, starting a newsletter for the group's Virginia branch.[10][11] In "The Virginia Scholar," Bauer blames what he views as a decline in academic standards on the implementation of diversity programs, which he characterizes as promoting "feminoid sexists calling men sexist" and "racist black fanatics calling others racist."[10]

Bauer opposed the formation of a police "Sensitive Crime Unit" meant to deal with sexual assault and hate crimes at Virginia Tech, suggesting that these issues were not a serious problem on campus and did not merit special attention. Bauer called the police unit a threat to free speech.[10][12] He criticized Virginia Tech’s creation of a new administrative position for multicultural affairs in response to racial incidents at the university in the mid-1990s as a wasteful allocation of resources. Bauer found fault with Virginia Tech’s policy of excusing student absences for attending religious or ethnic observances. As black enrollment at Virginia Tech declined during the 1990s, Bauer stated that the University was already doing too much ("pulling out all the stops") to attract minority students [13] and should instead concentrate on raising academic standards.

Views on homosexuality

Bauer also drew criticism for his denunciation of homosexuality.[14] In his pseudonymously-written memoir, To Rise Above Principle: The Memoirs of an Unreconstructed Dean, Bauer writes, "I regard homosexuality as an aberration or illness, not as an ‘equally valid life-style’ or whatever the current euphemism is." In his book, Bauer attributes the perceived problem of homosexuality to genetic, hereditary, and environmental factors, and suggests that the free speech and other civil rights of homosexuals should be withdrawn to prevent what Bauer views as the negative effects of homosexuality from spreading.[15] Bauer has since claimed to have retracted this view, stating on his website that he had been "wrong" about the issue and had, in particular, mistakenly relied on the "naturalistic" fallacy that reduced culture and ethics to biology.[16] According to AIDSTruth.org, an AIDS information resource, however, Bauer posted the statement one day after an account of his views appeared on the AIDSTruth.org site.[14]

AIDS denialism

Bauer became a proponent of AIDS denialism several years after retiring from Virginia Tech.[17] He has asserted that there are "substantive grounds for doubting that HIV is the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS and that antiretroviral treatment is unambiguously beneficial."[18]

In his 2007 book, The Origins, Persistence, and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory,[19] Bauer questions whether HIV exists, claiming that HIV tests are not accurate and that AIDS death statistics are faked by a conspiracy of the media, scientists and pharmaceutical companies. Bauer claims that African Americans are more sexually promiscuous and use more illegal drugs than other groups, but says sex and drug use are not involved in AIDS since, according to him, Native Americans are also sexually promiscuous and have high drug use but do not often test positive for HIV (p. 64). Bauer hypothesises that African Americans are more likely to test HIV-positive because of supposed genetic mutations.[19] As is the case for AIDS denialism in general, Bauer’s notions on HIV/AIDS and race are rejected by the mainstream scientific community, based upon decades of research and overhelming scientific consensus that HIV exists, is infectious, causes AIDS, and that HIV tests are accurate.[20][21]

Publications

Books

  • Bauer HH (2007). The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory. McFarland ISBN 0-7864-3048-6
  • Bauer HH (2001). Science or Pseudoscience: Magnetic Healing, Psychic Phenomena, and Other Heterodoxies. University of Illinois Press ISBN 0-252-02601-2
  • Bauer HH (2001). Fatal Attractions: The Troubles with Science. Paraview Press ISBN 1-931044-28-7
  • Bauer HH (1992). Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method. University of Illinois Press ISBN 0-252-06436-4
  • Bauer HH (1988). To Rise Above Principle: The Memoirs of an Unreconstructed Dean. University of Illinois Press (under nom-de-plume ‘Josef Martin’) ISBN 0-252-01507-X [22]
  • Bauer HH (1986). Enigma of Loch Ness: Making Sense of a Mystery. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-01284-4
  • Bauer, Henry H. (1984). Beyond Velikovsky: The History of a Public Controversy, Univ. of Illinois Press. ISBN 025201104X

Papers

References

  1. ^ a b c Henry H. Bauer's personal website
  2. ^ a b c "Biomedical Seminars: "Truth Stranger Than Fiction: HIV is Not The Cause of AIDS"". Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. 2007-09-12. http://www.vcom.vt.edu/resource/biomed.html. Retrieved 2008-06-03.  
  3. ^ The Roanoke Times (report that Bauer addressed a Virginia conference of the Mutual UFO Network): "UFO buffs sighted at lake awhile, then vanish: One in seven people claims to have seen one, but the meeting didn't draw much interest", Jay Conley, Roanoke Times, 28 September 2008. Accessed 28 September 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d Angleberger, Tom (30 October 2000). "Days spent on banks of Loch Ness not a waste; Keeping watch for Nessie who ain't necessarily so". The Roanoke Times.  
  5. ^ Ron Westrum (March 1988). "Reviewed work(s): The Enigma of Loch Ness: Making Sense of a Mystery by Henry H. Bauer". Isis (The University of Chicago Press on behalf of The History of Science Society) 79 (1): 145–146. doi:10.1086/354664. http://www.jstor.org/pss/234471. Retrieved 2008-06-03.  
  6. ^ "Genuine facts about "Nessie", the Loch Ness "monster"". 2007-09-07. http://henryhbauer.homestead.com/lochnessfacts.html. Retrieved 2008-06-03.  
  7. ^ a b Michael D. Lemonick/Gainesville (2005-05-24). "Science on the Fringe". Time magazine. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1064461-2,00.html. Retrieved 2008-06-02.  
  8. ^ John W. Patterson (1985-06-14). "Lessons of a Controversy: Beyond Velikovsky.". Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)) 228 (4705): 1304–1305. doi:10.1126/science.228.4705.1304-a. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/citation/228/4705/1304-a. Retrieved 2008-06-03.  
  9. ^ Gingerich, Owen (1985). On trans-scientific turf. Nature 25 April; 314:692-3
  10. ^ a b c Ian Zack, Associated Press, "Rush Limbaugh has nothing on him Professor's opinions - and he has many - have put him at odds with his bosses at Tech," The Roanoke Times, 16 August 1998.
  11. ^ "Back copies of the Virginia Scholar". American Association of University Professors (AAUP). http://fbox.vt.edu/faculty/aaup/index4.html. Retrieved 2008-06-05.  
  12. ^ Ian Zack (1995-09-08). "Virginia Tech police start unit for ‘sensitive’ crimes". Washington Times, source Associated Press.  
  13. ^ Ian Zack (1999-04-08). "Study shows Va. Tech as ivory tower more than ever: Despite recruiting, fewer blacks enroll". The Roanoke Times, source Associated Press.  
  14. ^ a b AIDSTruth member criticizes AIDS denialists Accessed 16 June 2008
  15. ^ (Pseudonym) Martin, Josef (1988). To Rise Above Principle: The Memoirs of an Unreconstructed Dean. University of Illinois Press. ISBN ISBN 0-252-01507-X.  
  16. ^ [1] Accessed 10 September 2008.
  17. ^ Henry Bauer. "The whole world "knows" that HIV causes AIDS. But is that compatible with the facts? NO!". http://failingsofhivaidstheory.homestead.com/. Retrieved 2008-06-02.  
  18. ^ See "Questioning HIV/AIDS: Morally Reprehensible or Scientifically Warranted?" on the list of papers
  19. ^ a b Bauer, HH (2007). The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory. McFarland. ISBN ISBN 0-7864-3048-6.  
  20. ^ "The evidence that HIV causes AIDS." National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 2003.
  21. ^ "The HIV-AIDS Connection", National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 2003. "Why is there overwhelming scientific consensus that HIV causes AIDS?"
  22. ^ "ED295548 - To Rise above Principle: The Memoirs of an Unreconstructed Dean". Education Resources Information Center ERIC. http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED295548&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED295548. Retrieved 2008-06-03.  

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