Shapley, Menzel Tell Of Ackley Case Study

Findings Form Basis of Letter Of Committee for Democracy

Working independently for the American Committee for Democracy and Intellectual Freedom, Harlow Shapley, Paine Professor of Practical Astronomy and Director of the College Observatory, and Donald H. Menzel, associate professor of Astronomy, have furnished material for an open letter to the Board of Education of New York City warning against violations of intellectual freedom in the New York School situation.

Professors Shapley and Menzel along with Professor Ernest M. Patterson of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, made separate analyses of the Ackley trial, the first of the Education Board's trials in City College cases.

All three men found that "the trial was not fairly conducted, that the charges were definitely disproved in part and at no point adequately proved, and that much of the proceedings clearly overstepped the bounds of the accused teacher's elementary rights of freedom of speech and opinion."