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The Mail


To the Editors of the Crimson:

As a signer of the petition opposing the methods used by opponents of Professor Richard Herrnstein's, masterly analysis of intelligence performance. I, speaking for myself, think the Dunster House letter (Crimson December 6th) was just plain silly.

First, it is self-evident that individual signers of the petition thought the article an example of "legitimate scholarship". For my part, there are few areas of life--none in fact--that are intrinsically exempt from scholarly enquiry. I suspect the Dunster House sages who instigated the letter to the petition signers think otherwise, and I am certain they consider themselves perfectly capable of designating with certitude those facets of life that are outside of scientific enquiry.

Second, the descriptions I read of the activity of the opponents of Herrnstein's analysis certainly struck me as forms of harassment. I also consider the content of some placards and leaflets used to express opposition to Hernnstein as unacceptable forms of opposition in a university community.

Reasonable men can, of course, differ as to the precise limits of opposition activity in a university community, but the signers of the petition were certainly within their rights in publicizing their thinking on this matter. Surely we do not have to defer to the wise men of Dunster House for our cues in this regard. If we did, I would wager that academic freedom at Harvard would be threadbare. Martin Kllson   Professor of Government

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