James Madison Program hosts geophysics professor Dorian Abbot after MIT cancels lecture

Andrew Somerville and Izzy Jacobson
Daily Princetonian

Excerpt: Over 4,000 attended a Zoom lecture by University of Chicago Associate Professor of Geophysical Sciences Dorian Abbot on “Climate and the Potential for Life on Other Planets” on Thursday, Oct. 21. The event was hosted by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions (JMP) after it was canceled by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS).

Abbot sparked controversy within the MIT community because of his public statements against Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives and affirmative action. In Aug. 2021, Abbot, alongside Stanford Associate Professor of Accounting Iván Marinovic, detailed their views in an Op-Ed for Newsweek, which suggested an alternative framework to DEI called “Merit, Fairness, and Equality.” Abbot and Marinovic also compared DEI’s grouping of individuals by race to the “ideological regime obsessed with race” that came to power in Nazi Germany 90 years ago.