Sign in haste, repent later

June 3, 2010

Regarding the Fruitbatgate affair ("Yikes! Attack of the killer viral fruit bats", May), I would argue that the reputational damage has been done not to University College Cork but to the 3,763 academics who signed the petition supporting Dylan Evans without first checking the facts. It is incredible that heavyweights such as Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker and Lewis Wolpert, who are supposed to exemplify rationality and scholarship, rushed to vilify UCC and, by implication, the woman who made the complaint, on the basis of a one-sided account on a blog. Perhaps they could tell us whether they still support the petition after reading all the documentation and, if not, offer an apology.

Dorothy Bishop, Professor of developmental neuropsychology, University of Oxford.

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