Sacked 'racist' is to appeal

August 15, 1997

Edinburgh University's self-declared "scientific racist" Christopher Brand, sacked last week after being found guilty by a university tribunal of gross misconduct, says he plans to appeal.

Psychology lecturer Mr Brand, 53, said this week he was taking legal advice, adding: "We will obviously be going for the university."

Mr Brand was suspended from university teaching and administration in November after publishing an Internet newsletter questioning whether paedophilia charges against Nobel prizewinner Daniel Gajdusek were in the public interest. He also suggested non-violent paedophilia with a consenting partner over the age of 12 was not harmful so long as both parties had an above-average IQ.

The claims prompted his publishers to withdraw his book, The g-Factor, after Mr Brand was quoted as saying black people were genetically less intelligent.

This week the university said the disciplinary tribunal had unanimously found aspects of Mr Brand's conduct, particularly his public comments on paedophilia, of "a disgraceful nature, incompatible with the duties of (his) office or employment". The tribunal also said Mr Brand courted controversy. "It appears his remarks were clearly chosen to inflame an already difficult situation."

The decision to sack Mr Brand was made by principal Sir Stewart Sutherland,who said that the university had not sought to censor his research on ethnic background and intelligence. "Indeed we went out of our way to defend his right to express his views in a reasoned manner," he said.

Mr Brand said: "The academics I have spoken to are totally appalled with what the university has done. They (the university) obviously don't understand the freedom that academics need."

An Edinburgh University spokesman said it was awaiting notification of Mr Brand's appeal.

See Perspective, page 19

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