How Students and Professors Respond to Real Adversity

The reaction of colleges and universities to Trump’s election reveal them to be fundamentally unserious. You want to see how serious scholars behave under actual adversity? Power Line friend Herbert Meyer directs our attention to this passage from from Harrison Salisbury’s book 900 Days about the siege of Leningrad in World War II:

By the end of spring [1942] he [A. A. Ukhtomsky, a 66-year old distinguished physiologist] was still alive and on June 27, despite his gangrene, his cancer, his emphysema and his hypertension, made his way on foot from his flat on the 16th Line of Vasilevsky Island to the Zoological Institute, where with half a dozen other academic colleagues he discussed the candidate dissertations of V.V. Kuznetsov and L.K. Mischchenko and acted as the official opponent of N.N. Malyshev, who was defending a doctoral thesis on the subject, “Materials on the Physics of Electrons.” The presentation and defense of doctoral dissertations had gone on without pause in Leningrad, all through the terrible winter, in air-raid shelters, in cellars. There had been 847 defenses of dissertations in the first months of the war. In December the Leningrad Party Committee warned the academic community “not to permit any liberalization in evaluating the work of students” just because of the war and its hardships.

Just another reason Putin laughs at us.

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