I made a point in this post inelegantly in a way that was
easy to misunderstand, so I’d like to clarify it.
I didn’t mean that we need to tolerate brilliant homophobic jerks in the lab so that we can have scientific progress. Although there are famous counterexamples, most of the best scientists I’ve met are unusually nice, open-minded people. Generally I expect that labs that don’t tolerate jerks will produce more impressive results than the ones that do, and choosing not to employ jerks is a good idea—jerks usually reduce the net output of organizations.
What I meant is simply that we need, as a society, to tolerate controversial ideas. The biggest new scientific ideas, and the most important changes to society, both start as extremely unpopular ideas.
It was literally heretical, not so long ago, to say that it was ok to be gay—the Bible Continue reading "A Clarification"