The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article that casts a great deal of doubt on the DI’s persecution claim by examining Gonzalez’ publication record in detail. The DI makes a big deal out of the fact that Gonzalez has 68 published articles, but the Chronicle examined his publication record and found that virtually all of those papers were from research projects that he did prior to coming to ISU when he was a postdoc:
Under normal circumstances, Mr. Gonzalez’s publication record would be stellar and would warrant his earning tenure at most universities, according to Mr. Hirsch. But Mr. Gonzalez completed the best scholarship, as judged by his peers, while doing postdoctoral work at the University of Texas at Austin and at the University of Washington, where he received his Ph.D. His record has trailed off since then.
“It looks like it slowed down considerably,” said Mr. Hirsch, stressing that he has not studied Mr. Gonzalez’s work in detail and is not an expert on his tenure case. “It’s not clear that he started new things, or anything on his own, in the period he was an assistant professor at Iowa State.”
That pattern may have hurt his case. “Tenure review only deals with his work since he came to Iowa State,” said John McCarroll, a spokesman for the university.
If all of the quality research on his record was done as a postdoc and none of it while working at ISU, that would undoubtedly be a huge factor in his tenure decision. Postdocs are generally working on someone else’s research grant and following that person’s vision for the research (that is not to disparage the work of postdocs, who work very hard; it’s just a fact); no matter how good that kind of research may be, it is not an indication that he has the ability to devise his own research projects that will bring in research grants, especially if there has been no follow up on that promise after 7 years as an assistant professor:
David L. Lambert, director of the McDonald Observatory at Texas, supervised Mr. Gonzalez during his postdoctoral fellowship there in the early to mid-1990s. “He was quite productive, one of the better postdocs I’ve had, and I’ve had 20 or 30 over the years,” said Mr. Lambert.
But he is not aware of any important new work by Mr. Gonzalez since he arrived at Iowa State, such as branching off into different directions of research. “I don’t know what else he has done,” Mr. Lambert said, recalling that a few years ago, he reviewed a paper that Mr. Gonzalez had submitted to Reviews of Modern Physics, a leading journal in the field.
Mr. Lambert recommended that the journal not accept the paper. “I did not think it was up to the Reviews of Modern Physics,” he said.
Doing great postdoc work may well get you your first professorial position; keeping it requires that you build your own record as an independent researcher in your field. And as the Chronicle points out, Gonzalez has not brought in a single dollar in research grants at ISU:
Mr. Gonzalez said he does not have any grants through NASA or the National Science Foundation, the two agencies that would normally support his research, on planets beyond our solar system and their parent stars…
Mr. Gonzalez said that none of his scientific publications mention intelligent design, aside from The Privileged Planet. He co-wrote the book with a $58,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation, which paid 25 percent of his salary for three years. The Templeton Foundation, a philanthropy devoted to forging links between science and religion, is perhaps best known for an annual $1.5-million prize that is awarded “for progress toward research or discoveries about spiritual realities.”
“Iowa was, in a way, endorsing the project through administering the grant,” Mr. Gonzalez said.
The only grant he has garnered in 7 years at ISU was not for research but to publish a popular book with a popular press advocating an idea rejected by virtually everyone in his field, including everyone in his own department, and that contained no original research whatsoever. And then on top of that, he has the gall to publicly claim that ISU was endorsing a project that the entire astronomy faculty explicitly rejected. And that took up 3 of his 7 years at ISU. What else was he doing? Working with grad students, perhaps? Nope:
He arrived at Iowa State in 2001, but none of his graduate students there have thus far completed their doctoral work, although a student from the University of Washington, with whom he had previously worked, did finish.
Not a single grad student in his time there has completed his PhD? You better believe that will be a big factor in a tenure decision. The more one examines the record here, the more obvious it becomes that all of the hysterical bleating about conspiracies and persecution from the DI and their apologists is utter nonsense. If you spend your seven pre-tenure years at a university and bring in no research grants at all, don’t generate any original research projects of your own and don’t graduate a single PhD candidate, you aren’t gonna get tenure. Nor should you.
Update: And as if you needed another example of the rank dishonesty of DaveScot, take a look at his post about this same article at the Chronicle. The headline:
The Chronicle says of Gonzalez “a clear case of discrimination”
The article, as cited above, says exactly the opposite. Not only did the Chronicle not say that, a brief glimpse at the very first sentence tells you where the article is actually going:
At first glance, it seems like a clear-cut case of discrimination.
The article then goes on to give the many reasons why one’s suppositions “at first glance” are false. And DaveScot once again proves himself to be a baldfaced liar. And yes, I’ve archived the page because, knowing ol’ Dave, it will be edited or disappeared down the memory hole in no time.