15 February 2010

Alma maters

I’ve avoided writing anything about Friday’s shooting at University of Alabama Huntsville, because in such a terrible situation, it is so hard to write anything that doesn’t ring false. I only want to comment on this:

Every report that I have seen has stated that Amy Bishop was “Harvard trained” or “Harvard educated” or “had a degree from Harvard.” This is not a detail buried in the copy. It’s usually one of the first things mentioned, or is otherwise given fairly prominent mention.

I wonder why that particular detail is thought to be relevant, or why it matters to people.


Bjørn Østman said...

It is somehow easier to downplay the whole thing and label Bishop a loser+nutcase if she hadn't been dismissed from the most preeminent of all scientific institutions, I think. It somewhat affects her psychological profile.

Traveller said...

I think it is sad that neither Amy nor Harvard nor the topflight medical institutions that she worked or studied at realized that she had a problem and did something about it.

Despite her intelligence and education, Amy neither asked for help nor did the top-flight institutions that specialize in health understand that she was troubled.

If you Google her at some of the ratings sites for professors, you see that she had reasonably good ratings from her students. Not that students should diagnose professors!