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Cooper: Support for MIT's Sherley

Commenting in a letter to The Washington Times from the leadership of Project 21, Visiting Assistant Professor Horace Cooper voiced his support of MIT Associate Professor James Sherley, who is currently engaged in a hunger strike in protest of what he terms racial and professional discrimination in MIT's refusal to grant him tenure.

"A university should be a place where debate and scientific inquiry are encouraged not stifled. Furthermore, people should not be denied tenure because of their religious beliefs," Professor Cooper is quoted as saying. "The scientific community sorely needs to hear from outstanding academics like Professor Sherley," he said.

Professor Sherley, whose MIT appointment expired at the end of January, was the first and only black faculty member of MIT's Division of Biological Engineering. He is an expert in stem cell research who believes embryonic stem cell research destroys human life, a view that differs from the beliefs of many of his counterparts.

Project 21 is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that acts as a voice for the African-American community. It is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Racial bias at MIT?, The Washington Times, February 11, 2007. By David Almasi.