Amy Bishop, a professor of neurobiology at the University of Alabama in Huntsville was denied tenure. So she came armed with a handgun to a faculty meeting and shot at her colleagues, killing three of them and wounding others.
She got her degree from Harvard, was well-known in the academic community, had patented inventions. The university of Alabama milked her intellectually and professionally for years and then decided to throw her out. Just like that. There are hundreds of such indignities taking place in the academic world every day.
Don't get me wrong, I think what Amy Bishop did is horrible. But when you think of what it means to be a female academic in the sciences (and in Alabama, of all places), you realize that being denied tenure after decades of struggling, humiliations, abuses, and sacrifices is a veritable tragedy. If you are denied tenure by such a backwoods school at the age of 42, your career is over. It was all for nothing.
There is something really wrong with the academic system that takes bright young academics, chews them down, and spits them out as mental wrecks ready to go on shooting rampages.
This is so horrible. I just can't get over this story.
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