George Mason University

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George Mason himself.

George Mason University is a distinguished (and sometimes merely distinguishable) public university in Virginia known for its various public outreach and research programs. One of their most well-known programs is their Center for History and New Media, which provides resources for history teachers and hosts the History News Network, a forum for commentary by historians from a number of universities on historical scholarship and current events.

Unfortunately, it's also a hotbed of crankery and prime supplier of experts for hire. Most of its crank hires are employed in global warming denial, libertarian wingnuttery, and the occasional creationism. Some of its notable, questionable professors and programs include:

Contents

[edit] Global warming denial

  • Patrick Michaels, "distinguished senior fellow in public policy," also bankrolled by the Cato Institute.
  • S. Fred Singer, physicist, left GMU in 2000. Another occasional Cato hack.
  • Edward Wegman, statistician and author of the discredited and plagiarized Wegman Report, cleared after a foot-dragging "investigation" by GMU that violated the university's own policies on timeliness of such inquiries.

[edit] Intelligent design

  • Caroline Crocker, fired from GMU in 2005 for teaching intelligent design and featured in the film Expelled.
  • Sal Cordova, another IDiot. Holds the honor of being Entry #81 on the Encyclopedia of American Loons.

[edit] Libertarianism

Their public policy and economics departments employ a number of professors well-known for libertarian views, ranging from 'meh' to full-on crazy (again, with some climate denial mixed in for good measure). They're all part of the Mercatus Center.

  • James M. Buchanan, Nobel-winning economist known for developing public choice theory.
  • Wendy Gramm, chair of Mercatus, wife of former Senator Phil Gramm and best known for her role in the Enron scandal. Whoops.
  • Peter Boettke, prominent (in more ways than one) Austrian school economist.
  • Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, economists who run the Marginal Revolution blog. Actually a pretty moderate duo (well, compared to the others) who try to eschew denialism and anti-science crankery.
  • Arnold Kling and Bryan "Keynes = militant unions" Caplan, the proprietors of EconLog along with David Henderson (a notable climate denier, though not employed by GMU).
  • Walter E. Williams, economist infamously known for filling in for El Rushbo on his radio show.

[edit] Funding

Why so many hacks and quacks? GMU gets boatloads of funding from ultra-rich libertarian and conservative donors, including the Koch brothers, Richard Mellon Scaife, and ExxonMobil. Charles Koch also sits on the boards of the Mercatus Center and the "Institute for Humane Studies."[1][2][3] We need to stress the comedy one more time — this is from a campus that is also desperately trying to increase its taxpayer-funded endowment.[4]

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

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