ELife fires Mike Eisen for Tweets
Cancel culture? Is there a different standard for editors? Is it ironic when those who deny cancel culture get cancelled?
Mike Eisen, the Berkeley professor— whose views are typically far left— and Editor & Chief of ELife was fired this week from the journal for his social media use. Eisen has previously stated that he doesn’t think cancel culture is real (below).
Let’s examine why Eisen was fired, whether editors ought to be held to a different standard, and more. First, Eisen’s framing of the events:
Next, Elife’s framing:
Mike makes it seem like this is just one tweet, the board makes it seem as if it is a pattern, and he was warned previously. Regardless, there must be a straw that broke the camel’s back. What were those tweets? The Elife board did not specify, but here are some recent possibilities:
A broader survey of Mike Eisen’s views reveals, in all cases I can see, he falls in line with the most extreme left wing of the Democrat party on all issues. On abortion, middle east, lockdowns, and even masking toddlers, he is with the Dems. He does not appear to be a heterodox thinker.
Not surprisingly then, and rather ironically, Mike Eisen has denied cancel culture exists (a popular view on the far left)
And, he goes on.
This time he is taking about David Sabatini, an MIT researcher fired for a relationship with a post/doc/ junior faculty who worked in a different lab, and did not report to him. The case of David Sabattini is discussed here.
I would not call D.S.’s efforts to get reinstated: a grift. I think Sabatini has been punished enough. It is weird to me that liberals who believe in criminal justice reform and forgiveness, never want to forgive someone who was ‘cancelled.’
Additionally, Mike wanted Stanford to fire Ioannidis for his views on COVID policy. Ioannidis opposed lockdown and school closure, views now quite accepted.
Third, Mike Eisen is not a regular academic. He is the Editor in Chief of ELife, a journal that tries to solicit manuscripts from a broad and diverse group of scientists. Like Holden Thorpe from Science— both are extremely far left, and repeatedly broadcast that. Thorpe has even turned Science’s op-ed pages into direct criticism of specific political candidates running for office.
Eisen understood he could be fired from ELife for his views and positions.
After his posts last week, some under him did resign over his comments
Others argue why they support removal
Finally, some have resigned because he was fired
My take away points
Cancel culture is real, and Eisen, who previously denied it’s existence, is now experiencing it
I have never seen an academic cancelled for taking the far left position. Dorian Abbot was cancelled for being opposed to affirmative action, and only critics of masking toddlers and lockdowns have been punished. Holden enjoys his tenure at Science.
I am opposed to firing people for retweeting the Onion and am opposed to cancel culture generally.
PS: Readers should know Eisen and I disagreed on nearly all aspects of COVID policy and he was pro kid masking, which I opposed.