Statement from the Department of Biological Sciences at NJIT

Regarding the Case of Dr. Jorjani

October 4th, 2017

The Department of Biological Sciences at NJIT advances the understanding of living systems, from neurons to ecosystems, through research and education. We encourage academic excellence, rigorous conduct of research based on the scientific method, original thinking, and clear communication. We support the open discussion of ideas, and aim to nurture department members and students in the pursuit of science. We are proud of our outstanding students and staff, who make this possible, and of the diversity of people that engage with us in this endeavor. As part of a broader community we adhere to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which establishes that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

On current events, we strongly object to the use of pseudoscience to support racist ideology. In particular, we object to attempts to use details related to human evolution to support eugenics and white supremacy. Such opinions have been expressed by Jason Reza Jorjani, who until recently taught some of our students in courses on science, technology and society. What we have learned in the last decade and a half of human genomics, and more than a century of human paleontology, is that humans share much more than they differ; and that epigenetics, development and environmental factors can have as much effect as the slight genetic difference among individuals. We believe that Dr. Jorjani’s beliefs, as revealed by his remarks, cannot help but produce a discriminatory and intimidating educational environment for our diverse student body. This makes him unfit to teach at NJIT, or indeed at any academic institution that considers its students to have equal value and potential. 

 

Philip M. Barden

Dirk M. Bucher

M. Sherri Brown

Shamay A. Carty

Daniel E. Bunker

Caroline M. DeVan

Brooke Flammang

Eric S. Fortune

Simon J. Garnier

Jorge P. Golowasch

Gal Haspel

Mary Konsolaki

Farzan Nadim

Karen Roach

Horacio G. Rotstein

Gareth J. Russell

Daphne F. Soares

Maria L. Stanko

John J. Yarotsky

 

 

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