I’m writing this Thursday morning, so things may have changed by the time you read this – but something very weird is happening at Dartmouth, where three tenured professors in the psychology department who do brain research have been put on paid leave and had their access to campus restricted, as the Valley News reports. No details are available, but the strange thing is that the official statement sites concern about “campus safety.”
I could see concerns about campus safety if they did research into chemistry or nuclear physics or something like that – but brain research? The senior researcher focuses on the region of the brain called the amygdala and its influence over fear, according to Dartmouth’s website. Maybe they violated research guidelines in experiments involving fear, using students as guinea pigs – but this very public action by Dartmouth doesn’t seem like the usual response to such concerns.