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Statement from the NECSS

After my last post went live, the NECSS executive committee posted the following statement to their web site:

We wish to apologize to Professor Dawkins for our handling of his disinvitation to NECSS 2016. Our actions were not professional, and we should have contacted him directly to express our concerns before acting unilaterally. We have sent Professor Dawkins a private communication expressing this as well. This apology also extends to all NECSS speakers, our attendees, and to the broader skeptical movement. We wish to use this incident as an opportunity to have a frank and open discussion of the deeper issues implicated here, which are causing conflict both within the skeptical community and within society as a whole. NECSS 2016 will therefore feature a panel discussion addressing these topics. There is room for a range of reasonable opinions on these issues and our conversation will reflect that diversity. We have asked Professor Dawkins to participate in this discussion at NECSS 2016 in addition to his prior scheduled talk, and we hope he will accept our invitation. This statement and our discussions with Professor Dawkins were initiated prior to learning of his recent illness. All of NECSS wishes Professor Dawkins a speedy and full recovery. 

So yes, Dawkins was re-invited.  It’s not clear why, except that the NECSS organizers apparently felt that they didn’t un-invite him properly?  Huh.

Note: When they announced that Dawkins was un-invited, participants were offered a refund on their tickets if they wanted to cancel registration in light of the announcement. No such refund is mentioned here for those who bought tickets because they’d heard that Dawkins was un-invited.

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