Ali Nesin has been teaching mathematical summer schools for years in different parts of Anatolia, mostly in university campuses. This year he decided to turn the land owned by Nesin foundation into a mathematical school.
For bureaucratic reasons, the local government decided to close the school. The government first tried to close it by saying that the buildings were built without a permit. Then, they said that electricity permit was for agricultural use only.
Neither of these had legality to close the school since the government cannot just invade someone’s property. The government then decided to close the not yet established school for failure to obtain proper permits to build a classroom as part of a school.
Alexandre Borovik’s post with the sensationalist title Blackboard Under Arrest drew the attention of the blogosphere to the Mathematical Village. But no one is arrested here and the government is not saying to Prof. Ali Nesin that he cannot teach. In fact the Ministry of Education months ago advised the local government to cooperate because the school was found to be a positive initiative.
The local government, on the other hand, wanted the Mathematical Village to satisfy local bureaucratic requirements.
I support any effort to reopen the school. The petition has been good publicity and the school will eventually open. The Prime Minister already instructed the local government to resolve the issue by legal means and the local officials promised to lift the ban as soon as the Mathematical Village files the required papers.
What is the importance of this event in terms of Freedom of Science movement?
This event teaches us the obvious lesson that the Internet is the right tool to bring people together. As of today, more than 200 people signed the petition.
I hope that the petitioners understand the importance of this event and become conscious that freedom of science, or lack of it, is not a local event. This is an issue facing humanity.
It is not the case that freedom of science has been violated in the Mathematical Village in Turkey but that freedom of science exists, say, in Britain. I have written about serious violations of freedom of science by the British government. Why is it that there is no petition against the British government by the same concerned petitioners?
One reason is that the British government is the most sophisticated marketing machine in existence today. They’ve been manipulating human behavior for centuries. For instance, British citizens are the most surveyed people in the world yet they never complain. This shows the mastery of the British government when it comes to marketing and PR.
The restriction of freedom of science is global problem, not a local one. I invite every petitioner to take a moment to reflect if, as academics, they are free to teach, free to publish and free to research what they want.
The answer to all these questions is No.
Most of the signatories are professors. Note that professors must obtain a license in order to practice their trade. When unhuman organisms require that humans need to be licensed by unhuman organisms to practice science you can be sure that there will be no freedom of science.
The organism issuing the license will order the licensee to do what the organism wants. Again, the British government’s behavior in the case of its manipulation of physicists proves this point.
Humans long ago sold their reproductive rights to the Org. When Canterbury Tales were written humans could still get married without obtaining a license issued by the Big Org. Today, no human can. Same with human science. Humans have lost their right to science when Newtonism took over in the 19th century and science became a profession needing a license. Where did this thing happen? Where else. In Britain!
I congratulate Prof. Ali Nesin for making a big contribution toward humanity’s fight toward freedom of science. Mathematical Village is the seed that generations later will lead to freedom of science. I strongly believe that the new rational science, as opposed to mythological religion called physics that goes as science today, will spring from the same geography where science was born.
- Gold Sand in a Stream
- Photos from Mathematical Village
- A Blackboard under Arrest
- A Blackboard under Arrest, II
- An article (in Turkish) in Radikal.
- Also, an article in Radikal about this petition.
- One more article in Radikal.
- An article by L.Doğan Tılıç in Birgün.
- Save math camp!
- Free the blackboards
- Blackboard under arrest – for “education without permission”
- Education without Permission
- Save Mathematical Summer School
- Şirince – An amazing math summer camp in Turkey
- Politics and absences
- Those of us involved in mathematics education often whinge about …
- TURKISH PRESS SCANNER – Turkish Daily News Aug 09, 2007
- Me Or My Maths
- Save Mathematical Summer School