In Response to: Conservative values

I was thankful to read Redmond Finney ’51’s letter in the Nov. 16 issue. However, I was confused by his comment about the “heavy liberal bias” of the University. The basic premise of science is that change is inevitable and in many ways, if understood, beneficial and revolutionary. We may consider “liberal bias” to be revolutionary in terms of the citizenship rights and alumni donations that allowed me to attend the University. We also may consider these values in terms of, for example, biology. It is a liberal idea that drives the belief that cancer has a cure and that we can find it. Once a person accepts that change happens and need not be catastrophe or chaos — as a rule, this is a liberal bias.

The liberal perspective toward change is intrinsic to higher education in the United States and for this, thank goodness. What are education, science, and governance if not the acceptance of the basic premise that change will happen and that we can have an impact on its direction? I rue the day when my alma mater or any other loses this bias. In its absence is the reproduction of the status quo, which while admirable as an ideal, requires us to ignore the watches on our wrists.

Anne El-Hinnawy ’05