Last modified on January 26, 2020, at 02:21

Michael Shermer and sexual harassment allegations

In 2018, Kimberly Winston wrote in the Washington Post, "Michael Shermer, who has denied allegations of sexual harassment and assault from several women, remains editor of Skeptic magazine and a top speaker at secularist events."[1]

Buzzfeed quotes atheist James Randi concerning Michael Shermer and the sexual harassment allegations against him:

“Shermer has been a bad boy on occasion — I do know that,” Randi told me. “I have told him that if I get many more complaints from people I have reason to believe, that I am going to have to limit his attendance at the conference.

“His reply,” Randi continued, “is he had a bit too much to drink and he doesn’t remember. I don’t know — I’ve never been drunk in my life. It’s an unfortunate thing … I haven’t seen him doing that. But I get the word from people in the organization that he has to be under better control. If he had gotten violent, I’d have him out of there immediately. I’ve just heard that he misbehaved himself with the women, which I guess is what men do when they are drunk.”[2]

Buzzfeed also indicated:

Several women told me that women new to the movement were often warned about the intentions of certain older men, especially Shermer. Two more women agreed to go on the record, by name, with their Shermer stories. (Neither accused him of rape, and neither was in a position to corroborate Smith’s story.) These stories help flesh out a man who, whatever his progressive views on science and reason, is decidedly less evolved when it comes to women.[3]

Illinois Wesleyan University cancels Michael Shermer visit due to sexual allegations against him

NPR from Illinois State University reported: "Illinois Wesleyan University has canceled author Michael Shermer’s visit for the President’s Convocation after the university discovered sexual assault allegations against him."[4]

The newspaper The Pantagraph reported:

Illinois Wesleyan University's interim President Georgia Nugent will replace author Michael Shermer as the keynote speaker at Wednesday's President's Convocation.

The university announced it made the decision after concerns were brought to its attention about multiple public allegations related to Shermer's conduct.

“These allegations in the aggregate represent a troubling pattern that challenges the mission of our institution,” Nugent said in the announcement.[5]

Santa Barbera City College controversy regarding Michael Shermer appearance

The Independent reported in 2018 article entitled Santa Barbara City College Has Its #MeToo Moment:

In the midst of the national #MeToo movement, Santa Barbara City College is grappling with its own crisis of conduct and disclosure after a tenured chemistry professor publicly aired sexual assault allegations against an acclaimed science writer ahead of his scheduled guest lecture on campus. The disclosure triggered legal threats against staff and students and prompted continuing debate around free-speech protections and the rights of the accused.

On the morning of March 19, Professor Raeanne Napoleon sent a campus-wide email that described the evening’s Faculty Colloquium speaker — Dr. Michael Shermer, a monthly columnist for Scientific American and adjunct professor at Chapman University — as “someone who has been accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault (rape) by multiple women.” She linked to a 2014 Buzzfeed article that names and quotes three women who claim to have been victimized by Shermer. “I think it’s important that we understand who tonight’s speaker is,” Napoleon wrote, “so that you can choose whether or not you will support this event.”[6]

See also