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    The Death Of An Accused Scientist - The Reporting on Bruce Ivins and It's Use of The Mad Scientist Stereotype
    By Hontas Farmer | August 2nd 2008 07:10 PM | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    Currently I am a adjunct professor in physical sciences at the City Colleges of Chicago with a MS from DePaul University. My research focuses on...

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    The mad scientist stereotype seems to be alive and well.  This time it is emerging in a disturbing way.  A US Army scientist, Bruce E. Ivins, committed suicide at the age of 62.  He has been implicated in the Anthrax case from 2001.  You remember those letters that started to show up after 9/11  "Death to America, Death to Israel, Praise be to Allah!"  (That is another set of stereotypes for another day.  Those letters fueled Anti Arab/"Arab looking person" hate crimes and islamophobia for months after 9/11.)  Well now that he is dead and cannot protect himself from allegations he has basically been tried and convicted by media for those terrorist attacks.  

     
    In court papers related to an order of protection against him that he "has a history dating to his graduate days of homicidal threats, actions, plans."  Furthermore that according to his psychologist he "was 'homicidal, sociopathic with clear intentions.'"  Keep in mind this is all being reported from the court papers of a person who is trying to get a restraining order against him.  This is a person who was never his wife yet Ivins psychologist told her all of this?  :-?  Why is this being reported as an Iron clad fact if that is all that the media has to go on?  

    The next thing I notice is how readily the general public accepts the narrative as told by the FBI as being the gospel truth.  If it is then this guy should have been the next Villain in the Dark Knight movies.  

    Allegedly, his motivation for releasing Anthrax was to test his experimental treatment for it on humans.  This was made necessary because he was having trouble getting permission to begin trials on animals.  Is this the simple logical solution?  :-?  This makes him sound like a cold calculating robot, with no empathy, no sympathy, a inhuman monster.  Plus they mention by way of a dubious source his mental health history.  What I notice about that alleged history is this.  It is said that he has acted since his graduate school days with "homicidal intent, plans and actions".  So what he's been going around attempting to kill people all this time?  That sounds like total B.S. to me. 


    This was a man who dedicated his life to finding treatments for anthrax.  This was a man who's work has saved countless people from a horrible disease.  As for making supposed homicidal plans... a person of great intelligence has the ability to quite quickly and without any forethought formulate strategies and plans.  For that reason a person like him could when speaking hypothetically or in anger voice a plan.  A plan that to a normal person would sound like a well formed strategy that took time to work on.  When in fact they were merely thinking out loud and off the cuff.  A person of great intelligence who as misunderstood by almost everyone, except other scientist.  This is the profile of a person who is either gifted, and aspie or both.  That these traits are used to villanize and criminalize a person, who will never have a chance to defend themselves because they are dead speaks volumes.  It speaks about how our society really feels about it's scientist.  


    So far almost no one has spoke up to defend this man?    It saddens me to no end to see the powers that be take such a cheap way out of the embarrassing fact that they have not been able to solve this crime.   In the referenced story only at the very end do we see any mention of the fact that his colleagues don't think he would do this.  The mad scientist story is just too good and easy of a write up.  It saddens me to no end to see the powers that be take such a cheap way out of the embarrassing fact that they have not been able to solve this crime. 

    I would be remiss if I did not mention that the FBI and justice department were at one time sure that a Dr. Steven Hatfill was the culprit and that he was also dragged over the coals in the media.  Don't believe everything you read.  Especially when it relies totally on stereotypes of scientist.

    (Update: To this day as far as I know the case is still considered open.  I guess the snow job the government tried to do on this guy didn't work.)