Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Morning Rounds - Liberty Medical School

Hello MSSNY members,

This will be the first article of what will hopefully be a regular occurrence here. We're calling it "Morning Rounds" and its your chance to talk up about some of the more interesting events going on in the world of medicine. Feel free to comment below, strike up debate, and share your thoughts.

Liberty University is a private Evangelical Christian university located in Lynchberg, VA. Liberty's annual enrollment is around 72,000 students, 12,000 of whom are residential students and 60,000+ studying through Liberty University Online. It was founded as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971 by Jerry Falwell, a controversial preacher and conservative figure. Liberty University is probably best known for its publicly stated preference towards biology faculty who espouse the "young earth creationism" philosophy and its possession of an allegedly 6,000 year old dinosaur fossil which would place dinosaurs as contemporaries of modern humans and dispute much of evolutionary theory.

Liberty University undergoing work to have a medical school founded by 2013. When this was first announced there was a good deal of discontent within the scientific community for a school such as this opening a medical school. Recently the school has received a huge amount of funding from the Virginia Tobacco Commission, which has further incensed people over the school. Some source material below:

What are your thoughts on this school being green lighted?

1 comment:

  1. Also, so everyone understands. The Tobacco Commission is not actually "Big Tobacco" but is rather an organization that distributes a huge sum of money the tobacco industry was forced to give in their settlement. They are supposed to spend the money on anti-smoking campaigns, offsetting public health costs, and general education. The Virginia Commission, specifically, has been repeatedly accused of formal misappropriation, embezzled funds, cronyism, and general poor management of the settlement money. So while the school wont be funded by tobacco directly, the Virginia Tobacco Commission doesn't have the world's most pristine image despite its philanthropic original intent.

    Personally I am shocked that this school has reached this point of development already. It is totally fair to say that carrying the views the mother institution carries is too scandalous to justify a school. The area has multiple medical schools as it is, Liberty U has a relatively weak name nationally, and there could be concerns about their dedication to unbiased scientific endeavors. While a discounting of macroevolutionary theory likely has little impact on the education of physicians, it is the fervor with which the school attempts to actively disprove macroevolution that may taint their ability to obtain/retain scientific credibility.