Jonny Gould’s Jewish State

44: Lecture cancelled, Stephen Lamonby: James Marlow interviews

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Episode notes

A university lecturer at Southampton Solent was sacked for telling his course leader, “I believe that Jewish people are among the cleverest in the world. They are much maligned because of it.” Stephen Lamonby remarked to Dr. Janet Bonar that people from different countries had become good at certain things owing to “high exposure”. He said that Germans are good at engineering because they are “exposed to a high level of industry from an early stage in their lives”. When Dr. Bonar, an engineering lecturer, mentioned her degree in physics, Mr Lamonby said that Jewish people had “a particular gift” for the subject. He used Albert Einstein as an example and asked Dr Bonar if she was Jewish. She took offence and called Mr. Lamonby a racist. Mr. Lamonby was sacked by the University and an employment tribunal dismissed his claim. Judge Colm H. O’Rourke said: “A Jew told they are good at physics — because they are a Jew — may well consider that as demeaning their personal intellectual ability/hard work.” Mr. Lamonby says, “at university, you can only think things, you can’t say them!” Is this verdict a complete miscarriage of justice? Is it even offensive to Jews to say they have a talent for physics? Although Jews account for less than 0.2% of the world’s population, at least 20% of all Nobel Prizes have been won by Jews, including 56 winners of the Physics Prize – nearly half of the total! When does philosemitism become antisemitism? And what’s happening to free thinking in our British universities? Jonny makes these podcasts for free and if you enjoy his shows, you can help support him at¤cy_code=GBP&source=url