Talk:Pioneer Fund

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Murray and the Ford analogy[edit]

How legitimate is Murray's analogy that "the relationship between the founder of the Pioneer Fund and today's Pioneer Fund is roughly analogous to the relationship between Henry Ford's antisemitism and today's Ford Foundation"? At first glance, the PF relationship to its founder's ideology is much closer as (i) it was created specifically to advance ideas relevant to that ideology (whereas the Ford Foundation makes grants "for projects that focused on strengthening democratic values, community and economic development, education, media, arts and culture, and human rights" -- which seems largely unrelated to antisemitism), (ii) the main driving force behind the FF appears to have been Henry Ford's son Edsel, rather than Henry Ford himself & (iii) as far as I know, unlike the PF, there was no particular ideological commonality between Henry Ford's antisemitism and the ideological views of the management of the FF. As such the analogy would appear to be "unduly self-serving" and I would question its appropriateness for inclusion, lacking an independent WP:SECONDARY source discussing it. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 06:45, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

You could find a reliable source that makes that argument, and add it to the article to counterbalance Murray's view. BTW, it's not true that today's Ford Foundation does not fund anti-Semites:

In 2003, The Ford Foundation was critiqued by U.S. news service Jewish Telegraphic Agency, among others, for supporting Palestinian NGOs that that were accused of promoting antisemitism at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism. Under considerable duress by several members of Congress, chief among them Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the Foundation apologized and then prohibited the promotion of "violence, terrorism, bigotry or the destruction of any state" among its grantees, itself sparking protest among university provosts and various non-profit groups on free speech issues.

--Victor Chmara (talk) 07:58, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
(i) Your quote in no way contradicts my point that the purpose for which the FF was created "seems largely unrelated to antisemitism". If you give out sufficiently much money for sufficiently long, sooner or later somebody is going to make an accusation of (in this case rather indirect) misuse. (ii) An unduly self-serving comment from a partisan should be removed, not simply left in place in the hope that some balancing comment might arise. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:19, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
Would you suggest removing the quotes from the Southern Poverty Law Center, too? Their comments are outrageous and biased, and directly related to their main mission, the filling of the organization's (already very full) coffers with even more money by exaggerating the prevalence and importance of racism in America.
My point is that everybody's comments can be interpreted as self-serving and biased in a controversial topic like this. Wikipedia articles should report all significant views, and Murray is certainly a notable player here. Whether his analogy is appropriate or not is not for us to decide. Wikipedia is about verifiability, not truth.--Victor Chmara (talk) 09:18, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
If the SPLC started to make tortured analogies in order to cover their own arses -- then yes I would. But they aren't, they're simply making an assessment on a topic in which they are widely accepted as having expertise. Attempting to claim an equivalence between SPLC's evaluation and Murray's analogy is about as tortured as that analogy was. Given the (controversial) author & (partisan) publication, the source in question could easily be considered a WP:QS, and the claim fail WP:ABOUTSELF as both "unduly self-serving" and making claims about third parties -- which is explicitly part of Wikipedia's verifiability criteria. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 11:11, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
The SPLC is all about tortured analogies. Commentary is not a reliable source???? That's absolutely ridiculous.--Victor Chmara (talk) 14:54, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
A completely vague and non-specific tu quoque defence -- about as compelling an argument as "the dog ate my homework". My experience with Commentary is that it checks for ideological purity, not factual accuracy. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:23, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

This is apples and oranges. If you can find multiple sources which refer to the FF as antisemitic today then maybe there'd be something to it. Also, AFAIK the FF does not currently support racist research. PF does. Murray, is not a particularly unbiased source here either. The quote is a lot more informative about Charles Murray and is views, than it is about the Pioneer Fund.Volunteer Marek (talk) 09:24, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Incidentally, Murray's analogy appears to be discussed (or at least mentioned) in Spring, Joel (1997). Political Agendas for Education. Hillsdale: L. Erlbaum Associates. p. 41. ISBN 0805827668.  -- but I don't have access to this book to see what it has to say. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 11:58, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
The relevant passage from Spring's book can be viewed in Google Books. He just quotes Murray, saying that this is how he defended himself. I will restore the Murray bit citing Spring's book.--Victor Chmara (talk) 14:54, 16 June 2011 (UTC)
The rule against "unduly self-serving" sources is for selfpublished sources. The Murray quote was cited to a secondary source (Spring's book) so it's unreasonable to say it can't be included because it's self-serving. I see that none of the people removing this from the article have responded to Victor Chmara's point about that, and the last person who removed it (Nomoskedasticity) didn't respond to Victor's point about this here or when Victor challenged them in their user talk. What kind of content discussion is this? Article content should be determined by policy-based reasoning, not by sheer force of numbers in which policy-based arguments are ignored.Boothello (talk) 23:29, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
No. "The rule against "unduly self-serving" sources is for" "self-published and questionable sources". The issue is not whether Murray actually made the comment, but whether it is an "unduly self-serving" claim made by a partisan. For that we really need a WP:SECONDARY source that evaluates the claim. If Spring only quotes it without evaluating it, then he does not add anything much to the issue. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:23, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that the quote is presented without context. While it is attributed to Murray, this does try to make it seem like this is a factual statement. But of course any one even vaguely familiar with the situation knows that this is a completely flawed analogy - FF does not fund racist research, PF still does. Honestly, we really shouldn't be using Murray as a reliable source, and if we do attribute something to him, it should be made clear that he is not reliable.Volunteer Marek (talk) 23:52, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I see Boothello was serious about policy-based arguments here being ignored. Allow me to quote what Victor Chmara said earlier: "Whether his analogy is appropriate or not is not for us to decide. Wikipedia is about verifiability, not truth." Your response to that was to say that Murray is not unbiased. This is irrelevant when his viewpoint is being described in a secondary source. We must report what secondary sources say, not selectively exclude information from secondary sources when this is based on our own opinions about who is reliable or what is a good analogy.
If you cannot address policy-based reasoning about this paragraph, I understand that you may just continue reverting it until you hit 3RR. However, the more this happens, the more it will attract the attention of people like myself, who are watching these articles but only get involved when someone's behavior is becoming disruptive. --TrevelyanL85A2 (talk) 02:17, 19 June 2011 (UTC)
What policy-based reasoning are you referring to? And what "disruption"? As far as I can see no one's come even close to approaching 3RR here so I'm not clear on why you're invoking it. Anyway - I see Hrafn above making relevant and cogent policy based reasoning. Personally, I'd be ok with inclusion of Murray's claim, as long as the proper context - the fact that PF still DOES in fact fund racist research - is included as well. Sources for that are easy to find.Volunteer Marek (talk) 05:45, 19 June 2011 (UTC)

The Pioneer Fund white supremacist?[edit]

I'm quite hesitant to step into this hornet's nest, but who is calling the PF "White supremacist" in the beginning of the article? I took a quick glance at the three notes in support of that, and I don't seem to be able to find anything about it there. Plenty of accusations about racism, so that's correct, but what about white supremacism? Is there perhaps a better source? Långfredag (talk) 19:25, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Sigh. [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], and that's just for starters.Volunteer Marek (talk) 20:56, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! But 21 talks about Mankind Quarterly, not PF. I can't see what it says about the PF specifically in 22. 23 doesn't say that about the PF (it refers, if I'm not mistaken, to some of the professors who recieved grants). 20 and 24 are not online, so I'll have to take your word för those. 19 and 25 seem to say so, though. Good job! Långfredag (talk) 21:13, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

I am doing a partial revert of the changes that Volunteer Marek just made to this article. Some of the changes, like removing unsourced information from the "responses to criticism" section, are reasonable so I'll leave them. However, he also removed some information that is sourced and relevant, such as this edit. It is false to say this information is irrelevant - Lykken is saying that if the Pioneer Fund is a racist organization, he is doing a service by using their money for legitimate research, for the same reason that he would be happy to use organized criminals' money for legitimate research.

Marek also removed the quote from Robert A. Gordon under the assumption that it was selfpublished. I see that the manner in which this was cited makes it appear as though it was selfpublished by the Pioneer Fund, but it's actually published by Johns Hopkins University, and the link to the Pioneer Fund website is just a convenience link because the letter is hosted there online. This is no different from citing a peer-reviewed paper hosted at the author's personal website. Just because a source is hosted somewhere does not mean this is its original publisher.

This information used to be in the lead until Miradre moved it into the article body without any discussion. I will put it back in the lead, and also reorganize the lead slightly.  I won't remove anything from the lead, just move things around. I think it's better-organized for all of the criticism of the Pioneer Fund to be in the same paragraph. The lead is supposed to be a concise summary of the rest of the article. Since the rest of the article includes how some people have responded to criticism of the PF, it's appropriate for the lead section to also contain one example of that.

One other change I'm making is to fix a problem that's been there for a while: the first paragraph of the "criticism" section is not supported by either of its two sources (and it was already tagged as synth). Neither of these sources say that Verschuer was a board member of the Pioneer Fund. The Bethune Institute article says that he was a board member of Mankind Quarterly, but does not say he was a board member of the Pioneer Fund, and the Crime Library article does not mention Mankind Quarterly or the Pioneer Fund at all. Since this information is not supported by the sources, I am removing it. I'm also removing the photograph of Verschuer, because without a reliable source that says he was a board member of the Pioneer Fund he's not relevant to the subject of this article.Boothello (talk) 01:28, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

The Lykken quote, which does appear to be completely irrelevant - at least just looking at the text - is sourced to a citation which just links to the Wikipedia article on the Minneapolis alternative newspaper City Pages. Now, even if there is some City Pages article out there, I don't think it's enough to include it here.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:13, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
The criticisms of the organization are key and the most notable aspect about it. They should be in the first paragraph. You can move the SPLC criticisms up if you really think it's important for all the criticisms to be together.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:14, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
The article text did not claim that Verschuer was a board member of the Pioneer Fund. Rather that he was a board member of Mankind Quarterly, which he was, a journal funded by Pioneer Fund. The text could perhaps be clarified but it's worth mentioning. The photograph probably belongs in the Mankind Quarterly article.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:22, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
And no, this isn't SYNTHESIS> There are numerous sources which discuss Pioneer Fund and Mankind Quarterly together, so it's not WP:SYNTH violation to mention both. There are also sources which discuss PF, MQ and Verschuer together - for example here "Verschuer would later join a new postwar generation of eugenics enthusiasts associated with the Mankind Quarterly and the Pioneer Fund.". At the very least we could mention that Vershuer was "associated" with MQ and PF. Per source.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:24, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
The article currently cites several newspaper and magazine articles for anti-PF as well as pro-PF information. Some of the information which reflects negatively on the PF is cited to the Winston-Salem Journal, the Orange County Register, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Deseret News and  The Christian Century. If you think that City Pages is not an important enough source to include, then the same should also apply to some of the newspaper and magazine articles that are cited for anti-PF information. It would be a double standard to remove one but not the other.
The source that you linked to in your last paragraph is over 700 pages long, yet only mentions the Pioneer Fund in a single sentence. It also only mentions Verschuer in a single sentence. For Verschuer to be worth mentioning here it would have to be demonstrated that his association with the Pioneer Fund via Mankind Quarterly really is a notable criticism of the Fund. It isn't enough for the same source to criticize both Verschuer and the Fund, it has to be criticizing the fund because of Verschuer. If you can find a source that does that, by all means provide it, but I already looked briefly and couldn't find one.Boothello (talk) 02:51, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, first, there's a difference between established newspapers and "alternative newspapers" (though it depends on the topic). I'd have to look more carefully through the claims cited to newspapers in general to see if there's any problems there.
Second - so what if if the source I gave only mentions it once? Not sure what your point is. The connection is obvious. Also - it has to be criticizing the fund because of Verschuer. - I'm not sure where you get that. Both Verschuer and the Pioneer Fund are despicable enough independently of each other, hence, the fact that sources just note their association is perfectly understandable.Volunteer Marek (talk) 06:28, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
The point is that just because a source criticizes Verschuer as well as the Pioneer Fund (in a different context) does not mean that it is using Verschuer as a criticism of the PF. An analogy might help: a source you've used discusses criticism of the PF and also criticism of George Bush. But of course articles shouldn't discuss the PF as a criticism of Bush. We can only do that if the source is criticizing Bush because of the PF. Just being criticized in the same source is not enough. For the same reason we can only use Verschuer as a criticism of the Pioneer Fund if a source is criticizing the PF because of Verschuer.
Even if the connection between the PF and Verschuer via Mankind Quarterly is obvious to you, this has no bearing on what goes in the articles: what matters is what the sources say. There are several authors and organizations that provide in-depth criticism of the PF, such as William Tucker, ISAR, and the SPLC. The article can't include every criticism of the PF that exists anywhere, so we have to decide which criticisms are most important - and importance is based on the amount of attention they've received from the PF's critics. Do Tucker, ISAR or the SPLC think that the PF's "association" with Verschuer is important enough to be worth mentioning as a criticism of the PF? Verschuer does not receive a single mention in The Funding of Scientific Racism and from what I can see ISAR and the SPLC also do not criticize the PF because of him. None of these sources think that Verschuer is an important enough criticism of the PF to discuss (not even in an entire book devoted to criticism of the PF). If the only reference you can find to his "association" with the PF is in one sentence of a 700-page book that barely mentions the PF, then the criticism is unlikely to be important enough for Wikipedia.Boothello (talk) 22:21, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


BulbBAn RfC: Which descriptor, if any, can be added in front of Southern Poverty Law Center when referenced in other articles? has been posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center talk page. Your participation is welcomed. – MrX 17:11, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Pioneer Fund website no longer working?[edit]

I get an advertisement page when I go to the Pioneer Fund site now. I can't find any news on the website ending. Anyone hear any news? I've often put a lot of heart and soul into the need for mankind to be more aware of nature in nature & nurture. It will be a shame if the site has gone down for good. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Quisp65 (talkcontribs) 12:53, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

It works today. -- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk, how I edit) 23:50, 25 October 2013 (UTC)