Henry H. Bauer

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Henry Hermann Bauer (born November 16, 1931[1]) is an emeritus professor of chemistry and science studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).[2] He is the author of several books and articles on fringe science, arguing in favor of the existence of the Loch Ness Monster and against Immanuel Velikovsky, and is an AIDS denialist.[3] Following his retirement in 1999, he was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, a fringe science publication.[2] Bauer also served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Virginia Tech, generating controversy by criticising affirmative action.[3]

Life and work[edit]

Henry Bauer was born in Austria. As the Nazis came to power in German-speaking Europe, Bauer and his family emigrated to Australia.[1] He attended Sydney Boys High School from 1943-44.[4] Bauer received his Ph.D. from the University of Sydney in Australia in 1956.[1] He conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Michigan, then taught at Sydney and in Michigan. In 1966, he moved to a faculty position at the University of Kentucky. Bauer became dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in 1978, a position he held until 1986. Bauer was a professor of science studies and chemistry at Virginia Tech until his retirement in 1999. Bauer has had short-term teaching assignments at the University of Southampton and with a program of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science: at the University of Kyoto and in 1974 at Sophia University and Rikagaku Kenkyusho.

Although trained as a chemist, Bauer's interests shifted in the late 1960s from electrochemistry to science studies, an interdisciplinary mix of history, philosophy, and sociology of science. His special interest is in what he calls "scientific unorthodoxies", like the Loch Ness Monster, Immanuel Velikovsky, and other topics. After retiring from Virginia Tech, Bauer became the editor of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, a publication devoted to fringe and non-mainstream science. He also wrote several books and maintains a website claiming that HIV is not the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS (a position without scientific support that is known as AIDS denialism).[5]

From chemistry to science studies[edit]

Bauer was trained as an electrochemist and reported his research in numerous publications during the 1950s and 60s. From the 1970s, although he remained a professor of chemistry in title, Bauer researched fringe science and pseudoscience topics. At Virginia Tech, Bauer was a founding member of a program for science studies. Bauer's book on science studies, Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method, was reviewed in Science[6] and Nature.[7] In his review in Public Understanding of Science, John Ziman called Bauer "a stalwart veteran" of science studies.[8]

During his investigations of what constitutes pseudoscience, Bauer came to believe in the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, UFOs[9] and other "scientific unorthodoxies". He compares the lack of acceptance of pseudoscientific beliefs by the scientific community to the persecution his family suffered at the hands of the Nazis, stating, "I guess I am kind of naturally contrary....I think you can make a pretty good case that it's not worth just accepting whatever is the standard."[10]

Loch Ness Monster[edit]

Bauer developed an interest in the Loch Ness Monster and based his belief in the Monster's existence on a film made by prominent "Nessie" enthusiast Tim Dinsdale.[10] The film purportedly shows an object, commonly thought to be a boat, moving in the Scottish lake. In the 1980s, Bauer researched and wrote a book on the Loch Ness Monster and the popular fascination with it. "The Enigma of Loch Ness" was reviewed favorably in Isis.[11] Bauer maintains a website arguing that there is strong evidence for the existence of the monster, which he says the media have conspired to trivialize and sensationalize.[12][13] During his tenure as professor at Virginia Tech, Bauer took over twenty trips to Loch Ness, searching for the monster.[10]

In a news interview, Bauer commented on his belief in the Loch Ness Monster and how it has influenced his career: "I've been quite open about it....if I had been a biologist instead of a chemist, I couldn't have gotten away with it. People could smile and say, 'Well, he's got his hobbyhorse.'"[10]

Immanuel Velikovsky[edit]

In his book, Beyond Velikovsky: The History of a Public Controversy, Henry Bauer criticizes the research of Immanuel Velikovsky, author of the pseudoscientific and pseudohistoric New York Times bestseller Worlds in Collision (1950). Time magazine refers to Bauer's book as "the definitive treatise debunking Immanuel Velikovsky."[13] Bauer's book on Velikovsky was reviewed in Science,[14] Nature,[15] ISIS,[16] and Journal for the History of Astronomy.[17]


Affirmative action and diversity programs[edit]

Bauer says he left the Dean’s office at Virginia Tech "when political correctness arrived" in the 1980s.[2] Bauer joined the National Association of Scholars, a politically conservative advocacy group opposing affirmative action, and started a newsletter for the group's Virginia branch.[18][19] In "The Virginia Scholar," Bauer argues that the implementation of diversity programs led to a decline in academic standards. He characterizes such programs as promoting "feminoid sexists calling men sexist" and "racist black fanatics calling others racist."[18]

Bauer opposed the formation of a police "Sensitive Crime Unit" meant to deal with sexual assault and hate crimes at Virginia Tech, suggesting that these issues were not a serious problem on campus and did not merit special attention. Bauer called the police unit a threat to free speech.[18][20] He criticized Virginia Tech’s creation of a new administrative position for multicultural affairs in response to racial incidents at the university in the mid-1990s as a wasteful allocation of resources. Bauer found fault with Virginia Tech’s policy of excusing student absences for attending religious or ethnic observances. As black enrollment at Virginia Tech declined during the 1990s, Bauer stated that the University was already doing too much ("pulling out all the stops") to attract minority students,[21] and should instead concentrate on raising academic standards.


Bauer also drew criticism for his comments on homosexuality.[22] In his pseudonymously-written memoir To Rise Above Principle: The Memoirs of an Unreconstructed Dean, Bauer writes, "I regard homosexuality as an aberration or illness, not as an ‘equally valid life-style’ or whatever the current euphemism is." In his book, Bauer attributes the perceived problem of homosexuality to genetic, hereditary, and environmental factors, and suggests that the free speech and other civil rights of homosexuals should be withdrawn to prevent what Bauer views as the negative effects of homosexuality from spreading.[23] Bauer has since stated he no longer holds this view, saying he had been "wrong" about the issue and had, in particular, mistakenly relied on the "naturalistic" fallacy that reduced culture and ethics to biology.[24] AIDSTruth.org, an AIDS information resource, notes Bauer posted the statement one day after an account of his views appeared on their website.[22]


Several years after retiring from Virginia Tech, Bauer began to assert that there are "substantive grounds for doubting that HIV is the necessary and sufficient cause of AIDS and that antiretroviral treatment is unambiguously beneficial."[25] In his 2007 book, The Origins, Persistence, and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory,[26] Bauer questions whether HIV exists, claiming that HIV tests are not accurate and that AIDS death statistics are exaggerated by mainstream media, scientists and pharmaceutical companies.

Bauer’s beliefs on HIV/AIDS are rejected by the mainstream scientific community, based upon the substantial body of research confirming that HIV exists, is infectious, causes AIDS, and that HIV tests are accurate.[27][28]



  • (2017). Science Is Not What You Think: How It Has Changed, Why We Can't Trust It, How It Can Be Fixed. McFarland ISBN 9781476669106
  • (2012). Dogmatism in Science and Medicine: How Dominant Theories Monopolize Research and Stifle the Search for Truth. McFarland ISBN 9780786463015
  • (2007). The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory. McFarland ISBN 0-7864-3048-6
  • (2001). Science or Pseudoscience: Magnetic Healing, Psychic Phenomena, and Other Heterodoxies. University of Illinois Press ISBN 0-252-02601-2
  • (2001). Fatal Attractions: The Troubles with Science. Paraview Press ISBN 1-931044-28-7
  • (1992). Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method. University of Illinois Press ISBN 0-252-06436-4
  • (1988). To Rise Above Principle: The Memoirs of an Unreconstructed Dean. University of Illinois Press (under nom-de-plume ‘Josef Martin’) ISBN 0-252-01507-X [29]
  • (1986). Enigma of Loch Ness: Making Sense of a Mystery. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-01284-4
  • (1984). Beyond Velikovsky: The History of a Public Controversy, Univ. of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-01104-X



  1. ^ a b c "henryhbauer". henryhbauer.homestead.com. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  2. ^ a b c "Biomedical Seminars: "Truth Stranger Than Fiction: HIV is Not The Cause of AIDS"". Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. 2007-09-12. Archived from the original on December 13, 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
  3. ^ a b Kalichman, Seth C. (2009). Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy. Berlin: Springer. pp. 22, 59, 64–66, 70–75, 103, 141–143, 182–183, 200. ISBN 978-0-387-79475-4.
  4. ^ "PROFESSORS" (PDF). www.shsobu.org.au. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  5. ^ Goldman, Bonnie (June 2009). "This Month in HIV: The Truth About HIV/AIDS Denialism" (PDF). Thebody.com. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  6. ^ Goodstein, David L. 1992. Rangings of the Mind, Science May 15, 256, p. 1034.
  7. ^ Galloway, John W. 1992. Madness to the method, Nature 6 August, 358, p. 464.
  8. ^ Ziman, John. 1993. Public Understand. Sci. 2, pp. 179-180.
  9. ^ The Roanoke Times (report that Bauer addressed a Virginia conference of the Mutual UFO Network): "UFO buffs sighted at lake awhile, then vanish: One in seven people claims to have seen one, but the meeting didn't draw much interest", Jay Conley, Roanoke Times, 28 September 2008. Accessed 28 September 2008.
  10. ^ a b c d Angleberger, Tom (30 October 2000). "Days spent on banks of Loch Ness not a waste; Keeping watch for Nessie who ain't necessarily so". The Roanoke Times.
  11. ^ Ron Westrum (March 1988). "Reviewed work(s): The Enigma of Loch Ness: Making Sense of a Mystery by Henry H. Bauer". Isis. The University of Chicago Press on behalf of The History of Science Society. 79 (1): 145–146. doi:10.1086/354664. JSTOR 234471.
  12. ^ "Genuine facts about "Nessie", the Loch Ness "monster"". 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
  13. ^ a b Michael D. Lemonick/Gainesville (2005-05-24). "Science on the Fringe". Time magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
  14. ^ John W. Patterson (1985-06-14). "Lessons of a Controversy: Beyond Velikovsky". Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). 228 (4705): 1304–1305. doi:10.1126/science.228.4705.1304-a. PMID 17799114. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
  15. ^ Gingerich, Owen (1985). On trans-scientific turf. Nature 25 April; 314:692-3
  16. ^ Smith, Robert W. 1985. ISIS 76 (3), pp. 428-429.
  17. ^ Goldsmith, Donald W. 1987. Velikovsky and After. Journal for the History of Astronomy 18, pp. 72-74.
  18. ^ a b c Zack, Ian (16 August 1998). "Rush Limbaugh has nothing on him: Professor's opinions - and he has many - have put him at odds with his bosses at Tech". The Roanoke Times. Associated Press.
  19. ^ "Back copies of the Virginia Scholar". American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Retrieved 2008-06-05.
  20. ^ Zack, Ian (1995-09-08). "Virginia Tech police start unit for 'sensitive' crimes". Washington Times. Associated Press.
  21. ^ Zack, Ian (1999-04-08). "Study shows Va. Tech as ivory tower more than ever: Despite recruiting, fewer blacks enroll". The Roanoke Times. Associated Press.
  22. ^ a b "AIDSTruth member criticizes AIDS denialists" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 June 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
  23. ^ (Pseudonym) Martin, Josef (1988). To Rise Above Principle: The Memoirs of an Unreconstructed Dean. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 9780252015076.
  24. ^ "I 've been wrong". henryhbauer.homestead.com. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  25. ^ See "Questioning HIV/AIDS: Morally Reprehensible or Scientifically Warranted?" on the list of papers
  26. ^ Bauer, HH (2007). The Origin, Persistence and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3048-2.
  27. ^ "The evidence that HIV causes AIDS." National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 2003.
  28. ^ "The HIV-AIDS Connection", National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 2003. "Why is there overwhelming scientific consensus that HIV causes AIDS?"
  29. ^ "ED295548 - To Rise above Principle: The Memoirs of an Unreconstructed Dean". Education Resources Information Center ERIC. Retrieved 2008-06-03.

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