“Trouble Brewing [at Yale] After ‘Dehumanizing’ Artisanal Coffee Remark”
[A]a new case involving Dr. Sally Satel, a lecturer at the Yale School of Medicine, invites the opportunity to review [Yale’s] consistent retreat, since 2015, from its advertised promises of free expression. In Quillette, Satel wrote about an online lecture she gave early this year, and the pushback that ensued, including the accusation that she “dehumanized” rural Ohioans by being surprised by their enthusiasm for artisanal coffee.
Like the “trap house” case, Satel’s experience alone is not the gravest violation of intellectual freedom we see in a given week; and yet, both are symptoms of a worsening disease. Through its graduates, Yale exerts an outsized influence on the daily lives of most Americans — for example, Yale educated three of the last six U.S. presidents, and eight sitting Supreme Court Justices attended either Harvard or Yale at some point. If Yale has abandoned its commitment to free speech culture, we should either encourage it to reconsider or encourage our business and political leaders to reconsider their connection to Yale….
On Jan. 8, Satel gave a Grand Rounds lecture to the Yale Department of Psychiatry about the year she spent working in a clinic in Ironton, Ohio, treating people fighting drug addictions. In her lecture, she examined internal and external influences that can lead to substance abuse, addressed what she sees as misconceptions about the opioid crisis, and argued that misconceptions and mistakes by policymakers and medical providers may have exacerbated the crisis.
Satel frankly discussed the devastation wrought on the community by poverty, despair, and addiction, while also affectionately recalling her interactions with community members and the relationships formed in her work. (Satel also discussed her work in Ohio at length with Reason’s Nick Gillespie in an interview for the Apr
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