Magazine article University Business

Tangle over 9/11 and Academic Freedom

Magazine article University Business

Tangle over 9/11 and Academic Freedom

Article excerpt

GREAT NATIONAL TRAUMAS GIVE RISE TO CONSPIRACY theories, and 9/11 is no exception. Bloggers and authors of other internet postings have posited for some time that the collapse of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center may have been caused by more than just airplanes crashing into them.

Some members of the "9/11 truth movement," as it is called, claim that the U.S. government had a role in bringing down the towers, to further justify fighting terrorists and going to war.

One believer is Steven Jones, a physics professor at Brigham Young University (Utah), who was put on paid leave last month for writing that there were "pre-positioned explosives," in the buildings that collapsed on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Jones, a member of the Scholars for 9/11 Truth, has further called for an independent international investigation of the collapse of the Twin Towers. He conveyed his opinions in an article that was posted on a BYU-hosted faculty web page that has since been taken down.

Jones has admitted in published interviews that "junk science" has been used to explain the collapse of the Twin Towers, but he says his observations are part of a larger focus. …

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