Date: Sun, 6 Nov 2005 10:18:21 -0800 (PST)

UCI at 40: A look back at activism and coporatization of academia today

Irvine --Last week, UCI celebrated its 40th anniversary with many laudatory remarks. On Subversity this week, we take a look back at the history of activism even as the university becomes increasingly corporatized.

Is work so alienating that it screens out anyone who wants to do meaningful work that improves society? And do professions and graduate training screen out certain doctors, journalists, academics etc. by maintaining "ideological discipline?"

That's the view of Jeffrey Schmidt, who got his doctorate in physics in 1980 from UCI. His 2000 book, "Disciplined Minds" (Rowman & Littlefield), now in paperback, critiques how graduate students (at UCI etc.) are trained and how the research of faculty in his field appear to be dictated by soft money demands and federal and corporate needs.

Schmidt devotes some pages to UCI's physics department and the notables there (including Frederick Reines, later to win a Nobel). He also mentions long-time critic of UC regental abuse, emeritus physics prof Charlie Schwartz (at UCB). Schmidt was active in Science for the People at UCI in the 1970s.

Schmidt was an editor at Physics Today magazine for 19 years until he was fired for writing this provocative book. He is still fighting his dismissal and has garnered a huge list of prominent supporters. He has taught in the United States, Central America and Africa. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he now lives in Washington, D.C. His Ph.D thesis at UCI was on a search for advanced fields in electromagnetic radiation (SRLF Storage Call Number: LD 791.9 .P6 1980 S36).

His website is:

Schmidt appears live on Subversity, a progressive KUCI public affairs program airing on 88.9 fm (Irvine), this Monday, November 7, 2005 from 9-10 a.m. He's interviewed by Dan Tsang, host of Subversity. During the show, callers can call 949 824 5824 to chat with Schmidt. The show is also webcast simultaneously via

His earlier interview on Subversity, back in 2001, with Tsang, UCI vistiing neurologist Stefano Sensi and then graduate student Mike Twardos, is posted here in RealAudio: