An astronomy professor is suing the University of Kentucky over allegations he was denied a job running an observatory because he is an evangelical Christian. C. Martin Gaskell alleges in papers filed in a Kentucky federal court, that he was asked about his religious beliefs by the selections committee. The lawsuit states that Michael Cavagnero, chair of the physics and astronomy department, said that he “had personally researched Gaskell’s religious beliefs,” and warned that “expression of them would be a matter of concern.” A departmental staffer who had discovered online lecture notes where Gaskell apparently drew links between creationism and recent astronomical research, wrote in a 2007 email to the chair, “If we hire him, we should expect similar content to be posted on or directly linked from the department Web site.” Another candidate was awarded the position, and Gaskell currently works at the University of Texas. A trial is scheduled for February.
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.