Telling the Backstory: Jim Dyer, the San Jose Mercury News, and “Ethics and Orphans” Last November, I published an article in Lingua Franca about speech-language pathologists’ reactions to an investigation by Jim Dyer, a reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, into the aftermath of Wendell Johnson’s 1939 so-called “Monster Study.” To make the piece shorter, my editors cut some information about Dyer, ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2002
Telling the Backstory: Jim Dyer, the San Jose Mercury News, and “Ethics and Orphans”
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael Erard
    Austin, TX
    Writer
Article Information
Fluency Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2002
Telling the Backstory: Jim Dyer, the San Jose Mercury News, and “Ethics and Orphans”
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, April 2002, Vol. 12, 11-13. doi:10.1044/ffd12.1.11
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, April 2002, Vol. 12, 11-13. doi:10.1044/ffd12.1.11
Last November, I published an article in Lingua Franca about speech-language pathologists’ reactions to an investigation by Jim Dyer, a reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, into the aftermath of Wendell Johnson’s 1939 so-called “Monster Study.” To make the piece shorter, my editors cut some information about Dyer, which I include here to clarify for fluency specialists his role in the controversy. By responding to the scientific community, I hope to make the point that interdisciplinary contacts benefit when scientists take journalists as seriously as they want journalists to take them.
If I understand the values of journalists and academics, it’s because I’m a member of both groups. After receiving my PhD in English in 2000 from the University of Texas at Austin, I returned to writing. Since going freelance full time 6 months ago, I have written about diverse linguistic topics for The Atlantic Monthly, Lingua Franca, and the Texas Observer. It’s a beat that extends my academic training in linguistics and my dissertation topic, the rhetoric of American linguistics in the twentieth century.
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