This morning, I send the following e-mail to Glenn Ruskin, director of the ACS Office of Public Affairs:
Dear Mr. Ruskin:
I saw your recent comments in The Chronicle of Higher Education. I am writing to express my disappointment with your statement about blogs and other forms of electronic communication. I have also written on it in my blog, Chemjobber.
I sincerely hope that you were somehow misquoted. If not, I hope that I can convince you that your generalizations about the incivility of blogs were incorrect.
P.S. I am an ACS member; if so desired, I can prove it.This afternoon, I received this reply:
Dear Chemjobber:I find this to be an interesting response (and assertion!), but there we have it.
Good afternoon, and thank you for reaching out to me on this matter.
It was not my intention, nor the intention of ACS, to denigrate blogs or users/contributors of blogs. My comment was directed toward the blog that was the subject of the Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE) story. Unfortunately, CHE did not use the totality of my comment as I think it would have been clear that I was speaking specifically to the blog that was the point of the story. Here is the totality of my statement (bolded section was omitted by CHE):
"We find little constructive dialogue can be had on blogs and other listservs where logic, balance and common courtesy are not practiced and observed. As a matter of practice, ACS finds that direct engagement via telephone or face-to-face with individuals expressing concern over pricing or other related matters is the most productive means to finding common ground and resolution. Therefore, we will not be offering any response to this blog posting or the conversation that has ensued."
I respect and appreciate responsible bloggers, those that thoughtfully engage on those blogs as well as those that utilize listservs. No insult was intended, and apologies to those that interpreted the comment that way. These outlets provide important avenues to further dialogue and collaboration and are valuable assets in the ever evolving digital age.
The individual responsible for the above cited blog certainly has the right to her opinion, but that does not excuse rude behavior or her use of profanity and vulgarity in addressing ACS or its employees. While not evident in the most recent postings, I won’t repeat what she has posted in the past. But I think you would agree that vulgarity and profanity postings do not lead themselves to meaningful, productive and civil discourse, thus our decision not to engage any further with her on this topic.
I hope that helps clarify this matter and I thank you for reaching out to me to share your concern.