Astronomy Look-alikes, No. 97

I found an appropriate look-alike for University of California at Berkeley astronomer and serial sexual harasser Geoff Marcy:


20 Responses to “Astronomy Look-alikes, No. 97”

  1. I think your comparison is unfair to excrement, Marcy is far worse.

  2. What will happen to his current graduate students? I feel sorry for them myself.

    • telescoper Says:

      Well, unbelievably, he hasn’t been sacked. Yet.

    • Sadly this is not how it works. People who complain tend to suffer damage themselves, both personally and professionally. It takes courage to come forward. Sympathy doesn’t compensate for the scars.

    • telescoper Says:

      Staff move around. It’s no big deal for students. Supervisors like to think they are indispensable but they aren’t.

  3. telescoper Says:

    I know more about this than you can possibly imagine.

  4. Anton Garrett Says:

    There is a great story in a great book, the postwar classicist Gilbert Highet’s “Art of Teaching”. He tells of a female student who asked her prof (a colleague of his) to up her marks. He refused. She offered to sleep with him. He still refused. She threatened to jump then and there out of his (3rd storey) office window. He opened it for her. She didn’t jump.

  5. “Honey, just become a woman astronomer in my class and we’ll get to Uranus together”…

  6. This particular case does not seem complicated at all. If this had happened at a school the response would have been automatic and obvious. Most companies would do the same. The only thing hard to understand is the response from Berkeley which makes itself part of the problem.

    • It sounds like a fairly typical case, to be honest. There is little dispute about the facts. There are the usual indications that the perpetrator is being protected. That may be because of a perceived status (nobel prize potential?) but it commonly happens wherever there is little risk of outside action.

      I have little reason to be sympathetic. A family member has been on the receiving end of this kind of behaviour. He lost his job, but she lost her life. It was a strong contributing factor in her death. Why do men, in position of power, think that human rights do not apply to women?

      • telescoper Says:

        The more I read the worse the case gets and any sympathy I had for Marcy vanished a long time ago.

  7. telescoper Says:

    He should take some advice from Shakespeare:

    “Stand not upon the order of your going. But go at once.”

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      Or Cromwell dismissing the Rump Parliament.

      • telescoper Says:

        Cromwell’s speech on that occasion, for the record:

        It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice.

        Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government.

        Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

        Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess?

        Ye have no more religion than my horse. Gold is your God. Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

        Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defiled this sacred place, and turned the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices?

        Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redressed, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

        Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God’s help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do.

        I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place.

        Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.

        In the name of God, go!

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      I was going to post it, Peter, but then I found these words of caution at

      after learning that Parliament was attempting to stay in session despite an agreement to dissolve… Cromwell’s patience ran out. On 20 April he attended a sitting of Parliament and… stood up and harangued the members of the Rump. This speech does not survive but has often been paraphrased, for instance in the Book of Days: You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately … Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go! He then declared you are no Parliament and called in a troop of soldiers…

      • telescoper Says:


        I remember being taught the speech (in pretty much the form I posted it above) when I was at school. Obviously my history teacher should have checked his sources!

  8. telescoper Says:

    I remind commenters that I do not accept anonymous comments from people who give fake email address.

  9. Anton Garrett Says:

    “I’ve never met Marcy personally nor, as far as I know, any of his victims, thus can’t say anything about this.”

    Reading this thread, I think you’re not doing a particularly good job of saying nothing about it!

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