Rockefeller University Moves To Redesign The “Dude Wall” After Rachel Maddow Remarks [Updated]

We have previously discussed how universities are removing portraits of their founders or their most accomplished figures because they are white males. The latest such example is Rockefeller University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute where neurobiologist  Leslie Vosshall announced that a wall displaying portraits of the winners of the prestigious winners of the Nobel Prize and the Lasker Award must be changed. The problem is that they are the wrong race and gender so a committee is expected to order the design of the wall. The “problem” was identified by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow who gave an award for leading female scientists and derisively referred to the portraits by asked “What is up with the dude wall?” Now the “Dude Wall” will be changed in a move that raises real concerns over the growing trend toward removing historical portraits in colleges to achieve diversity.

As academics, we are committed to the pursuit of knowledge and celebrate those who made substantial contributions to the advancement of such knowledge. The fact that they are males is immaterial to their extraordinary accomplishments. However, they are viewed by some as first and foremost white men.

Vosshall explained “One hundred percent of them are men. It’s probably 30 headshots of 30 men. So it’s imposing. I think every institution needs to go out into the hallway and ask, ‘What kind of message are we sending?'”

Well, the most obvious message is the celebration of genius and the pursuit of knowledge. Women and men can both take inspiration from geniuses who preceded them at the university.

Yet, Vosshall says that Maddow’s remark prompted her and other to seek the removal of the offensive portraits” “It just sends the message, every day when you walk by it, that science consists of old white men.”

The university insists that other pictures of the winners will be displayed even though the portraits are removed. This will allow for additional winners and a more diverse array of pictures. The account of the university seems divergent from the account of Professor Vosshall on NPR, but either way the “Dude Wall” is history.

As if often the case, universities form committees to study such issues and they are often populated by those who take injury from such displays. Other academics are reluctant to confront such colleagues and be labeled as insensitive. The result always seems to be the same: removal of pictures based on gender and race of those pictures. Since these portraits reflect objective and major contributions to their fields, the act itself is the definition of sexism and racism. It is ignoring the accomplishments that led to the portraits because the academics are the wrong race and gender. This of course only works one way. What is another host offensively referred to a wall honoring female scientists as the “Chick Wall”? Would the response be to call a panel to look into removing the wall or lamenting the message an all gender display sends? Both references treat those honored as first and foremost defined by their gender and use terms meant to belittle who they are or what they accomplished.

Thankfully sexist and racist barriers have been removed from admission to our top academic programs. With many female and minority academicians in these fields, it is only a matter of time when additional portraits of Noble and Lasker winners will be raised with the images of non-males and non-whites. They will be honored in the same way and join other intellectuals not on the “Dude Wall” but the “Genius Wall.”

90 thoughts on “Rockefeller University Moves To Redesign The “Dude Wall” After Rachel Maddow Remarks [Updated]”

  1. Jonathan Turley is for sale by whatever network wants a spin on a legal or social issue. Always available to Fox, and always in agreement with them. Very taken with his TV persona. Go back to wearing your glasses you windbag.

  2. Perhaps the university should examine their admittance policies more closely. There are many female and “ethnic” recipients of these prizes from other countries and university. A commitment to encouragement of a wider spectrum of society, rather than a removal of past glories, may be more appropriate.

    1. You won’t find any graduate programs with a deficit of women outside of engineering, computer and information science, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. You’ll find many with a surfeit of women. It was a dozen years ago that Erin O’Connor remarked that 90% of the graduate students in her department (at the University of Pennsylvania) were female and no on in the department seemed to think that odd. It’s a reasonable wager its the men who are being unfairly excluded, not the other way around.

  3. Vosshall said, “So it’s imposing. I think every institution needs to go out into the hallway and ask, ‘What kind of message are we sending?’”

    It is only imposing if you think you aren’t up to the task.

    I must say that is a very good question, though. It is one that every institution should ask of themselves. The answer should be ‘striving for excellence’, ‘high aspirations’ or ‘try to stand on their shoulders.’

  4. Did the University offer to kiss her rear end as well? Just wondering.

  5. Women have been “removing the dude wall” for some time now and men have abdicated.

    “He who hesitates is lost.”

    – Cato

    The dirty little secret is that the American fertility rate is in a “death spiral.” Women are misogynists who hate pregnancy, childbirth, nurturing and everything about womanhood and motherhood. Women don’t want to be women, they want to be men. Women are assuming men’s roles and new Americans are not being made. The American population is being imported. In 100 years, there won’t be an American left in America.

    The Feminazi Gaystapo White Shirts have fanatically railed against “male chauvinist pigs” and the “power” they wield while women wield the one true power, the power of existence – the power of procreation, and don’t make new Americans. Men are bad so women are making everyone disappear. America is vanishing before our very eyes and men allow it. What good are women if they don’t make babies and replace men and women. Men have allowed women to take over and women are committing gradual national suicide.

    The ship can have but one Captain. The American ship of state is sinking.

    The inmates have taken over the asylum.

    1. I’ve worked on ships clown, so unless you’ve been on one sinking you are clueless. But let me clear up one issue for you right now, I’m a woman who thanks whatever diety they need to ever day that I’m not a man. Nothing I can imagine would be more demoralizing, definitely a demotion. And since you white fascist dudes decided to take ALL the credit for life, I say you are finally getting what you deserve – justice. And be thankful, I’m not getting my way on what to do with you. After 25 years of building your war machine I have awesome ideas….but guess I’ll just let them erase you from history, like you did to everybody else.

        1. MK, the fertility rate in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe is very low near 1.8. The fertility rate in Africa is projected to soon be 8. Women have fewer babies and more careers. Women rail about men exerting control while they are causing us to disappear. Let’s talk stats!

      1. Hiding behind the armor of generational welfare and affirmative action privilege she oozes courage.

        Whatever shall we do when the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution is re-implemented and the American welfare state dies?

      2. jealous much? anybody can get what they want , unless they spend all their time complaining and blaming others! Please , get a life, and i dont mean bring one to Earth because we dont need any more ‘snowflakes’ crumbling under pressure.

  6. The socialist regressives will do anything to get a few more seconds in the spotlight even when it makes them look more stupid than we thought possible. PCrap

  7. As to the etymology of the slang word “chick” or “chic”, this my prove worthwhile:

    Perhaps, the problem is not “Maddow.”

    Perhaps, the problem is so-called “academia”, particularly, Leslie Vosshall, if the professor.

    Perhaps, we, “Americans,” are the problem.

    Americans, as Ms. Vosshall illustrates as well as the professor, are television fed and movie educated.

    Perhaps, in time, Americans will television and blog fed and movie educated.

    Just a thought.

    dennis hanna

    1. Mr. Hanna, I’m sure you’re a great man with a great mind but please proofread your work. This article contains a stock pile of grammatical errors! It sounds like something written on a bathroom stall.

  8. People like Leslie Vosshall are irritated that others received recognition she hasn’t. Other apparatchicks are merely highly other-directed.

    It’s an indicator of decadence. We once admired accomplishment. Now we cannot recognize it, because that offends various mascot groups.

  9. Removing the portraits based on race and gender is racist and sexist. Literally.

    Women in science are usually a tough, no nonsense lot. We are not so timid that we require to see women on a wall for encouragement. In fact, when anyone sees an image of a pioneer in science, the response should be eagerness at the next great discovery.

    Otherwise, I guess Stephen Hawking’s legacy is not going to last long past his death.

    This hyperfixation on what color and gender a scientist is, is as ridiculous as getting worked up over the distribution of blondes and brunettes.

    Journalist: “You must be very proud of your team for developing the gold standard treatment for Alzheimer’s.”
    Dr Jones: “Why yes, I am. It was a team effort. We all worked 20 hour days for 18 months to get this to trial…”
    I: “Yes, yes, that’s all very interesting, but doesn’t it bother you in the slightest that all of your team members were brunettes? What kind of message does this send to the blondes and redheads out there?”
    Dr J: “Ummmm, what?”

  10. it’s actually NOT immaterial they were men. Male brains are actually wired differently. The hard scientists will continue to be dominated by men no matter what. And in countries outside of the politically correct socalled “West” nobody will care.

    “Mental skills or cognitive abilities include attributes like perception, attention, memory (short-term or working and long-term), motor, language, visual and spatial processing, and executive functions [1]. These cognitive attributes are different in males and females. Generally, females show advantages in verbal fluency, perceptual speed, accuracy and fine motor skills, while males outperform females in spatial, working memory and mathematical abilities [2,3]. In females, mental skills vary during different phases of the menstrual cycle (MC) [4]. This is because, in the circulation, the bio-availability of oestrogen is high during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle and that of progesterone is high during the luteal phase. It has been reported that the high levels of gonadal steroids which are present during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle may facilitate skills which favour females, but which are detrimental to skills which favour males [5].”


    1. it’s not to say that this particular person or that person is necessarily more blessed in some intellectual capacity than the next person. it is just a generalization based on large numbers and physiological differences that vary between each organism. but the generalizations can be valid

      to pretend that valid generalizations can’t be made however is the very essence of political correctness and various other forms of “individualism” run amuck ….. it’s akin to saying, just because there are foothills, there may not be mountains or plains. It would be like saying, just because there is a very small number of born hermaphrodites, there is no male nor female. clearly that is is nonsense


      we are fully into a crazy phase of western style Lysenkoism applied to social matters. How will it end? How did that end? Quietly I think. But in China a similar phenomenon ended badly. When Mao told the peasants they were planting their crops wrongly and made them plant the communist way? Mass starvation , tens of millions dead

      Craziness often dies quietly but sometimes it goes out with a bang. How will our crazy age end? We don’t know. No crystal ball.

      1. If maleness equates to scientific ability, then one would expect to see the males with the highest levels of testosterone (Africans) dominating in science, mathematics and engineering. Which is not the case. It’s actually males with the lowest levels of testosterone (Asians) who statistically dominate these fields. Black females have higher testosterone levels than many males, yet they don’t lead in much of anything, except perhaps getting into brawls at McDonalds. Just an observation….

    2. Agreed. A sample of star performers is likely to be predominantly male. That’s just life. Prisons and skid row are also predominantly male. Nancy Hopkins and Leslie Vosshall refuse to reflect on that.

  11. From a Hipster
    “. . . to “fix” the so-called injustices of capitalism. I put my phone down and continue to look around. I see people talking freely, working on their MacBook’s, ordering food they get in an instant, seeing cars go by outside, and it dawned on me. We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we’ve become completely blind to it. Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose. These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don’t give them a second thought. We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty. One. Times. Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards. Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful. ”
    Thanks Alyssa Ahlgren.

  12. Wow, this made my day! I didn’t know that we are ruled by the likes of the Maddow’s of the world. Oink Maddow, Oink!

  13. AH!! I have finally figured out why the rush to make Mars habitable!

    Remember the book, “Women Are From Venus And Men Are From Mars”? Well, I did some digging and the real name of the book is “Women Are From Venus And White Men Are From Mars”!! That trail led me to the hidden reason for the rush to Mars! They are planning to send all white men back!

    I am surprised that they are even bothering to make it habitable! Or maybe they aren’t? Perhaps it isn’t going to be despite the mockup of the first 4-Color brochure (even though everything is red) showing beach front property for all white men that take the journey!

    True Story!

      1. Thank you, Cindy.

        The obvious had to be stated since Maddow missed that part. 🙂

        1. Cindy Bragg and Prairie Rose – Rachel Maddow wouldn’t know an achievement if it bite her on her flat a$$. BTW, I agree with both of you. 🙂

          1. Oh, she has a research degree, but she’s never worked as an academic. Her preferred subject (political science) has its problems.

                1. social studies can be pursued with scientific methods. often these programs are not that rigorous. one might be tempted to say, usually!

                2. It doesn’t pretend to be a natural science. The title of the discipline is an archaism.

  14. Let’s talk when there actually is a “chick” wall. The “dude” walls go to a time when women weren’t allowed the opportunity to excel in the field, or, a time when their accomplishments were claimed by men.

    1. There have been women who rose up base on their accomplishments in science throughout the past 150 years. Math and science has been known since the ancient Greeks but the system of academic research publication and technological application is only about that old.

      There have been less women in that small time frame and maybe it is a little due to “social factors” but maybe it is a LOT due to HARDWIRED COGNITIVE DIFFERENCES IN THE BRAIN

      or at least that’s what scientists tell us, in spite of whether faux scientists in sociology like the result or not

    2. we also don’t like the world chick wall it comes from shiksa a semi-derogatory yiddish word for a female goy

      rachel probably knows that one

    3. The “dude” walls go to a time when women weren’t allowed the opportunity to excel in the field

      My gay husband and I have been married ever since SCOTUS allowed it and yet we can not have children due to our same biology. Women giving birth and raising children with or without fathers are the greatest achievment any person can have. So many men for millennia have abandoned their wives and children while the mothers did what most men lack the fortitude to do: raise a family

      So women have had the greatest monument anyone could ever hope to achieve: having children. My husband and I honor women but will continue to keep trying having our own children… sure is a lot of fun!

      1. “So many men for millennia have abandoned their wives and children while the mothers did what most men lack the fortitude to do: raise a family”

        And so many MORE men have supported, protected and nurtured their wives and children than those who did not.

        Most men have and always had the fortitude to competently and happily raise a family, it is only in the minority of them that didn’t that are highlighted, complained about and rightfully vilified. They are the outliers, not the norm, so their dysfunctionality is most obvious and over-represented in the popular view.

        Further, mothers for most of human history have not and could not raise children on their own, and on the have always needed added resources from other people, almost always men in the ultimate accounting.

        You spread invidious myths by your public presumptions, and make insult to fathers and men in general.
        A thing you should be sensitive to not doing.

        1. Tell that to the girls who were raised in poverty because their fathers abandoned or divorced the family. It takes a lot of trust for a woman to have children. It makes her very vulnerable in a way a man cannot understand. The woman is never going to walk out on her children. She will care for them come Hell or high water. But if the husband walks out because things get rough financially or he takes an interest in a another woman, the wife and children are left in dire straights. So the girls who are raised in those conditions will naturally distrust men, and will want to achieve enough education to be financially independent as a back-up plan prior to having children. Which of course means women delaying child bearing in pursuit of education will have fewer, or no children. If women could rely on today’s weak, narcissistic men to assume their “natural role,” then women would have the confidence to have more children. But such is not the case. Instead of blaming women, perhaps some of you should actually talk to women and ask them why they’re not having children. In many cases it will be based on the emotional and financial devastation experienced by their mothers as a result of male abdication of responsibility. And that’s the reason, BTW, that black women are often single mothers. In their neighborhoods, there are no men who will assume the responsibility of being a husband and father. It’s not that black women don’t want male protection and support, but it’s just not available to them because the men are such failures at being anything beyond perpetual adolescents.

          1. Tell that to the girls who were raised in poverty because their fathers abandoned or divorced the family. It takes a lot of trust for a woman to have children. It makes her very vulnerable in a way a man cannot understand.

            I wouldn’t make too much about your capacity for understanding.

            A comfortable majority of people who are divorced in this country are so because…the mother wanted a divorce. You want financial support from the father of your children, you shouldn’t serve papers on him. The situation in regard to ba*tard children is murkier, but more than a few result from paternity traps or from some mixture of negligence / magical thinking on the part of the woman. (Many of whom shoo the father away).

    4. Rubbish. The Statistical Abstract is your friend. Fully 39% of the body of graduate students in 1928 were female, as were just north of 40% of all undergraduates. Teachers’ colleges had female majorities at that time, and hospital nursing schools were almost exclusively female. The one component of post-secondary schooling where women were an odd minority were the professional schools: divinity, law, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry &c, where women were outnumbered 8-1 among those enrolled and 17-1 among those graduating. Women who made it their business to pursue research degrees and had the chops could land them. See Barbara McClintock and Harriet Creighton for two examples. However, it was a general understanding in that day that professional women were celibates, and only an odd minority of women wanted that life.

  15. So Rachel goes all Aunt Pittypat on us because of a bunch of white guys?
    White guys.?….Like the ones that run NBC and MSNBC and sign her paycheck?

  16. Rachel Maddow loves this sort of “gotcha” because she shows the world that she has the power to publicly bully people/institutions.

    The administrators of the school love virtue signalling.

    Leslie Vosshall may have caved to pressure or she may be just another political gamester (we can’t decide if she is cowardly or venal).

    Bottom line we have “institutions of higher learning” (sad that what was once a compliment is now becoming a term of contempt) pander to every left wing whim.

    1. Rachel Maddow, virtue signaling, and the collapse of moral laws.
      It is sickening what liberals have done to our nation

      “Teens beat elderly woman with her own cane during mugging: cops”

      A group of teens clobbered an elderly woman with her own cane as they robbed her of a cell phone in Queens, cops said Thursday.

      The teens, believed to both male and female, walked up to the 67-year-old woman on 169 Street, near Highland Avenue, in Jamaica at around 8 p.m on Aug. 4, according to police.

      One of the teens snatched the elderly woman’s cane and pushed her to the ground, cops said. While the woman was on her knees the teens hit her with the cane and grabbed her Samsung cell phone, before taking off in a Nissan Altima, according to police.

      The woman refused medical attention.

      The NYPD released a brief video Thursday showing part of the struggle captured on camera.

      It’s the second attack on a person with a cane this month.

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