Malcolm over moore
Robert Lee Moore was a distinguished mathematician who made substantial contributions to topology and the field of teaching during his tenure as a professor at this University. In 1972, Robert Lee Moore Hall was dedicated in his honor and currently serves as the location of the Math, Physics, and Astronomy departments. With its construction, The University of Texas we honored a man whose contributions to this University were certainly worth honoring, a man who had dedicated his life to the advancement mathematics—
a man who was also a racist and a bigot.
the need for change
It suffices to say that, while we can admire a man like Professor Moore for his work and dedication to the field of mathematics, its scary that a significant number of students at UT wouldn’t be welcome in one of his classrooms based of the color of their skin.
We’re not here to tarnish Professor Moore’s legacy. Greatness is greatness no matter who it comes from, but there is a need for change.
How do we make sure this never happens again?
a hero we can get behind
Well it just so happens that In 1990, the author Michael Crichton gave us a solution: Dr. Ian Malcolm, math professor from UT Austin in the book “Jurassic Park” (yes, we got a shoutout!). In the novel, Dr. Malcolm’s character stands for caution and discipline, and his sole purpose in the film is to warn short-sighted people as to why they shouldn’t wield their knowledge and power so carelessly.
What does it say about our school when Dr. Malcolm, a fictional math professor, carries with him more virtue than the professor we chose to name the building after.
What kind of values are we choosing to immortalize?
a call to action
We understand choosing a fictional character to represent our cause might sound absurd. But that absurdity is integral to our cause! Dr. Malcolm represents the values of students at this University whereas Dr. Moore most certainly does not. Malcolm over Moore isn’t really here to provide a replacement, but rather to point out the need for a replacement. Any replacement. There are many faculty and alumni at University of Texas worthy of being honored in this way, but first we have to create a call to action. This is that call.
The message here is that Dr. Ian Malcolm, a fictional math professor, holds values and ideals that we as a student body revere and respect, values and ideals we can look up to, values and ideals that aren’t racist or demeaning. We want to show the Board of Regents that, as a student body, we want this building renamed so badly that we would choose a fictional character to rally behind if it means making change happen.
This isn’t a political action. It’s a moral one. What kind of message does it send to the Board of Regents if the student body would rather look up to someone who doesn’t exist because the person whose name is engraved in the building wouldn’t care to see them there at all?
Malcolm Over Moore.