Barbara Kline Pope on marketing bigotry

Barbara Kline Pope is Executive Director of the National Academies Press (NAP) at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. She is also Executive Director of Communications, overseeing a post formerly held by Suzanne Woolsey.

Pope masterminded NAP's current emphasis on increasing revenue through marketing books like The Man Who Would Be Queen by J. Michael Bailey of Northwestern University.

Pope is responsible for training and direction of professional managers in all areas of publishing, including their trade arm Joseph Henry Press. Her employees editor Stephen Mautner and publicist Robin Pinnel were key contributors in the decisions about publishing and promoting the Bailey book. In fact, Pope's major focus is marketing:

"Branding, marketing research, derivative products, and reputation management occupy her time as executive director of communications. She has studied consumer behavior and her published work examines business models for the digital publishing arena and the use of information sources among organizational buyers." [1]

Unfortunately, it seems Barbara Kline Pope's enthusiasm for generating sales comes at the expense of scientific integrity and basic editorial standards expected of an academic press.

Bailey's book has been widely condemned as a eugenic screed against sexual and gender variance. Bailey believes homosexuality is an evolutionary "mistake"[2] and a "developmental error,"[3] and he claims that transgender women are really men who are "especially well-suited to prostitution," hairdressing, stripping, and secretarial work. [4]

When marketing trumps science and academic rigor

Pope has been at NAP long enough to build a lot of linkages with the management of the Academy and engender loyalty from them. That is probably one reason why the executive director and the Presidents of the NAS, NAE and IOM have been willing to let the Press handle the problems caused by the Bailey book so far. Prior to her director position, Pope was NAP's marketing director for 15 years, using the web as a marketing tool since its inception. She holds a M.S. (1990) in textile marketing from the University of Maryland and a B.S. (1981) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

NAP has been a leader in dissemination of electronic texts, with their front- and backlists of titles available online since 1996. According to a 1999 article in Publishers Weekly, NAP reported about $10 million a year in revenues, about half from book sales and half from providing publishing, printing and Web services to academic and university presses. Pope has written a widely-cited article on NAP's successes in The Journal of Electronic Publishing (June, 1999 Volume 4, Issue 4 ISSN 1080-2711). In it, she tells why the National Academy decided to give away its intellectual property, what happened, and why she thinks others might do the same.

Pope also works with The Oxford Publicity Partnership, a marketing service specially designed for nonfiction publishers and specialty presses. Pope states:

"We have dramatically increased our presence in Europe and the UK over the past seven years by working with Oxford Publicity Partnership. We rely on them to make honest judgements about how to most wisely spend our marketing budget and they have proven themselves again and again as experts who know what will sell - and what will not sell - in those territories."

It is not clear if OPP is involved in the marketing of the Bailey book in the US or abroad.

Stonewalling, silence and unresponsiveness at NAP

Despite the outpouring of concern about Pope's decision to market the Bailey book, NAP and Joseph Henry Press have made no efforts to rectify this decision. Pope has never made any public statements about the book or their continued promotion and sale of it.

This silent treatment continued through 2004, when Pope turned her back on and refused to be introduced to Professor Lynn Conway, who happened to be in the National Academies building on Academy business.

However, when Professor Conway asked her "why are you continuing to so heavily promote Bailey’s book?,” Ms. Pope turned and blurted out in a very assertive manner, “Because we have a responsibility to the author!”

Professor Conway then asked her, “But didn’t you feel any responsibility towards a very large, endangered community?”

Ms. Pope fell completely silent, with a blank expression on her face, and the conversation was over.

For a full report of this incident, please see the report by Lynn Conway.

Anyone with additional information on Barbara Kline Pope's responsibility for the review and publication of Bailey's defamatory book on transsexualism is encouraged to contact the author of this site.

References

1. Pope BK (2004). Conference biography.
http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/netconference/chairs.html

2. Bailey JM (2003). KOOP radio interview.
http://www.donnarose.com/JMBInterview.html

3. Bailey JM (1999). Homosexuality and mental illness. Archives of General Psychiatry . 1999 Oct;56(10):883-4.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=10530627

4. Bailey JM (2003). The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism . Joseph Henry Press.
http://www.nap.edu/books/0309084180/html/