Joseph Henry Press on transsexualism

Joseph Henry Press is the trade publishing arm for the National Academies Press. This section provides ongoing coverage of the people responsible for reviewing and publishing J. Michael Bailey's defamation of transsexual women in The Man Who Would Be Queen.

Barbara Kline Pope, Director

Responsible for the actions of all the people at Joseph Henry Press.

Stephen Mautner: Executive Editor

States Bailey's book "was reviewed as a well-crafted and responsible work."

Suzanne H. Woolsey: Chief Communications Officer

Sent a dismissive form letter to anyone who wrote to express concern.

Jeff Robbins: Senior Editor

Bailey states Robbins "made my writing better than I could." (pp. xii-xiii)

Ann Merchant: Marketing Director

Prepared a collection of glowing reviews for Robin Pinnel's press kit.

Robin Pinnel: Publicist

Taking a page from Barbara Kline Pope's aggressive marketing tactics, Pinnel uses controversy and defamation of transsexual women as a marketing tool in several press releases.

Gay, Straight or Lying? Science has the answer (21 March 2003)

Pinnel message (2 April 2003)

"controversial ideas" by J. Michael Bailey

"praise" compiled by Ann Merchant

"timeline" by Robin Pinnel

Press release (28 April 2003)

Advocate advertisement (10 June 2003)

National Academies Press website (retrieved June 2003)

Stephen Mautner's open letter

Press release [pdf]

Reviews excerpted for publicity (click authors for more details)

Originally appeared in JHP credit Author
London Times unattributed [Mark Henderson]
Out Magazine unattributed [Duncan Osborne]
Frontiers unattributed [unknown]
Lavender Magazine unattributed [Ethan Boatner]
Kirkus Reviews unattributed [unattributed in review]
APA Div 44 Newsletter unattributed [1] [James Cantor]
GLIP News, Australian Psychological Assoc. unattributed [Gordon Walker]
National Review   John Derbyshire
The Guardian unattributed [Steven Pinker]
CHOICE unattributed [unknown]
Book cover   [Simon LeVay] [3]
Publisher's Weekly unattributed [unknown]
Alpha Omega Society unattributed [Diane Frank] [2]
Book cover   Anne Lawrence
    Steven Pinker
    David Buss
iSteve.com unattributed Steve Sailer
Library Journal unattributed [Ina Rimpau]

1. James Cantor attribution added upon request of American Psychological Association DIV 44, August 2003

2. Quotation removed August 2003

3. Simon LeVay quotation removed July 2003, added back September 2003

Selected letters to the Presidents of the National Academies

See also the following letters to those who oversee Joseph Henry Press from prominent scientists and activists:

LINK: Letter to the National Academies (by Joan Roughgarden, Ph.D., Stanford University)

Letter to the National Academies (by Barbara Nash, Ph.D., University of Utah)

LINK: Letter to the National Academies (by Monica Casper, Ph.D., Exec. Dir., Intersex Society of N. America.)

LINK: Letters to the National Academies (by Christine Burns, Press for Change UK)

Letter to the Academies: Failure of Due Diligence (by an anonymous contributor)

Letter to the National Academies (by Dallas Denny, M.A.)

LINK: Letter to editor Stephen Mautner (by Barbara Nash, Ph.D.)

Comments

Susan Haack's essay "Science, Scientism, and Anti-Science in the Age of Preposterism" which was published in the Skeptical Inquirer back in 1997:

http://www.csicop.org/si/9711/preposterism.html

This sheds some light on the academic culture that encouraged the JHP to publish Bailey's book. Her thesis is basically that as the academic community adopts business values, it starts to judge scholarship by how well it sells rather than how well it answers questions. I think the following quote pretty much exactly describes how TMWWBQ got published:

"It used to be an important role of the academic presses to publish significant books too specialized to be economic. Increasingly, however, as subsidies from their universities have shrunk, university presses seek to publish books they believe will make money. This too is discouraging, to put it mildly, to the investment of effort in difficult problems. Better, from the point of view of making oneself heard, to write the kind of book that might interest a trade publisher, or at least the kind of book that will get reviewed in the non-academic press. And this too, inevitably, favors the simple, startling idea, even, or perhaps especially, the startlingly false or impressively obscure idea. . . ."

Investigation into publication

Professor Lynn Conway is leading our community's preparation of the investigative report into this book's publication by the National Academies.

Be sure to review Professor Conway's section on Joseph Henry Press and National Academies.