The petition went on-line on Monday, April 25, and has garnered nearly 470 signatures from members of the philosophical community during the past week. I will be e-mailing the editors a link to the petition and this post this morning.
For the benefit of journalists covering or watching this issue: the roughly 470 signatories includes nine Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (Ned Block [NYU], Don Garrett [NYU], Daniel Hausman [Wisconsin], Geoffrey Hellman [Minnesota], David Malament [UC Irvine], Charles Parsons [Harvard], Elliott Sober [Wisconsin], Robert Stalnaker [MIT], and Stephen Stich [Rutgers]; Professor Stalnaker is also a member of the Advisory Board of Synthese); two Fellows of the British Academy (Jeremy Butterfield and Hugh Mellor, both from Cambridge University), as well as almost every leading senior philosopher of biology in North America (I can think of only two exceptions, who may not know about the petition!), and many of the leading younger scholars in that field as well, including from abroad (Colin Allen [Indiana], Andre Ariew [Missouri], Marc Ereshefsky [Calgary], James Griesemer [UC Davis], James Justus [Florida State/Sydney], James Lennox [Pittsburgh], Elisabeth Lloyd [Indiana], Mohan Matthen [Toronto], Roberta Millstein [UC Davis], Sandra Mitchell [Pittsburgh], Samir Okasha [Bristol], Alexander Rosenberg [Duke], Sahotra Sarkar [Texas], Elliott Sober [Wisconsin], Christopher Stephens [British Columbia], C. Kenneth Waters [Minnesota], Michael Weisberg [Penn], and William Wimsatt [Chicago/Minnesota].) Philosophers of biology are, of course, especially sensitive to the consequences of decisions that give ammunition to the political forces that lobby for Intelligent Design.
Perhaps most notable is the range of philosophers, senior and junior, from many different parts of the discipline (from logic to moral philosophy to the history of philosophy), and a wide array of institutions (from leading PhD programs like Princeton, Oxford, Cornell, University College London and Arizona; to liberal arts colleges like Wesleyan, Hamilton, and Middlebury; to a variety of community colleges throughout the United States; to universities throughout Europe), who have registered their concern about this issue.
By my rough estimate, more than a quarter of the signatories have also published in Synthese.
A number of signatories added comments. A small sampling:
John Gardner, the Professor of Jurisprudence at Oxford University, wrote: "The evidence of editor-in-chief error is now overwhelming. The disclaimer should be revoked and an apology issued."
Ken Gemes, Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, who has published with and refereed for Synthese for many years, wrote: "I sign this with a heavy heart as I have always been proud to have made contributions as both a referee and author to this august journal. I strongly urge the editors in chief to retract their prefatory statement and to apologise for its inclusion. Then we can all happily forget this unfortunate incident and get on with keeping up the world class quality and reputation of Synthese."
Ken Aizawa, Charles T. Beaird Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Centenary College in Louisiana, wrote: "I have for many years been very happy with the support my work has received from Synthese and have also been happy to support the journal in turn. It is, therefore, a serioius disappointment to me to observe this sad development with the journal. As one can already see with the first page of Beckwith's reply, Synthese has abbetted the weakening of the already weak educational system in Louisiana. Please respond to the serious concerns of the philosophical community."
If and when the editors do respond, I will either post their response here or post a link to it whereever it appears.