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[Phys-L] Online physics lectures and W. Lewin

Recently I was asked to recommend and comment upon online physics resources
including the extensive collection of excellent intro physics videos by Dr. Walter Lewin, which
15years ago I recommended widely and which are still available online.
At one time these videos really were the crown jewel of the MIT online courses collection,
but MIT has since thoroughly dissociated from both the videos and Lewin.

In 2015 all Lewin’s videos were removed from MIT servers and he was stripped of his emeritus title by
MIT after a scandal involving online sexual harassment of students partially recruited and groomed via these videos. <>

My thought is that while the videos are excellent and worthwhile, MIT clearly found
Lewin’s use of these videos as problematic, and if teachers do choose to use them
they need to beware that the videos are linked to very active online Lewin fan base
which Lewin encourages. I personally find Lewin's YouTube channel, particularly
his fanbase interactions to be distressing.

I no longer recommend Lewin’s videos to students.
The videos might be insightful to teachers, given the above warning that further
sharing the videos with students could render teachers culpable.

I refuse to link to Lewin’s lectures and YouTube channel here, now.
I do expect to link to the videos after he has gone (he’s quite elderly).

Stay healthy, or get well soon.

Dan M

PS comparisons have been made with Wagner and his musical compositions, or
the great works of many other incredibly talented people who did odious things.
I’m not a fan of either, but Wagner isn’t currently actively running his own
online fan community for impressionable young folk.

PPS interestingly enough while working out a stock response to this issue, I found
a related extensive commented Quora discussion: <>