Dear Lawrence Krauss,
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Avery. I’m a physics major, going into my fourth year at college. I’ve wanted to be a physicist for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always been fascinated with the natural world. I hope to someday dedicate my life to physics research, and maybe even answer a “big question” or two.
I also love science education. I love talking to people about physics, especially when they aren’t very familiar with the topic. Whenever I get the chance, I love explaining physics research, and I love meeting other people who share a similar interest in physics and the natural sciences.
Having said that, I hope it’s not difficult to see why I’m a fan of your work. You’re one of the best science educators in the world. You have a knack for explaining concepts so that not only do people understand them, but they’re motivated to learn more. When I struggle with my studies, sometimes I listen to a speech you’ve given, or read something you’ve written, and it inspires me to work harder and succeed.
One of my favorite things about explaining physics to others is the excitement that people feel when they finally understand a concept, and get a glimpse into how the universe works. I get that feeling all the time whenever I take a class, and the professor gives a lecture or a demonstration on some important topic. I know you get this feeling too. I can hear it in your voice, whenever you talk about physics, and it’s one of the things that make you such a great educator.
That said, one of the few things that inspires me more than science is helping others. I truly believe that kindness and compassion are vital qualities in a person. That’s why I was very sad and disappointed when I read accounts that you had sexually harassed other people. While I don’t know if these accounts are true, I believe that they are. I hope I don’t have to explain why sexual harassment is wrong, nor do I have to point out all the ways you’ve hurt other people. I earnestly hope you understand all that.
Instead, I’m writing to ask you to apologize. Please apologize to the countless people who look to you as an example of science outreach. Please apologize to the secular movement and the scientific community, that you’ve represented by your words and actions. Above all, apologize to those people you’ve hurt.
At this point, my opinion of you has forever changed. I can never again view you with the respect and admiration that I used to. I suspect that many people feel the same way. Your reputation may suffer, but you can still make amends for your behavior. You can still fix some of the hurt that you’ve caused. An apology is a good first step. I strongly encourage you to take it.
A Former Fan