(Photo: Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)
Dr. Michael Persinger is a neuroscientist, but he can cuss like a sailor. He uses profanity prolifically in his lectures to psychology students at Laurentian University in Ontario. To make students understand this, he informs them in writing at the beginning of the semester. Persinger calls this his "Statement of Understanding", which he asks students to sign. CBC News reports:
The statement lists a sample of words that might be used during class, and includes the F-word, homophobic slurs and offensive slang for genitalia.
"One of my techniques is to expose people to all types of different words," Persinger told CBC News. "Silly words, complex words, emotional words, profane words. Because they influence how you make decisions and how you think."
By using words in lectures that cause emotion, Persinger said he can teach students about how that affects the brain's rational processes.
Persinger has done this for many years and says that his Statement of Understanding has actually recruited students into his courses. But now university administrators have removed him from teaching due to his swearing:
But in December, two months into the course, Persinger said he was called into the office of the university provost and told he would no longer be teaching the class.
"[I was told my] statement of understanding interfered with the senior administration's idea of the workplace policies, specifically the respectful workplace policies. When I asked for details, I didn't get any."
-via Marginal Revolution