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COSTA MESA – An Orange Coast College student who secretly videotaped his instructor making anti-Trump statements was suspended from school and told to write a letter of apology as well as a three-page essay about the incident.

The college suspended Caleb O’Neil for the current semester and the summer term, saying he violated a Coast Community College District policy prohibiting recording someone on district property without that person’s consent.

“It is my hope that this experience will lead you to truly think through your actions and the consequences of those actions when making decisions in the future,” Victoria Lugo, interim dean of students, wrote in a Feb. 9 letter to O’Neil, whose video clips of instructor Olga Perez Stable Cox in December went viral.

William Becker, an attorney representing O’Neil, said the sanctions are excessive and the student’s legal rights have been violated. O’Neil, 19, plans to appeal and can continue to attend classes during that process, Becker said.

“This is an attack by leftists in academia to protect the expressive rights of their radical instructors at the expense of the expressive rights of conservative students on campus,” said Becker, president of Freedom X, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving religious and conservative freedom of expression.

O’Neil, who campaigned for Trump, couldn’t be reached for comment on Tuesday.


• Why aren’t students allowed to videotape teachers?

• Caleb O’Neil filed an appeal Wednesday and spoke publicly at a news conference

• OCC student gets support from across the country

Orange Coast College President Dennis Harkins had previously said his administration would investigate whether Cox’s comments were appropriate and within the context of what she teaches. Whether that has concluded is unclear. College spokesman Doug Bennett said this week that the school could not comment on personnel manners, and he declined to discuss investigations involving students, citing their privacy.

Three other students, all leaders with the school’s College Republicans, which posted the video clips, received letters saying there was insufficient evidence to proceed against them, said Joshua Recalde-Martinez, one of the three.

“I’m disgusted that they imposed such excessive sanctions against (O’Neil), especially when the student was just trying to document a case where he personally felt targeted by a faculty member and his student rights were violated,” said Recalde-Martinez, who founded the OCC College Republicans and served as its president until recent weeks.

To be allowed back in school, the letter says, O’Neil’s essay is to be three pages and double-spaced and must discuss why he videotaped the professor. Also, the essay is to cover his “thoughts and analysis” on why he decided to share the videos, what he thought would happen to Cox and “the impact of the video going ‘viral’ and the ensuing damage to Orange Coast College students, faculty and staff.”

O’Neil videotaped Cox as she called the election of Donald Trump “an act of terrorism” and declared that those “leading the assault are among us.”

O’Neil took the video to leaders from the school’s College Republicans, who, joined by attorney Shawn Steel, complained to the campus administration. A week later, saying they were frustrated that the administration had not acted on their concerns of a teacher using her classroom as a bully pulpit, the campus Republicans posted video clips online, where they quickly became national news.

The attention led Cox, 66, an instructor at the school for 42 years, to temporarily leave her home following an onslaught of angry, sometimes threatening mail.

In an interview with the Register last month, Cox said her comments to students – made in all of her three human sexuality classes – were meant to comfort those who were upset about the election of Trump and offer resources should students feel discriminated against.

As a gay Latina, Cox said she was frightened by Trump’s election.

Rob Schneiderman, president of the union that represents the district’s faculty, said he is satisfied that “there were some consequences and someone is being held responsible.”

Although, he added, “in this type of situation, nobody wins.”

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For other uses, see Brian Cox (disambiguation).

Brian Edward CoxOBE, FRS (born 3 March 1968) is an English physicist who serves as professor of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester.[1][2] He is best known to the public as the presenter of science programmes, especially the Wonders of... series[3][4][5] and for popular science books, such as Why Does E=mc²? and The Quantum Universe. He has been the author or co-author of over 950 scientific publications.[6]

Cox has been described as the natural successor for BBC's scientific programming by both David Attenborough and Patrick Moore.[7][8] Before his academic career, Cox was a keyboard player for the bands D:Ream and Dare.

Early life and education[edit]

Cox was born on 3 March 1968 in the Royal Oldham Hospital, later living in Chadderton, Oldham, from 1971.[9][10][11] His parents worked for Yorkshire Bank, his mother as a cashier and his father as a middle-manager in the same branch.[12] He recalls a happy childhood in Oldham that included pursuits such as dance, gymnastics, plane spotting and even bus spotting. He attended the independent Hulme Grammar School[9][13] in Oldham from 1979 to 1986.[14][15][16] He has stated in many interviews and in an episode of Wonders of the Universe[17] that when he was 12, the book Cosmos by Carl Sagan was a key factor in inspiring him to become a physicist.[10] He said on The Jonathan Ross Show that he performed poorly on his maths A-level exam: "I got a D ... I was really not very good ... I found out you need to practise."[18]


In the 1980s and early 90s, Cox was a keyboard player with the rock band Dare.[19] Dare released two albums with Cox – Out of the Silence in 1988 and Blood from Stone in 1991. He joined D:Ream,[20] a group that had several hits in the UK charts, including the number one "Things Can Only Get Better",[21] later used as a New Labour election anthem, although he did not play on the track.

Higher education[edit]

Cox studied physics at the University of Manchester during his music career. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree with first-class honours and a Master of Philosophy degree in physics. After D:Ream disbanded in 1997, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree in high-energy particle physics at the University of Manchester.[22] His thesis, Double Diffraction Dissociation at Large Momentum Transfer,[22] was supervised by Robin Marshall[22][23] and based on research he did on the H1 experiment at the Hadron Elektron Ring Anlage (HERA)[22][24] particle accelerator at the DESY laboratory in Hamburg, Germany.[25]



Cox was a PPARC[needs update][when?] advanced fellow and member of the high energy physics group at the University of Manchester, and works on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)[26][27] at CERN,[28][29][30][31] near Geneva, Switzerland. He is working on the research and development project of the FP420 experiment in an international collaboration to upgrade the ATLAS and the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS)[32][33] experiment by installing additional, smaller detectors at a distance of 420 metres from the interaction points of the main experiments.[34][35][36][37]

Cox has co-authored several books on physics including Why does E=mc2?[38] and The Quantum Universe, both with Jeff Forshaw.[39] He has supervised or co-supervised several PhD students to completion.[40][41][42][43][44][45]


Cox has appeared in many science programmes for BBC radio and television,[3][46] including In Einstein's Shadow,[47] the BBC Horizon series,[48] ("The Six Billion Dollar Experiment", "What on Earth is Wrong with Gravity?", "Do You Know What Time It Is?", and "Can we Make a Star on Earth?") and as a voice-over for the BBC's Bitesize revision programmes. He presented the five-part BBC Two television series Wonders of the Solar System in early 2010 and a follow up four-part series, Wonders of the Universe, which began on 6 March 2011.[49]Wonders of Life, which he describes as "a physicist's take on life/natural history", was broadcast in 2013.[50]

He co-presents Space Hoppers and has also featured in Dani's House on CBBC.[51]

Cox also presented a three-part BBC series called Science Britannica which sees him explore the contribution of British scientists over the last 350 years, as well as the relationship between British science and the public perception thereof.[52]

BBC Two commissioned Cox to copresent Stargazing Live, a three-day live astronomy series in January 2011 – co-presented with physicist-turned-comedian Dara Ó Briain and featuring chat show host Jonathan Ross[53] – linked to events across the United Kingdom. A second and a third series featuring a variety of guests ran in January 2012 and January 2013.[54]

Since November 2009 Cox has co-presented a BBC Radio 4 "comedy science magazine programme", The Infinite Monkey Cage with comedian Robin Ince.[55] Guests have included comedians Tim Minchin, Alexei Sayle, Dara Ó Briain, and scientists including Alice Roberts of the BBC show The Incredible Human Journey, and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.[56] Cox also appeared in Ince's Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People. He is a regular contributor to the BBC 6 Music Breakfast Show with Shaun Keaveny, with a weekly feature. He appeared on 24 July 2009 episode of Robert Llewellyn's CarPool podcast series.[57]

Cox has also appeared numerous times at TED, giving talks on the LHC and particle physics.[58][59] In 2009 he appeared in People magazine's Sexiest Men Alive.[60] In 2010 he was featured in The Case for Mars by Symphony of Science. In November 2010 he made a promotional appearance in the Covent GardenApple Store, talking about his new e-book set to accompany his new television series as well as answering audience questions.[61]

Cox gave the Royal Television Society's 2010 Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture on "Science, a Challenge to TV Orthodoxy", in which he examined problems in media coverage of science and news about science. It was subsequently broadcast on BBC Two. On 4 March, a talk entitled "Frankenstein's Science" at the National Theatre featured Cox in discussion with biographer Richard Holmes on Mary Shelley's exploration of humanity's desire to bring life to an inanimate object and whether the notion is possible, in both the 19th century and today.[62]

On 6 March 2011, Cox appeared as a guest at Patrick Moore's 700th episode anniversary of The Sky at Night. He has said that he is a lifelong fan of the programme, and that it helped inspire him to become a physicist. On 10 March 2011, he gave the Ninth Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture.

Cox was the science advisor for the science fiction film Sunshine. On the DVD release, he provides an audio commentary where he discusses scientific accuracies (and inaccuracies) depicted in the film. He also was featured on the Discovery Channel special Megaworld: Switzerland. In 2013, he presented another series of "Wonders of Life".

On 14 November 2013, BBC Two broadcast The Science of Doctor Who in celebration of Doctor Who's 50th anniversary, in which Cox tackles the mysteries of time travel. The lecture was recorded at the Royal InstitutionFaraday Lecture Theatre. The BBC subsequently broadcast Human Universe and Forces of Nature also presented by Cox.



Session discography[65]


Awards and honours[edit]

Cox has received many awards for his efforts to publicise science. In 2002 he was elected an International Fellow of The Explorers Club and in 2006 he received the British Association's Lord Kelvin Award for this work. He held a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship (an early-career Research Fellowship scheme) from 2006 to 2013.[67] A frequent lecturer, he was keynote speaker at the Australian Science Festival in 2006, and in 2010 won the Institute of PhysicsKelvin Prize for his work in communicating the appeal and excitement of physics to the general public.[68] He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen's2010 Birthday Honours for services to science.[69][70] On 15 March 2011, he won Best Presenter and Best Science/Natural History programme by the Royal Television Society for Wonders of the Universe. On 25 March 2011, he won twice at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards for 'Best Performer' in a non-acting role, while Wonders of the Solar System was named best documentary series of 2010.[71][72]

In July 2012, Cox was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield.[73] Later that year, he was awarded the Institute of Physics President's medal by Sir Patrick Stewart, following which he gave a speech on the value of education in science and the need to invest more in future generations of scientists.[74] On 5 October 2012 Cox was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University for his "Exceptional contribution to Education and Culture".[75] In 2012 he also was awarded the Michael Faraday Prize of the Royal Society "for his excellent work in science communication".[76] He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2016.[67]

Personal life[edit]

In 2003 Cox married U.S. science presenter Gia Milinovich in Duluth, Minnesota. Their first son, named George, was born on 26 May 2009.[citation needed] George's middle name is "Eagle" after the Apollo 11 lunar module. Milinovich also has a son, named Moki, from a previous relationship. The family currently lives in Battersea. Cox rejects the label atheist but has stated he has "no personal faith".[79] In 2009, he contributed to the charity book The Atheist's Guide to Christmas.[80] He is a humanist, and is a Distinguished Supporter of Humanists UK.[81] He is an Oldham Athletic fan, and held a season ticket at the club.[10] He earns £250,000 – £299,999 as a BBC presenter.[82]


  1. ^"Cox, Brian E. – Profile – INSPIRE-HEP". 
  2. ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 October 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  3. ^ abProfessor Brian Cox on IMDb
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  9. ^ abCOX, Prof. Brian Edward. Who's Who. 2016 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription required)
  10. ^ abcSmith, David (14 September 2008). "Putting the fizz into physics". The Observer. London. Retrieved 14 September 2008. 
  11. ^Human Universe – 4. A Place in Space and Time
  12. ^"The Times Saturday September 12th 2015 Weekend section". 
  13. ^"Oldham Hulme Grammar Alumni". Oldham Hulme Grammar School. Archived from the original on 18 December 2013. 
  14. ^"Congratulations to Professor Brian Cox OBE". Oldham Hulme Grammar School website. 17 June 2010. Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  15. ^"Alumni". Oldham Hulme Grammar School website. Oldham Hulme Grammar School. Archived from the original on 7 July 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  16. ^"Brian Cox: Science is not 'dominated by old men'". BBC News. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  17. ^"BBC Two Programmes – Wonders of the Universe". Archived from the original on 2 April 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  18. ^"Jonathan Ross welcomes Matt Smith to his Friday night show". BBC. 26 March 2010. Archived from the original on 21 April 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  19. ^Naughton, Philippe; Costello, Miles (24 February 2008). "A Life in the Day: Dr Brian Cox". The Times. London. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  20. ^Caspar Llewellyn Smith (4 April 2010). "Brian Cox: The man with the stars in his eyes". The Observer. London. Retrieved 6 December 2010. 
  21. ^UK top 40 hit database, (search result for D:Ream), done 6 September 2008
  22. ^ abcdCox, Brian Edward (1998). Double diffraction dissociation at large momentum transfer(PDF). (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. OCLC 644443338. Archived from the original(PDF) on 14 November 2014. EThOS
  23. ^Marshall, Prof. Robin. Who's Who. 2015 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription required)
  24. ^Cox, B. (2005). "A review of forward proton tagging at 420m at the LHC, and relevant results from the Tevatron and HERA". 753: 103–111. arXiv:hep-ph/0409144. doi:10.1063/1.1896693. 
  25. ^Professor Brian Cox 8 Archived 23 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^Cox, B.; Forshaw, J.; Lee, J.; Monk, J.; Pilaftsis, A. (2003). "Observing a light CP-violating Higgs boson in diffraction". Physical Review D. 68 (7). arXiv:hep-ph/0303206. Bibcode:2003PhRvD..68g5004C. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.68.075004. 
  27. ^Cox, B.; Forshaw, J.; Heinemann, B. (2002). "Double diffractive higgs and di-photon production at the Tevatron and LHC". Physics Letters B. 540 (3–4): 263–268. arXiv:hep-ph/0110173. Bibcode:2002PhLB..540..263C. doi:10.1016/S0370-2693(02)02144-5. 
  28. ^Brian Cox at TED
  29. ^Brian Cox. "Brian Cox: CERN's supercollider – TED Talk". 
  30. ^Brian Cox. "Brian Cox: What went wrong at the LHC – TED Talk". 
  31. ^Brian Cox. "Brian Cox: Why we need the explorers – TED Talk". 
  32. ^Chatrchyan, S.; Khachatryan, V.; Sirunyan, A. M.; Tumasyan, A.; Adam, W.; Aguilo, E.; Bergauer, T.; Dragicevic, M.; Erö, J.; Fabjan, C.; Friedl, M.; Frühwirth, R.; Ghete, V. M.; Hammer, J.; Hoch, M.; Hörmann, N.; Hrubec, J.; Jeitler, M.; Kiesenhofer, W.; Knünz, V.; Krammer, M.; Krätschmer, I.; Liko, D.; Majerotto, W.; Mikulec, I.; Pernicka, M.; Rahbaran, B.; Rohringer, C.; Rohringer, H.; et al. (2012). "Observation of a new boson at a mass of 125 GeV with the CMS experiment at the LHC". Physics Letters B. 716: 30. arXiv:1207.7235. Bibcode:2012PhLB..716...30C. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2012.08.021. 
  33. ^Butterworth, J. M.; Cox, B. E.; Forshaw, J. R. (2002). "WW scattering at the CERN LHC". Physical Review D. 65 (9). arXiv:hep-ph/0201098. Bibcode:2002PhRvD..65i6014B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.65.096014. 
  34. ^FP420 R&D Project, FP420Archived 27 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine., 16 October 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2011
  35. ^Brian Cox publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
  36. ^" Search". 
  37. ^"brian cox – Search Results – INSPIRE-HEP". 
  38. ^Cox, Brian; Forshaw, Jeff (2010). Why Does E=mc2? : (And Why Should We Care?). Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81876-9. 
  39. ^Cox, Brian; Forshaw, Jeff (2011). The Quantum Universe : everything that can happen does happens. London: Allen Lane. ISBN 978-1-84614-432-5. 
  40. ^Edwards, Tamsin Louisa (2006). Diffractively produced Z bosons in the muon decay channel in pp̄ collisions as s, and the measurement of the efficiency of the DØ Run II luminosity monitor (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
  41. ^Jones, Graham (2011). Measurement of dijet production at √s = 7 TeV with the ATLAS detector (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
  42. ^Monk, James William (2006). Study of central exclusive production(PDF) (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
  43. ^Nasteva, Irina Naskova (2006). Exclusive Higgs production and decay to WW(*) at the LHC and semiconductor tracker studies for the ATLAS detector (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
  44. ^Osorio Oliveros, Andres Felipe (2006). WW scattering studies for a future linear collider (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
  45. ^Pilkington, Andrew Denis (2006). Central exclusive production in TeV energies (PhD thesis). University of Manchester. 
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  48. ^Sue Rider Management, Professor Brian Cox. Retrieved 6 September 2008
  49. ^Wonders of the Solar System. Retrieved 4 April 2010
  50. ^"Brian Cox answers your questions about life, the universe and everything". The Guardian. London. 24 March 2011.
Brian Cox in October 2013