Prof. Jo Phoenix resigns after harassment campaign

[This is her full statement on 3 December 2021]

I resigned from The Open University last night. The University has allowed things to escalate to a point beyond repair. My trust and heart have been broken. As many of you know, I am taking the OU to the Employment Tribunal and will provide further updates on the case in the next week or two.

But today, I am delighted to announce that as of 1st January 2022, I will be moving to the University of Reading to become Professor of Criminology at the School of Law. I am excited about working with law and criminology specialists, and about the next chapter in my academic career.

It is a privilege and pleasure to move to a University that truly values interdisciplinary research and teaching, and that has demonstrated its commitment to upholding and protecting academic freedom.

To donate to her legal proceedings against the Open University click here

Lecture on academic freedom and free speech censored at top Spanish IAC research institute

[One of the co-editors of our new book (2022) “Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and the Threat to Academic Freedom” was censored in Spain]

In an invited lecture at the IAC on Tenerife, Swedish philosopher Erik J. Olsson identified the replacement of traditional academic values with an excessive focus on equality and other soft values as a major threat to academic freedom. However, shortly after the appearance of the recorded talk on Youtube, the IAC seminar board decided to take it down for “preventive” reasons following concerns about its incompatibility with own IAC’s equality policies (!).

Read more…

John Cleese blacklists himself from Cambridge University event

John Cleese has cancelled an appearance at Cambridge University after a visiting speaker was banned for a Hitler impression.

The star, who said he had done a similar impression on a Monty Python show, said he was “blacklisting myself before someone else does”.

Read more…

Cleese himself in an interview on his book and this self-censorship

Freedom of science in Germany

[Translated from the German article @Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung]
How free is science in Germany? In recent years, more and more voices have been raised that see the fundamental right from Article 5, paragraph 3, sentence 1 of the Constitution in danger. On the one hand, in times of pandemics and climate change, the relationship between science and democratic politics is being discussed controversially.

On the other hand, the debate about the great good of freedom of opinion, which is said to be endangered by identity-political “discourse controls” and “cancel culture”, also touches on the academic sphere. In contrast, other developments that can impair the freedom of research and teaching, such as financial or organisational ones, receive less attention.

All articles (in German) here…

The canceling of academics is an intentional purging

by Debra Soh

Cancel culture continues to exert itself across countless academic institutions in punishment for increasingly benign transgressions.

Recent examples include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s deplatforming of Dorian Abbot, a geophysicist at the University of Chicago, over his belief that academic evaluations should be based on merit instead of equity initiatives , and the resignation of Kathleen Stock from the University of Sussex’s philosophy department, after a prolonged campaign of harassment from transgender activists over Stock’s belief that biological sex is an important variable.