Whether disrupting unpopular lectures or seminars, refusing to engage in scientific debate on the basis of political or religious attitudes, or exerting politically motivated pressure on scientists: recently, more and more cases have become known in which attempts have been made to curtail or dispute scientists’ constitutional right to academic freedom. For this reason, a code has now been drawn up at the University of Hamburg that defines the freedom of science and draws clear boundaries for infringements of this freedom. The university is hereby joining a chain of scientific organizations that have addressed the issue and is one of the first universities to anchor a code for the protection of scientific freedom in its mission statement.
Academic unions are facing deepening divides over transgender issues, just as they seek to unite members in fights for fairer pay and pensions.
In the UK, a new group of early career academics has claimed that the University and College Union has failed to stand up for scholars facing harassment and ostracism for their views on sex and gender, contributing to an intimidatory climate that is inhibiting freedom of expression.
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Top academics at Durham University are accused of whipping up mob of left-wing students attempting to oust head of college for defending Rod Liddle speech furore
- Senior Durham University academics accused of whipping up Left-wing student mob
- Left-wing students are trying to oust the head of a college amid a free-speech row
- Professor Tim Luckhurst branded a walkout during a Rod Liddle speech by woke students ‘pathetic’
- Rod Liddle gave a talk on December 3 covering trans issues, women’s rights and racism
[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
The Westminster government’s campus free speech bill could be helpful for higher education institutions provided it is “proportionate and manageable”, according to Universities UK.
[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 (!).
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”.
[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.