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
James Murray is a higher education and employment lawyer at Taylor Vinters, a law firm specialising in research and innovation. He has written a number of articles dealing with academic freedom and free speech on campus.
My name is Jo Phoenix. I am Professor of Criminology at the Open University.
I am bringing an employment tribunal claim to hold the OU to account for the public campaign of harassment that has made my working life unbearable, and I really need your support.
My hope is that this case will force universities to protect female academics from the vicious bullying perpetrated by those who disagree with our beliefs on sex and gender; bullying that is designed to silence us and our research.
Controversies in recent years and months in the academic world (most recently involving Prof. Strumia at CERN) relating to gender issues have shown that there is much disagreement on what constitutes best practice with regard to gender equality. There seems even to be considerable disagreement between scientists of different disciplines as to fundamental aspects of gender identity.
We believe that the resolution of these disputes is not best promoted by discrediting and even discriminating against one side or the other.
For this reason we have asked a number of specialists if they would contribute to any future event debating STEM and gender (Prof. Amanda Diekmann, Prof. Alice Eagly, Prof. David C. Geary, Prof. Lee Jussim, inter alia), in order to facilitate an intellectually honest discussion.
We invite everyone (on both sides of the gender debate) to sign our petition and encourage the administration at CERN to invite these academics to their second Workshop on High Energy Theory and Gender.
Together, we can ensure neutrality, nuance and balance at CERN and in the whole scientific community.