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Threat to freedom in British universities

Chris Bertram of Junius has written:

I’ve just blogged about a matter that I think has potentially serious implications for freedom of expression in British universities. See link.

It is, too. Universities are understandably anxious not to have their names dragged in the dust by things like the Mona Baker affair. These proposals, however, would have a chilling effect way beyond that. As Bertram says:

“We could see, for example, a physicist who feels strongly about Tibet and protests against the Chinese government, being held to account for endangering the reputation of a university. Academic freedom would be no defence.”

UPDATE: Apologies for the bad link, and thanks to those who pointed it out. It ought to work now.

6 comments to Threat to freedom in British universities

  • Sandy P.

    This can be handled the right way.

    As long as the person protests as a private citizen, does not use his/her title/stationery/computers/align with the person’s place of work, it should be OK.

    We have the same problem in the States. You can say whatever you want. However, you use your public/corporate resources to put forth your private opinion, that’s when you have a problem. You want to disagree? Put a big flashing neon sign on your roof. But you pay for it, not your place of work. Wear your t-shirts on your time, not theirs.

  • Sandy P.

    This can be handled the right way.

    As long as the person protests as a private citizen, does not use his/her title/stationery/computers/align with the person’s place of work, it should be OK.

    We have the same problem in the States. You can say whatever you want. However, you use your public/corporate resources to put forth your private opinion, that’s when you have a problem. You want to disagree? Put a big flashing neon sign on your roof. But you pay for it, not your place of work. Wear your t-shirts on your time, not theirs.

  • I seem to have been thwarted by the net nuisance again. The link led me nowhere again.

    Perhaps academic freedom has already been curtailed, more radically than we realise….

  • Admin has been advised of the correct URL; hopefully it will be corrected shortly. Of course, Admins tend to be quite prickly, so tread gently. :-)

  • Dave Farrell

    I hate what I do is not at all the same as I do what I hate, Alice remarked.