, 7 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
1/ Three things to unpack here:
a) academic freedom
b) conduct towards students
c) journalists behaviour
2/ Academic freedom must include the freedom to say unpopular or unfashionable things. Equally it includes my freedom to express my view that "homosexuality is bestiality" is a view which only a tedious reactionary buffoon could hold.
3/ Universities are environments where students should be exposed to different points of view, even if they strongly disagree with those views. The point is to develop skills of assessing arguments and evidence.
4/ But conduct towards students is a different issue. Holding a minority view on (say) LGBT issues is no reason for an academic to be obnoxious to LGBT students, or to mark them unfairly. (I have no idea whether Finnis is accused of such things).
5/ My experience as a student included highly conservative teachers and professors who were scrupulously fair. On one occasion one of those teachers intervened to defend those of us being jeered at by other students (even though he shared their views).
6/ That's the basis on which, in my view, student concerns about academics should be judged: fairness and competence, not whether their opinions fall within a prescribed range of acceptable views.
7/ But as for journalists' conduct, it's fair to ask students challenging questions, but not to belittle or sneer at them. It sounds as if that line has been crossed here. And it can certainly be contested whether the child abuse claim is "legitimate": psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/f… //
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