Intellectual and academic freedom in Britain and other Western nations. A thread where I will compile ongoing pieces of research & cases as they are released 1/?
Full disclosure. I have publicly stated that I think this is a serious issue, I have given evidence to (UK) parliament on it & I support the UK Higher Education & Academic Freedom Bill. I appreciate people have different views but such a thread might be useful.
Once Cambridge academics are allowed to vote anonymously & not publicly, the vast majority of them reject proposals to insist students & staff be ‘respectful’ of opposing views in favour of being "tolerant"…
Arif Ahmed who led the Cambridge campaign explains how difficult it was to get profs to support publicly, only when they were allowed to do so in secret did they voice support. His piece here:…
A report in US rejects claim cancel culture "is a myth". Finds over 5 years that 426 targeting incidents have occurred with almost three-quarters (314 out of 426; 74%) resulting in some form of sanction
Report based on new database finds that the number of scholars targeted for speech issues has risen dramatically over the last six years. 74% resulted in some kind of sanction. Most came from the left…
Pew Research Center finds that public confidence in universities (US) has declined in recent years among a group that is underrepresented in them: conservatives
New study at Harvard surveys political scientists around the world. Finds 72% lean left with 14% of those radical left. Right-wing academics more likely to report "chill effects" esp. in advanced Western democracies
The UCU -main union for academics in the UK- in its own survey finds that 1 in 3 academics (35%) are "self-censoring" for fear of negative repercussions such as loss of privileges, demotion or physical harm…
A study at Kings College London finds 12% of UK students have heard about incidents where academic freedoms have been inhibited and, remarkably, 25% of students are scared to express their views openly…
Another report, this time in US, finds that large numbers of university students are hiding real views and/or support shouting down speakers. Several trends moving in the wrong direction
A series of individual cases in UK including: Professor at Royal Holloway leaves job due to concerns over dogmatic thinking, public humiliation, no platforming & attempts to have other scholars fired
Scholar at Edinburgh is accused by activist students of being racist, sexist and transphobic. Is suspended but later cleared of wrongdoing. "The process is the punishment" as they say…
A scholar at Bristol is cleared of being Islamophobic but his course is still removed
Academic is no longer “allowed to render my opinion about ‘protected classes’ or teach in such a way that my opinion about ‘protected classes’ could be known”
A range of senior academic experts give evidence to Public Bill Committee and share consensus there is a serious threat to academic freedom in the UK
The Chief Executive of the Office for Students agrees that there is a threat to academic freedom and reforms are needed
ICYMBI I also give evidence to the same committee and you can read my evidence here…
The Economist concludes there is a major challenge to universities in the West from the "illiberal left" and lays out an array of evidence here…
The Observer/Nick Cohen makes similar point
Oxford Vice Chancellor Louise Richardson calls for more ideological diversity in UK universities and warns they are "losing the argument"
Baroness Falkner, head of Equalities and Human Rights Commission warns against bullying and harassment of academics
Sussex Vice Chancellor Adam Tickell comes out in support of academic freedom and calls for investigation after Kathleen Stock harassed/bullied
Arif Ahmed reflects on legacy of Stephen Toope VC at Cambridge and challenges to academic freedom…
Prof. Nigel Biggar summarises findings of several policy reports in UK documenting large numbers of academics and students self-censoring…
Jordan Peterson to return to Cambridge in move widely seen as symbolic of the turning tide….
Comprehensive report finds significant number of academics are willing to discriminate against right-leaning academics. 1 in 3 in UK would not hire known Brexit supporter…
UK academic urged to consider security after bullying and harassment…
Research in Canada suggests significant numbers of students and staff are self-censoring…
UK government brings Higher Education and Academic Freedom Bill which will shift emphasis to promoting academic freedom & ensuring protection of those persecuted for beliefs
The Times leader. "It is no hyperbole to say that the defence of Professor Stock, a cogent thinker and valiant voice for women’s rights, is now the defence of liberty itself"…
MIT cancels lecture after "Twitter mob" targets academic who suggested that academic evaluations should be based on merit. Princeton hosts lecture instead. Thousands register to attend.…
New study in UK finds 45% of young Zoomers & 38% Millennials "feel scared" that there are others with different values, vs. only 28% among the over-40s. Young also more likely to back speech restrictions than old.…
"Universities trade union backs trans rights over threatened professor"…

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More from @GoodwinMJ

27 Sep
"Gina Miller to launch a new anti-Brexit party". Have people learned nothing from Change UK? And does Labour really need ANOTHER party splitting it's vote? Hard to avoid the conclusion that this is more about ego than Britain.
Labour is currently losing 15-20% of its 2019 vote to an assortment of Lib Dems, Greens, Plaid, etc. Lavishing the Brahmin graduate left with yet another cosmopolitan anti-Brexit party will only weaken their cause 1/2
2/2 this will likely be magnified by the absence of Brexit Party alternative in 2023/24. If you strip away Brexit Party candidates from 2019 election Boris would probably have majority over 100. Ppl forgetting this. Realignment could still easily smash Lab & warring progressives
Read 4 tweets
8 Sep
This is what leaning left on the economy and leaning right on culture looks like. It is a new era in British politics.
Johnson's premiership has so far delivered Brexit, reformed migration, shifted conversation to levelling up & presided over massive expansion of state. New measures will now see tax burden rise to 35%-ish of gdp by 2023/24, highest level since 1940s.
Contrary to old left v right, much of this will sit well among cross pressured voters who lean left on econ, want bigger state, & right on culture, back Johnson/Brexit/Britain. Is especially important group for Johnson coalition & also many more in Red Wall 2.0.
Read 4 tweets
4 Aug
A major theme in post-Brexit Britain is @BorisJohnson 's pledge to "level-up" regions & communities that were left behind. Conservatives cannot retain power unless they deliver. @Keir_Starmer cannot return Labour to power unless he sets out credible alternative [Thread]
But it remains poorly defined & understood. What do we mean by levelling-up? How can we measure whether areas are improving or deteriorating? How can citizens, communities & councils hold gvt to account? How can policymakers identify what is working vs what is not?
We @LegatumInst have been exploring these issues for past few months & working with lots of councils, policymakers, academics & stakeholders to build the UK Prosperity Index -a tool that we think can help gvt, councils & citizens get to grips with levelling-up
Read 16 tweets
11 Jun
New study confirms the last 5 years on Twitter. Labour voters & Remainers considerably more likely to distance themselves from people who hold different ideological views & to voice hostility toward them. Conservatives, Leavers less likely to do so.…
Read 4 tweets
5 Mar
A 25-point lead for Conservatives among working-class; Conservatives 52%, Labour 27%. Today's YouGov.
London breaks 44 versus 34 for Labour. Southern England breaks 51 versus 29 for Conservatives.
Same old problem for Labour as 2019. 71% of Leavers rally round Conservatives, 47% Remainers rally around Labour
Read 5 tweets
18 Oct 20
A short thread. Many institutions adopt an imbalanced or ‘asymmetric’ approach to diversity & inclusion. They focus overwhelmingly, & increasingly, on race/ethnicity, which is often seen as the only relevant variable.
This is entirely understandable given historic injustices but it also comes with costs; we are overlooking other social problems in society. We need to broaden rather than narrow our view.
One of those is white working-class children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are already falling behind their peers at age 5 … less likely to get good GCSEs … and less likely than every other group to make it to university (evidence ->
Read 14 tweets

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