The dangerous rise of academic mobbing
This debate is part of the series Killing controversy: the silencing of speech
From Socrates to Salman Rushdie, heretical thinkers and writers have been persecuted by powerful authorities, whether by the church or the state. In recent years, however, censorship has taken on new forms. Universities that were once a bastion of free thought have become hostile places for unpopular and offensive ideas. Cases of students and academics writing open letters, signing petitions and launching campaigns to remove academics they disagree with from their posts have become widespread. AFAF’s The Banned List gives several examples, which in 2019 alone include Jordan Peterson, Michelle Moore, Nina Power and John Finnis.
The speaker is Professor Nigel Biggar, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, University of Oxford. In 2017 Professor Bigger was subject to an international campaign to close down his five-year ‘Ethics and Empire’ project which sought to have a balanced assessment of colonialism. Critics said he was an apologist for colonialism.
Professor Biggar will be in conversation with Professor Dennis Hayes, director, Academics for Academic Freedom, who will start the evening by introducing the Battle of Ideas festival satellite series Killing controversy: the silencing of speech
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