This is a reaction to a speaker who was disinvited. It’s a very good sign.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
MIT Asks Its Faculty to Endorse Free Speech
Administrators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are trying to restore the academic liberty that made the school a world leader and a crown jewel of American science. Let’s hope that MIT faculty are ready to turn the page on the school’s shameful 2021 cancellation of a geophysicist with politically incorrect views.
On October 6, 2021 this column noted the school’s cancellation of its prestigious Carlson Lecture, which was scheduled to be delivered by Dorian Abbot of the University of Chicago. Fortunately the indispensable Princeton professor Robert George immediately agreed to host the lecture instead. But the damage was done at MIT, which had just violated its own stated policies, not to mention the bedrock principles that have enabled it to give birth to world-changing innovations…
The hopeful news is that after last year’s canceled lecture, many members of the MIT community were not about to give up on free expression. A working group created by the school’s leadership has recently released a report on the subject and is asking faculty to endorse some very sensible ideas:
Free expression is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition of a diverse and inclusive community. We cannot have a truly free community of expression if some perspectives can be heard and others cannot. Diversity of thought is an essential ingredient of academic excellence.
Free expression promotes creativity by affirming the ability to exchange ideas without constraints. It not only facilitates individual autonomy and self-fulfillment, it provides for participation in collective decision-making and is essential to the search for truth and justice.
Free expression is enhanced by the doctrine of academic freedom, which protects both intramural and extramural expression without institutional censorship or discipline. Academic freedom promotes scholarly rigor and the testing of ideas by protecting research, publication, and teaching from interference…
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