Many scholars on both sides of the Atlantic feel that their freedom to question is in danger of being eroded or even lost. Zoe Corbyn examines the threat in the UK, while Christoph Bode and David Gunkel consider the state of affairs in Europe and America
"Academic freedom has always been under threat," notes Blumsohn, who is now a hospital researcher, campaigner for openness in research conduct and co-chair of the Council for Academic Freedom and Academic Standards (Cafas), an organisation seeking to provide support to individuals whose academic freedom is infringed, which it does largely through letter-writing targeted at vice-chancellors.
Eric Barendt, a professor of media law at University College London and a member of Cafas, thinks freedom is slowly withering. His book titled Academic Freedom and the Law is due out later this year. "In many respects academic freedom hasn't gone, but there is a gradual decline in academic freedom in practice. Although in the traditional older universities it is still in its main substance honoured, the anecdotal evidence from newer universities is that many more academics tread on eggshells to avoid trouble."
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
from Times Higher Education - A clear and present danger, 11 February 2010