Confusing victims with bullies 3

November 15, 2002

Mona Baker has the right to put forward unpopular opinions without fear of losing her job or privileges that go with it. But with privileges come obligations, such as not to bring one's institution into disrepute.

That is why even the private actions of academics may be legitimately investigated by employing institutions. An academic who publishes a learned journal and severs its links with two academics on account of where they are employed should not be surprised that her employing institution takes notice.

Mordechai Vanunu was never an academic. Why, in their Council for Academic Freedom and Academic Standards roles, Michael Cohen and Colwyn Williamson regard it as their duty to "defend" him is quite beyond me.

Geoffrey Alderman
London NW9

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