Illiberal conduct

January 10, 2003

Andrew J. Morgan (Letters, THES , January 3) confuses two separate activities.

The protection of academics against governments, employers and sponsors is a matter for the unions and bodies such as the Council for Academic Freedom and Academic Standards.

What Morgan has in mind is quite different: a body that would regulate the conduct of academics in the way that the Law Society regulates that of solicitors and the General Medical Council that of doctors, presumably with the right to penalise, perhaps even strike off, members who breach its "established code of conduct".

However, in the case of academics this kind of regulation would proscribe lawful political activity, such as the promotion of an academic boycott, of which Morgan disapproves, and is thus profoundly illiberal.

Michael Cohen
Department of philosophy University of Wales Swansea

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