Shameful stance

March 16, 2007

"To challenge a tutor is brave act" ran the headline on your letters page last week (March 9). So is blowing yourself up, but the people are still self-righteous fanatics.

The harassment of David Coleman is shameful ("Bid to oust don is 'witch-hunt'", March 2). Even to defend him on grounds of "academic freedom" misleadingly implies that his views are extreme or eccentric.

In fact, Coleman is a liberal-minded scholar of great distinction and mainstream outlook doing what academics are constantly urged to do: engaging with current issues.

If his conclusions are not the ones we want to hear, it should motivate us to do more research, not force him to do less.

Who will work on politically sensitive topics in the future if this kind of abuse becomes common?

David Voas
Centre for Census and Survey Research
Manchester University

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