'Make freedom to offend legal'

March 2, 2007

Support is steadily growing for a proposed new legal definition of "academic freedom" that would give scholars the unfettered right to offend.

A campaign by Academics for Academic Freedom ( www.afaf.org.uk ), launched in the pages of The Times Higher last year, has the backing of 6 academics.

The group wants the law on academic freedom, which guarantees the right to question received wisdom and put forward controversial and unpopular ideas, to offer the "unrestricted liberty" to put forward offensive ideas.

One signatory, Geoffrey Sampson of Sussex University, said: "Free speech on condition that no one could possibly be offended is not free speech".

Steven Popper of Chichester University said: "Ideas should be responded to in terms of their merit, not received wisdom or dogma."

Please login or register to read this article.

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most commented

Recent controversy over the future directions of both Stanford and Melbourne university presses have raised questions about the role of in-house publishing arms in a world of commercialisation, impact agendas, alternative facts – and ever-diminishing monograph sales. Anna McKie reports

3 October


Featured jobs

Programme and Delivery Manager

University Of Leeds

Occupational Health Manager

University Of The West Of Scotland

Senior Veterinary Epidemiologist

Scotland's Rural College (sruc)

Research Associate

Kings College London