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Cranks, Racists and Radicals: Is defending their freedom of speech part of academic freedom?

7:00pm, Wednesday 17 October 2007, Contact for more information.

Understanding the importance of free speech is a necessary prerequisite to an understanding of academic freedom. Looking at the historical approaches to the relationship between them reveals how the discussion has degenerated into one about whether or not to support individual victims whose ‘academic freedom’ has been challenged.

Traditionally, the left criticised the special privilege of ‘academic freedom’ claimed by academics and defended it as an expression of a universal value. Now even academics are unable or unwilling to defend their special privilege or even support colleagues whose academic freedom is threatened. What is to be done?


Dr Dennis Hayes, founder of Academics for Academic Freedom

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