We are excited to release our most recent report, Charting Academic Freedom: 103 Years of Debate, tomorrow, February 1. We invite all those interested in the concept of academic freedom to join us for the report's launch at New York University at 5:30 p.m. There will be a reception with light refreshments hosted by Heterodox Academy directly preceding the program at 5:30 p.m., and the program will begin at 6:00 p.m.
Academic freedom is a big topic, with lots of room for diverging opinions. Today’s debates on academic freedom have some new features, but behind those debates stands more than a hundred years of vigorous argument on what academic freedom should mean. There are many books and thousands of articles on the subject—too many and often too dense for anyone but specialists to keep up. We decided to provide a map to the key controversies. To that end, we picked out 14 formal declarations, starting with the AAUP’s 1915 Statement of Principles, and created a chart that compares these declarations in 25 categories. Which ones connect academic freedom with the pursuit of truth? Which ones see the threats to academic freedom coming from outside the university? Which ones call for sanctions against violators? Our chart provides quick answers to such questions and makes clear the historical trajectory of the debates.
NAS's Director of Research and the author of Charting, David Randall, had this to say about the critical importance of this new report.
Americans need Charting Academic Freedom's ready-reference digest of the last century of work to secure academic freedom to help us as we fight to secure academic freedom in the century to come.
We were founded in 1987 in large measure to counter threats to academic freedom coming from adherents to illiberal ideologies. We hope that Charting Academic Freedom will be an important resource for everyone who seeks to understand what academic freedom is, what it is not, and how to best protect it.
Please join us tomorrow for the launch of this first-of-its-kind reference on academic freedom.
Image Credit: Public Domain