Friday, December 22, 2006 at 10:01:36
After a lengthy absence from illness, I thought I would give a plug for the “Academics For Academic Freedom” campaign that recently received some press from the BBC entitled Academics seek right to offend. The title is perhaps a little misleading in that the campaign is seeking academic freedom, “the responsibility to speak your mind and challenge conventional wisdom”, and so contribute to open debate within society as a whole. As AFAF says on its website, “In today’s political climate it is harder than ever for academics to defend open debate.” Whilst the campaign has been running for a couple of months, it is perhaps reached wider press as a result of the release of David Irving (the BBC again). And I wholly support the campaign as it is vital that there is academic freedom to openly, and critically, debate current issues. In the current climate of political correctness, it is hard to imagine the strength of character required of the likes of Galileo (is the Earth flat?) and Darwin (“Origin of the Species).