Sunday, August 28, 2005

The LA Times has an op-ed attacking academic freedom

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-academicfreedom28aug28,0,694861.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

Here's my reply:

Leila Beckwith’s attack on academic freedom (education, August 28) is all the more disappointing because it comes from a retired professor. Beckwith argues that because one student in San Diego claims that a professor allegedly says the US is “has always been wrong,” the legislator should pass laws infringing upon freedom of expression. But who will protect us from abuses of these laws? Should retired professors of pediatrics decide what books about Palestine can be assigned? Should we establish legislative committees to police the thoughts of professors and ban certain books (and certain courses)? Academic freedom, like any kind of freedom, can sometimes be abused. But revoking that freedom because a handful of students don’t like their professors is an invitation to censorship of the worst kind.


John K. Wilson

Author, “Patriotic Correctness: Academic Freedom and Its Enemies” (Paradigm Publishing, 2006)


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