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March 29, 2005

A Harvard Professor Speaks Out in Defense of Academic Freedom

In a speech given on March 15 at the meeting of the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Science (full transcript on Front Page Magazine here), a professor spoke about the eroding hill that was once the mountain of academic freedom.

Specifically, Stephan Thernstrom discussed his concerns about the flap with Harvard President Lawrence Summers, and how those who claim to be propenents of academic freedom are really the academic thought police.

It is amazing to me that many of us here no longer seem to understand that the expression of controversial ideas and the freedom to debate them is at the heart of any greater institution of higher learning. The whole point of tenure, as I understand it, is to protect professors from the thought police. But now they are not just outside, on some congressional or state legislative committee. They are inside too, in our midst.
Be sure to read the whole thing for yourself. Considering how much trouble Summers got himself into by going against the PC machine, I wonder how Mr. Thernstrom is faring these days?

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