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Hastings Center News

Countering Global Threats to Academic Freedom

When a psychology professor in Kentucky created a racial equity training program at her university, she received death threats. Efforts to silence, attack, and intimidate teachers and students are on the rise around the world, often driven by powerful political interference, states a new paper coauthored by Hastings Center President Vardit Ravitsky.

Curtailing academic freedom raises ethics concerns that impact what knowledge is (and is not) produced. Countering threats to academic freedom requires doubling down on ethics, specifically standards of justice and fairness in pursuing knowledge.

“Academic Freedom Under Siege” appears in the Journal of Medical Ethics. The lead author is Nancy S. Jecker; other authors, in addition to Dr. Ravitsky, are Marcel Verweij, Tenzin Wangmo, and Mohammed Ghaly.