Harvard Urged to ‘Give Up on Academic Freedom,’ Shut Down Research Not Aligned With ‘Justice’

“If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of ‘academic freedom’?”

That’s the question one student and editorial writer put to her Harvard University community in the campus newspaper The Crimson earlier this week, noted The College Fix.

“The Doctrine of Academic Freedom – Let’s Give Up On Academic Freedom in Favor of Justice” was penned by senior Sandra Y.L. Korn, a joint history of science and studies of women, gender and sexuality major. Korn wrote that “a more rigorous standard: one of ‘academic justice’” should replace academic freedom.

CAMBRIDGE, MA - DECEMBER 16: A gate sits locked on Quincy Street at Harvard University during a bomb scare December 16, 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Police were alerted at roughly nine thirty this morning of possible bombs at four different buildings on the Harvard campus. Darren McCollester/Getty Images
Harvard University building behind locked gate. (Image source: Getty Images/Darren McCollester)

“When an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue,” she wrote. “The power to enforce academic justice comes from students, faculty, and workers organizing together to make our universities look as we want them to do.”

Korn’s post elicited hundreds of comments, and it appears a good number take issue with her perspective:

“Offensive” usually means true, but unpleasant. Hence her demand to silence people who can’t be refuted.—brando55

How about a new slogan: “Burn Books for Justice!”—Bustr

Instead of summoning the thought police, the proper way to combat offensive research is to disprove it. That may take a bit more effort than just whining in The Crimson, but ultimately it is how we progress as a society. Governments during Galileo’s time tried to suppress offensive research. For the sake of humanity, I’m quite glad they didn’t succeed.—Libtard

There’s something grimly admirable about an article that manages to be its own parody.—Lex Corvus

(H/T: Weasel Zippers)