Yascha Mounk: Dorian Abbot’s cancellation is novel—and dangerous

I’ve written a few posts about my Chicago colleague Dorian Abbot, who got in trouble here on campus for making YouTube videos criticizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. College members demanded punishment, but that didn’t occur because the University of Chicago considers Abbot’s videos free speech, and we don’t punish that. Abbot continued his … Continue reading Yascha Mounk: Dorian Abbot’s cancellation is novel—and dangerous

Bret Stephens on Dorian Abbot and reforming campus dogmatism

The case of Dorian Abbot, a University of Chicago associate professor of Geophysical Sciences, would have been a purely local event: he was locally excoriated by his colleagues for making three anti-DEI videos, and people here called for his punishment.  This being the U of C, that went nowhere. As Bret Stephens notes in his … Continue reading Bret Stephens on Dorian Abbot and reforming campus dogmatism

UC Prof Dorian Abbot canceled for a prestigious lecture at MIT after criticizing diversity initiatives

I’ve written about Dorian Abbot—an associate professor in our Geophysical Sciences Department—twice before. The first time was in November of last year when Abbot came under fire for posting YouTube videos that weren’t in line with the Zeitgeist. As I said at the time: The (associate) professor is Dr. Dorian Abbot in our Department of Geophysical … Continue reading UC Prof Dorian Abbot canceled for a prestigious lecture at MIT after criticizing diversity initiatives

Academic Freedom Alliance calls out MIT for canceling Dorian Abbot lecture (and a poll)

Yesterday I reported on the unconscionable deplatforming of University of Chicago professor Dorian Abbot, who was scheduled to give a prestigious invited lecture at MIT on October 21. The topic of his lecture was to be  “climate and the potential for life on other planets”. Abbot was to be the Carlson Lecturer in MIT’s Department … Continue reading Academic Freedom Alliance calls out MIT for canceling Dorian Abbot lecture (and a poll)

MIT proposes its own free-expression statement

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has no special reputation as a “free-speech” school—not like the University of Chicago, which may be the only college in America that even has a reputation for open speech and inquiry. FIRE has listed 203 colleges in descending order of free-speech adherence, and though Chicago is #1, I doubt … Continue reading MIT proposes its own free-expression statement

MIT adopts a slightly hedged “free expression” statement

The Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) was badly burned over the Dorian Abbot affair after it rescinded an invitation to University of Chicago geosciences professor Dorian Abbot to give a prestigious lecture. The invitation was withdrawn after MIT found out that Abbot posted YouTube videos in which he criticized DEI initiatives. It was not good … Continue reading MIT adopts a slightly hedged “free expression” statement

MIT faculty worried about chilling of speech

I wrote yesterday about the Academic Freedom Alliance’s concern with colleges making official statements about ideology, politics or morality. The reason they shouldn’t do this is that such declarations impede free discourse by discouraging those who disagree with the statements from speaking up.  If your department has an official statement about the college or the … Continue reading MIT faculty worried about chilling of speech

A new free speech organization

Given the hegemony and influence of “progressives” who aren’t “progressive” when they try to stifle speech, there can’t be too many of these organizations. We have, among others, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism, Counterweight, and the Academic Freedom Alliance. Now we have a new one: The United … Continue reading A new free speech organization

U of C President Robert Zimmer issues statement supporting faculty’s freedom of speech

Yesterday I reported on a fracas going on in my university’s Department of Geophysical Science. An associate professor, Dorian Abbot, put up four YouTube videos (now removed) questioning the department’s procedures for diversity and inclusion, as well as the need for affirmative action as opposed to pure meritocracy. A group of students and alums reacted … Continue reading U of C President Robert Zimmer issues statement supporting faculty’s freedom of speech

Our College Dean responds to threats and calls for cancellation of a class on the “Problem of Whiteness”

On November 9 I described a proposed University of Chicago course, “The Problem of Whiteness”, to be taught under the aegis of CRES (“Critical Race and Ethnic Studies”). The course was brought to national attention—publicized, as usual, by right-wing venues like this one—via the tweets of one of our undergraduates: The course description describes whiteness … Continue reading Our College Dean responds to threats and calls for cancellation of a class on the “Problem of Whiteness”