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THE STATUS OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM

September 10, 2019

EPLab International Conference in Political Theory

The Status of Academic Freedom

 

Location: Nova University of Lisbon, September 10 2019

Nova School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Auditorio 3

 

Keynotes

Jeff McMahan (University of Oxford)

Viriato Soromenho-Marques (University of Lisbon)

 

Academic freedom is the idea that scholars should be free to pursue knowledge without interference from censorious agents. Those who defend academic freedom uphold the liberty for academic actors to communicate ideas or facts, even when those ideas are inconvenient or potentially offensive. For the proponents of this liberty, the academic mission of knowledge production can only succeed under freedom of inquiry. In liberal societies, one may take scholarly freedom for granted. Yet, in the last decades, several voices came to fore denouncing not only systematic violations on academic freedom but also a lack of true scholastic pluralism. Threats to academic freedom also come from outside the universities. Academics working on bioethical topics like abortion or genetic engineering many times suffer (death) threats from dogmatic religious groups or individuals. 

 

This conference assesses the status of academic freedom in contemporary times. Namely, it engages in a philosophical discussion about whether there are limits to the liberty of western scholars and whether there is any legitimacy to curtail this liberty.

 

Program

10:00 – Jeff McMahan (Oxford University):  Contemporary Threats to Academic Freedom

11:15 – Monika Stachowiak-Kudła (Warsaw University of Technology): Academic Freedom in Collision of Principles on the Example of Selected European Countries

11:50 – Chrys Margaritidis (Central European University): Walking the Line: Academic Freedom and the case against the Principle of Institutional Neutrality

12:25 – Lunch Break 

14:00 – David Benatar (University of Cape Town): How to Destroy a University

15:15 – Alberto de Lucas Vicente (Universidad de Navarra): The Debate on Academic Freedom in the Press. The Finnis Case

15:50 –Ricardo Lopes (Science Journalist): The Value of Free Speech in Science Communication

16:30 – Filipe Nobre Faria (Nova University of Lisbon): The Academy: Institutional Function and the Possibility of Freedom 

17:05 – Viriato Soromenho-Marques (University of Lisbon): Academic Freedom in the Age of Global Environmental Crisis

 

Conference Website: https://thestatusofacademicfreedom.wordpress.com/

Organizing Committee: Filipe Nobre Faria, Andre Santos Campos (Ifilnova, Nova University of Lisbon)

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Institutions

IFILNOVA
Faculdade de Direito Universidade Nova de Lisboa
FCSH
UNL
FCT