Threats to Freedom Archive

Government Pressure, the Israel-Palestine debate

On the 10th October the University and College Union, the largest union for academics in the UK, issued a statement which condemned   in the strongest possible terms the targeting of civilian life by both Hamas and the Israeli military, and we also condemn instances of Antisemitism and Islamophobia that we…

Assault, Libel and Censorship at the University of Edinburgh

On 11th October, despite the best efforts to prevent it, a book launch took place at the University of Edinburgh.    The book is Sex and Gender: A Contemporary Reader, a multidisciplinary collection of essays on the topics of sex and gender by various distinguished academics. Sex and Gender is edited…

University Cancels talk of Israel-Critical Professor

Liverpool Hope University has cancelled a talk by a professor who is critical of Israel.  Professor Avi Shlaim is an emeritus fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford, where he was professor of international relations. Shlaim is one of Israel’s “new historians”, a group of academics who are critical of Zionism…

Government Interference and Neglect of Academic Freedom: Changes to the REF

On 6th October, the period of further consultation for the Research Excellence Framework 2028 closed. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is an assessment of British Higher Education Institutions. It takes place once every seven years, and determines how much funding universities receive.   The REF assesses universities according to how…

Jo Phoenix vs The Open University 

Monday 2nd October marked the first day of Professor Jo Phoenix’s Employment Tribunal against the Open University.   Professor Phoenix is a highly respected criminologist, formerly Dean at Durham University and Chair of Criminology at the Open University. Professor Phoenix believes that biological sex cannot be changed, and has published research…

Publication, Conformity, Climate Science

Dr Patrick Brown, an American scientist, and co-director of the Breakthrough Institute’s Climate and Energy Team, recently published a paper in the world’s leading academic science journal Nature. Brown’s paper showed that increases in temperature since the industrial revolution are responsible for a 25% increase in the risk of wildfires…

Jenny Bulstrode, Malpractise, and Academic Freedom

Dr Jenny Bulstrode, an academic at University College London (UCL) and previously Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge, is being investigated for academic malpractice.    Dr Bulstrode published an article in the journal History and Technology. In it, she argues that Henry Colt, one of the most important figures of the…