Do British academics care about free speech?

Freedom of expression is essential for rule of law and economic development, but is increasingly challenged by those who want to be insulated from the views of others in ‘safe spaces’ or the like. So how can academics, ICAEW and others who want to act in the long term public interest best make the case for free speech?

It seems to me that the University of Chicago does a pretty good job in its Statement on Principles of Free Expression but I would appreciate your thoughts.  In particular, is the US really making the running in this field, or is there a home grown alternative?

Of course, if you are a ‘safe placer’ yourself and don’t agree with the premise, please feel free to say so – I may be surprised, but I won’t be offended.

No Data
  • Thank you for the comments.  As regards David's comments, I suspect ‘safe space’ means pretty much what those residing in it want it to mean, but if anyone is aware of a useful definition please do let us know. I doubt that many in this community would disagree with his comments on hate speech, but the suggestion that the door should be closed on those who espouse views that ‘most people disagree with’ begs many questions in my mind (even if it was intended to be qualified by the context) - and we have had one answer already. As yet, no comments on the University of Chicago Statement itself, so I have done a bit of digging and see that some UK institutions (Oxford University for example) have similar. Perhaps Chicago is just a better publicist, or does it care more?

No Data