This week, there was renewed debate over bias in academia, the conservative political scientist Eric Kaufmann leaving Birkbeck and complaining of attacks on his freedom of speech. Whilst I am sympathetic to Kaufmann, for reasons we will see, there is little point speculating about individual cases.
Thomas, my working theory is that the leftward tilt of the academic system, at least in the US, is partly driven by the proliferation of govt-funded student loans. These loans place all risk on the students and enable universities to spend big. As a consequence, many universities have expanded their bureaucracies and leadership while the private sector went the opposition direction.
Many of the hires made at universities were made on the basis of "diversity," thus, the entire academic leadership structure benefits from the status quo, a leftward tilt and viewpoint.
Thanks for this. I am enjoying your Substack. I wanted to share two references that might be of interest to you and your readers.
One is a link to a new group campaigning on issues of academic freedom in the UK:
The other is a link to a lengthy but very interesting article about the experience of a Harvard Public Health academic who was subjected to a lengthy ordeal (falling short of formal disciplinary action) for public expression of conservative views:
"Conservatives find it harder in academia" is, I have to say, something of an understatement. And anyone who wants to move beyond individual cases should read Heather Mac Donald's 'The Diversity Delusion' which I reviewed here: https://grahamcunningham.substack.com/p/how-diversity-narrows-the-mind
"The Diversity Delusion is an invaluable resource of myth busting fact and a reality-check on the siren calls of identity-based ‘social justice’ now so insistent in all Western societies. Detailed, rigorous and copious, it is a devastatingly compelling expose of “how race and gender pandering corrupt the university and undermine our culture.” Its competitive victimhood narrative....now oozes daily from the liberal media and has progressively been absorbed as orthodoxy in each and every one of our institutions, all the way from schools to armed forces.... This is why an evidence-rich book like The Diversity Delusion is so necessary, if only as a historical record of the madness."
It comes down to the noisiest voices. Those who shite lidely. I afraid some of us just have to put our heads on the block and call them out.