What is academic freedom?
Posted April 16, 2021
A piece by SAR Executive Director Robert Quinn for the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Academic freedom is simple, complex, and essential. It must be protected.
Academic freedom is a guarantor of quality. It is the freedom to carry out research, teaching, and discourse. It is the pursuit of truth, without regard for ideology, identity, or authority, bounded only by standards of professional and social responsibility. It is enjoyed by scholars and students. It is not limited to the laboratory or classroom but includes dialogue with society. It is a right, recognised in the international human rights regime, grounded in freedom of expression, the right to education, and the right to benefits of scientific progress. States therefore have legal obligations to protect and promote academic freedom.
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