That pretty well describes attacks on the rights of academics to conduct research free from political surveillance and intrusion. The latest salvos come from two reactionary websites, The Daily Caller and The College Fix. Both attacked our work in the courts supporting faculty members who have been subjected to relentless public records requests for e-mails related to their climate research.
An article published on The Daily Caller, a website founded by Tucker Carlson of Fox News, claimed that the AAUP “doesn’t want . . . unpublished climate change research seen by the public.” The College Fix, which is funded in large part by a conservative foundation whose biggest donors are members of the DeVos family, published a piece in a similar vein.
Here are the facts: Our legal and advocacy work around this issue involves fighting requests that seek prepublication communications and other unpublished academic research materials, cases where compelled disclosure would have a severe chilling effect on intellectual debate among researchers and scientists. The academic freedom to conduct research is essential to a vital university system and to the common good. The AAUP and its members will continue to fight for those ideals, no matter how constant the attacks.
Those fighting against academic freedom are seeking to divide and conquer. Our goal is to unite and win. Together we can do that.
Donate now to the AAUP Foundation to help support our legal work fighting for academic freedom.
American Association of University Professors