The Global Challenge
Academic freedom—the institutional autonomy of scientific, research and teaching institutions, and the freedom of individual scholars and researchers to pursue controversial research and publish controversial opinions—is a cornerstone of any free society. Today this freedom is under attack from the state in many countries—Russia, Turkey, Venezuela, Hungary, China—but it is also under question from within academe. Bitter disputes have erupted on American campuses, for example, about the limits of free speech and about whether liberal academic freedoms have degenerated into a form of coercive political correctness. Beyond the academy itself, among the general public, academic freedom is contested ground. As Robert Post of Yale Law School has put it, academic freedom is "the price the public must pay in return for the social good of advancing knowledge." Populist currents of political opinion are questioning the price a society pays for the freedom of its 'experts' and professors.
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