A fairly interesting post on academic freedom was put on the popular blog Boing Boing over the holidays and is well worth sharing. In particular, I liked this quote from Cambridge University’s Ross Anderson:
You seem to think that we might censor a student’s thesis, which is lawful and already in the public domain, simply because a powerful interest finds it inconvenient. This shows a deep misconception of what universities are and how we work. Cambridge is the University of Erasmus, of Newton, and of Darwin; censoring writings that offend the powerful is offensive to our deepest values.
It is good to be reminded why universities exist, what they do different than other parts of society and why private interests alone cannot create all of the knowledge we need moving forward as a society.