In the May 2021 Persuasion article Beliefs Aren’t Facts, Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and colleague Gary Saul Morson highlight the perils of ideological segregation in academia, warning, “If we discount the practice of learning through meaningful exchange, we not only default on our obligations as citizens, we place democracy itself in peril.”
They go on to ask, “If freedom of speech and diversity of opinion aren’t protected at institutions of higher learning, where would they be?”
With the understanding that “academic freedom means subjecting ideas to fearless criticism, ” the authors admit to being “taken aback” by Harvard Crimson survey findings that nearly 80% of Harvard faculty described themselves as very liberal or liberal and just over 1% very conservative or conservative. “Can there really be a free exchange of ideas,” they ask, “when so many faculty, students and staff are on one side of the political divide?”
Read the full Persuasion article here.