Yale Faculty Defend Freedom of Speech, Express Support for Christakises in Open Letter



As reported by FIRE

Forty-nine current or emeritus faculty members at Yale University have signed an open letter of support for Erika and Nicholas Christakis’ right to “free speech and freedom of intellectual expression.”…

The open letter states that “while the university stands for many values, none is more central than the value of free expression of ideas.” The letter goes on to cite Yale’s famous 1975 Woodward Report, which promises students and faculty members the right to “think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable.” The letter also expresses distress over the fact that Erika Christakis’ “modest attempt to ask people to consider the issue of self-monitoring vs. bureaucratic supervision” has been treated by many as an expression of support for racist speech.

“We have an obligation to say something reasonable about this,” Professor of Applied Physics A. Douglas Stone told the Yale Daily News in an interview about the letter. “The silence of so many people in terms of really defending the Christakises has solidified the narrative that they did something wrong.”


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