Abigail Thompson, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of California-Davis, drew national attention in December 2019 with her Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “The University’s New Loyalty Oath.” Her bold challenge to the University of California’s use of diversity statements in faculty hiring inspired ACTA to honor her with a Hero of Intellectual Freedom Award. Professor Thompson argued that the rubric for assessing applicants’ diversity statements was not ideologically neutral, and that the hiring process constituted a possible infringement of academic freedom, as well as a threat to intellectual diversity. In this episode, she explores the topic with ACTA’s president, Michael Poliakoff.


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