44% of MIT students surveyed by FIRE say it is sometimes or always acceptable to shout down a speaker to prevent them from speaking on campus.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is struggling to protect free expression and intellectual diversity on campus. In the fall of last year, MIT leadership capitulated to social media demands to disinvite Professor Dorian Abbot from delivering the annual John Carlson Lecture. Professor Abbot was scheduled to speak about “Climate and the Potential for Life on Other Planets,” but his lecture was canceled because of his unrelated views on diversity, equity, and inclusion requirements for faculty hiring and student admissions.
MIT does not meet the ACTA Gold Standard for Freedom of Expression™, but it could with your encouragement. Together, we can help our country’s best schools to nourish a culture of free expression on campus. By taking steps such as adding a program on free speech to student orientation, implementing policies and procedures to support viewpoint diversity, and adopting a statement on free expression similar to the Chicago Principles, MIT would improve education for its students and ensure its continuing reputation as a leader in scientific discovery and technological innovation.
“Freedom of expression makes it possible for the members of such a diverse community to exercise individual and collective deliberative and communicative capacities. Free expression facilitates individual autonomy and self-fulfillment, provides for participation in collective decision-making, and enhances the search for truth and justice.”
—Report of the MIT Ad Hoc Working Group on Free Expression
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