Philosopher proposes a code of conduct for academics in a time of political uncertainty. MIT faculty members affirm their commitment to shared values.
Academics (and journalists) have been accused in the aftermath of the presidential election of being “out of touch” with the American electorate. At the same time, academics have played important leadership roles in eras and places in which free expression has come under threat — as some believe it is now in the U.S.
What is the role of the academic in such an era, or, at the very least, what are the academic’s obligations to his or her profession, campus and government? Rachel Barney, a professor of classics and philosophy at the University of Toronto (and a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen), this week proposed what she’s calling the Anti-Authoritarian Academic Code of Conduct.
Here’s the 10-point code in full:
- I will not aid in the registering, rounding up or internment of students and colleagues on the basis of their religious beliefs.
- I will not aid in the marginalization, exclusion or deportation of my undocumented students and colleagues.
- I will, as my capacities allow, discourage and defend against the bullying and harassment of vulnerable students and colleagues targeted for important aspects of their identity (such as race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, etc.).
- I will not aid government or law enforcement in activities which violate the U.S. Constitution or other U.S. law.
- I will not aid in government surveillance. I will not inform.
- As a teacher and researcher, I will not be bought or intimidated. I will present the state of research in my field accurately, whether or not it is what the government wants to hear. I will challenge others when they lie. Read more…