The Myth of Being Cancelled
The Myth of Being Cancelled

The Myth of Being Cancelled

I am astonished at the recent trend in science and journalism to form public coalitions in favour of open debate, namely the Netzwerk Wissenschaftsfreiheit and Intellectual Deep Web Europe (aka Appell für freie Debattenräume). Regardless of the different background of these initiatives, a common stimulus seems to be that certain tendencies in the humanities, such as political correctness and perspectives from gender studies and critical race theory, are perceived as threats to the independency of teaching and research, or even to the freedom of opinion. How is it that some of the most influential figures in academia believe that their essential right to express themselves is being curtailed by illiberal ›cancel culture‹ or ›censorship‹? Do professors and renowned authors really face the risk of being silenced, stigmatised, or morally restricted? I wonder why people who are invited to talkshows or receive awards for scientific communication cannot acknowledge that they belong to one of the most privileged groups in public discourse. They better had a look at countries like Hungary or Turkey where academic and press freedom are truly endangered by oppressive governments, and then judge again if it is appropriate to keep on purporting those tearful scenarios of imaginary menace.

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