Commentary: Reviving the Spirit of Free Inquiry

October 22, 2023 1 min read

Glenn Loury
Substack

Excerpt: Last month, I had the honor of delivering the keynote address at the MIT Free Speech Alliance’s first conference. I received my doctorate in economics from MIT back in the 1970s. At the time, it was probably the best economics department on the planet. An atmosphere of unfettered inquiry was key to MIT economics’ success in those days, just as it is key to the survival and thriving of any ambitious intellectual enterprise. There were no questions you couldn’t ask, and the legitimacy of your answers to those questions depended solely on their ability to withstand the scrutiny of your teachers and peers.

That is as it should be. But as we’ve seen, the spirit of free inquiry is now too often hampered by the censorious impulses of campus culture warriors in the student body, faculty, and administration.

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