Francesca Block, Princeton 2022, PFS Board Member Read More
The Free Press
Excerpt: Free speech is the bedrock of a free society—essential for scientific progress, artistic expression, social justice, and democracy. But we live in an era in which free speech is seen as political. Where the very notion of hearing ideas from people you disagree with is viewed as suspect or even morally wrong.
Our campus culture today says it’s okay to shut down viewpoints you disagree with. There are the obvious ways this happens—through campaigns to disinvite controversial figures from campus or shout them down once they are there. But there are more subtle ways, too. There’s the unspoken, but very real, pressure in class to not question the information being presented, or to shy away from speaking up and offering a different perspective out of fear of being judged harshly by your peers.
Jerry Coyne Read More
Why Evolution is True
Excerpt: The article below, by the President of Princeton, just appeared in the Atlantic. (Christopher Eisgruber has been Princeton’s President for 11 years.) The title clearly implies that college diversity (and the implication is “racial diversity”) is not at all in conflict with excellence
It’s hard to imagine how the Atlantic could accept an article whose arguments are explained by the conflation of causation with correlation, as well as with cherry-picked examples or recent trends in grade inflation and selectivity. But let’s look at the argument.
Abigail Rabieh Read More
Excerpt: The Daily Princetonian released its 2023 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) report last week, which publicly shares internal statistics on staffers’ identities, feelings of inclusion within the ‘Prince’ community, and satisfaction with the extent of ‘Prince’ coverage.
This report, which includes a multitude of analyses on the problems the ‘Prince’ faces and goals for improvement, could be read as suggesting that the utmost priority of internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts is to increase the diversity of staffers. This would be a poor takeaway from an interesting and insightful report, and leave the paper open to common criticisms that shallow DEI programs face.
Abigail Rabieh Read More
Excerpt: National attention on higher education feels like it’s constantly increasing, with the spotlight shining especially brightly upon elite institutions. It should come as no surprise that after years of casting themselves as the makers of future world leaders, Ivy League schools succeeded in convincing America that they are, indeed, important.
When the education of the next generation of presidents, billionaires, and business leaders is on the line, it’s reasonable to expect that the current ruling class would want a say. While this interference can manifest through democratic processes — from campaign threats about taxing endowments to federal investigations over student life — it’s private influence that seems to be sparking the most concern inside universities themselves. Donations to universities take place out of the public eye, with the decisions of a few affecting the lives of a large community. But should this form of behind-the-doors influence be a cause for concern?
Christie Davis Read More
Excerpt: Student-led sociopolitical dissent is an enduring asset of the American university. Since the horrific events of Oct. 7, 2023, on-campus demonstrations have recognizably spiked.
Some even argue that Princeton University is responsible for answering inquiries on its positions regarding national and global events to continuously support marginalized voices. While this goal is undeniably noble, a reexamination of the Kalven Report and recent restrictive legislation levied towards Florida universities serves as a necessary reminder that we at Princeton shouldn’t overlook the power of institutional neutrality to preserve campus discussions of diversity and equity.
Academic Freedom Alliance, Heterodox Academy, FIRE Read More
Excerpt: We stand together in sending this entreaty to college and university trustees and regents across the country during this time of growing national concern about the fate and security of free thought on campuses.
It is time for those entrusted with ultimate oversight authority for your institutions to restore truth-seeking as the primary mission of higher education by adopting a policy of institutional neutrality on social and political issues that do not concern core academic matters or institutional operations.