Is there an ideological monoculture at British universities, and does it matter?

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  •  Thursday, 22 November, 2018
     18:00 - 19:45

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A discussion with:

  • Jonathan Haidt, Author, The Coddling of the American Mind
  • Eric Kaufmann, Professor of Politics, Birkbeck College
  • Lord Macdonald of River Glaven Kt QC, Warden, Wadham College, University of Oxford
  • Jon Wilson, Reader in Modern History, King’s College London
  • Joanna Williams, Head of Education, Policy Exchange and Author, Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity

About the event

Jonathan Haidt, one of the western world’s most important social psychologists and public intellectuals, held the UK launch of his book The Coddling of the American Mind (co-written with Greg Lukianoff) at Policy Exchange on Thursday evening November 22nd.

The book is an investigation into the new safety culture in US universities and the dangers it poses to free speech, mental health, education and ultimately democracy itself. The book challenges three great “untruths” that characterise the safety culture: What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; life is a battle between good people and evil people.

This event will considered the extent to which these American trends have crossed the Atlantic and if so, whether they should be combatted. Does Britain need a local version of the Heterodox Academy, the organisation founded by Haidt to monitor and lobby against the intellectual monoculture in the humanities and social sciences?

Joining Haidt on the panel were Eric Kaufmann, Professor of Political Science at Birkbkeck, whose latest book Whiteshift on the decline of white majorities has been the subject of heated debate; Joanna Williams, Head of Education at Policy Exchange and the author of Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity; and Ken Macdonald the Liberal Democrat peer who has been at the centre of free speech debates at Oxford University where he is Warden of Wadham College.

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