London Calling: Greg Takes FIRE to the U.K.

July 8, 2015

Last week, FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff brought a taste of FIRE to London, where he discussed the shifting climate for free speech on American and British college campuses as a guest on Podcast of Ideas with host Rob Lyons.

On the docket was a wide-ranging discussion centered around the distressing trend of students expecting universities to protect them from challenging speech instead of functioning in their traditional role as havens of “vigorous debate.”

Lyons noted similarities between this trend and calls by British free speech opponents to make British campuses “safe spaces for students to be who they are [and] not have to deal with this political discussion.”

That idea, Greg noted, is “perfectly fine, if we want to run kindergartens.” Less so for an institution where robust debate should win the day in the search for truth.

Cited as examples of this trend were Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis’ Title IX inquisition and comedians’ increasing reluctance to subject their acts to the vitriol of the college campus.

Listen to the podcast on the Institute of Ideas’ website.