Oct 21, 2021 • 37M

The Cancellation of Dorian Abbot

What's the future of academic freedom when campus climate overwhelms climate change?

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Appears in this episode

Amna Khalid
Banished is a show about our reassessment of the many people, ideas, objects and even works of art that conflict with modern sensibilities. What can we learn about our present obsession with cancel culture by examining history, and what might it mean for freedom of expression? And how do we reconcile opposing points of view without turning on each other? For subscriber-only content, visit http://banished.substack.com.
Episode details

Dorian Abbot, associate professor of geophysical sciences at University of Chicago, was invited to give the prestigious Carlson Lecture at MIT this month. He was going to speak about the insights gained from studying Earth’s climate and how those insights have been used to predict which planets outside the solar system might be habitable. But, following an outcry about his political views about diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives on college campuses — a topic that had nothing to do with what he was going to talk about — MIT cancelled the lecture. Amna Khalid talks to Professor Abbot about what happened and what this says about academic freedom in American higher education today.