The Cancellation of Dorian Abbot
What's the future of academic freedom when campus climate overwhelms climate change?
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.