Sustainable Development Seminar: Craig Callender (UCSD)


Past Event

Sustainable Development Seminar: Craig Callender (UCSD)

February 13, 2023
4:10 PM - 5:40 PM
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Zoom only -- NOT in person

Speaker: Craig Callender

Title:  When are bans on research funding okay?

Abstract: Calls to disassociate fossil fuel funding from climate research are growing ever louder. Earlier calls for funding bans — e.g., the University of Delaware’s 1990 ban on money from a eugenicist organization and the 2007 UC Regent’s proposal of a ban on tobacco funding — ran afoul of academic freedom. In both cases the great champion of academic freedom, the AAUP, objected to the bans as violations of the right to free inquiry. Despite volumes written about academic freedom, the right to research is under-theorized. In light of the real-world consequences and lessons from agnotology, it is high time to determine if and when funding bans are consistent with academic freedom. Using a little-known thought experiment from political philosopher Thomas Scanlon, I’ll argue that bans like that conceived by Fossil Free Research can be consistent with academic freedom.