Tuesday, July 22, 2003

"Book burning" at Canterbury

What the hell is going on at Canterbury? According to Stuff and the Herald, they pulled the entire run of their in-house journal History Now, sacked the editor, and had their very own book burning. Why? Because said issue contained an article about Joel Hayward, and the effects of the scandal surrounding his Masters thesis on his subsequent career.

Now, Hayward may be a dirty little holocaust-denier, and the whole episode deeply embarassing to the university, but a university is supposed to be a place where academics can freely question revered wisdom and gore sacred cows without suffering the same fate as Galileo. The decision to recall the journal and suppress this article is about as far from the principle of academic freedom as you can get, and I hope that the censorious little fascists responsible suffer for it. Realistically though, the worst that will happen is that Canterbury may have some trouble attracting quality staff over the next few years. [Sigh]

I guess the best we can hope for is for the suppressed articles to turn up on the internet somewhere, so we can read them, and see what all the fuss was about.