Danish Researchers Decry Parliament Motion On 'excessive Activism'
Faizan Hashmi 4 days ago Wed 09th June 2021 | 07:10 PM
Thousands of Danish researchers warned on Wednesday they were facing a "highly troubling" attack on academic freedom after the parliament adopted a largely symbolic motion aimed at curbing "excessive activism."
Copenhagen, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 9th Jun, 2021 ) :Thousands of Danish researchers warned on Wednesday they were facing a "highly troubling" attack on academic freedom after the parliament adopted a largely symbolic motion aimed at curbing "excessive activism." The motion -- sponsored by the far right and broadly endorsed last week by legislators, including from the ruling Social Democrats -- said the Danish parliament "expects that the university leadership continuously ensures that the self-regulation of scientific practice is working.
"This means that there should be no standardisation of research in order to produce politics disguised as science and that it is not possible to systematically avoid legitimate academic critique," the motion said.
The researchers, whose reaction was published Wednesday by newspaper Politiken, said the text "represents the culmination of an intensive lobbying process and political campaign against targeted research environments by a number of politicians and public figures across the political spectrum".
The campaign "has specifically targeted critical research and teaching, especially in race-, gender-, migration-, and post-colonial studies," according to the Op-Ed backed by 3,000 signatories.
During the parliamentary debate, the works of some researchers were singled out, including islam specialist Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, who was described by one parliamentarian as "notoriously biased" and unreliable.
The researchers also noted that concerns over academic freedom have been voiced elsewhere in Europe.
"Academic and intellectual innovation is stifled when researchers are told to stay in line," the Danish researchers, led by astrophysicist Anja Cetti Andersen, protested.
The more than 3,200 petitioners called on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's Social Democratic Party to reconsider the motion, which sets "a precedent endangering the freedom of academic research."The motion did not call for penalties or other measures against researchers deemed to have crossed a line.