Academics have locked ranks to stand up for a controversial scholar sacked by Cambridge University's St. Edmund’s College, as they lambasted the university for bowing to what they branded a witch-hunt.
I have just learned that the mob has been successful in getting social scientist Noah Carl fired from his position at Cambridge. The statement from St. Edmund's apologises for the "hurt" caused by his appointment. Read the back-story herehttps://t.co/rmJ0YLtjMO— Claire Lehmann (@clairlemon) May 1, 2019
Noah Carl, who was accused of conducting racist research, had his scholarship rescinded by St. Edmund’s College after an inquiry into complaints about the social scientist had determined his work was “problematic”.
The College subsequently apologised for any offence caused.
The academics are accusing Cambridge of failing to defend freedom of speech or stand up to “mob rule".
Matthew Goodwin, the author of National Populism and a politics professor at Kent University, tweeted: “Academic freedom is fine so long as you do not work on anything ‘problematic’.”
Eric Kaufmann, a politics professor at Birkbeck, University of London, described the decision as a “victory for the left-modernist inquisition based on guilt-by-association”.
A victory for the Left-Modernist Inquisition based on guilt-by-association and abandoning the defense of free enquiry: Cambridge academic Noah Carl sacked over ‘racist’ study @HdxAcademy @JonHaidt @CassSunstein @sapinker https://t.co/ZeBi3Q5fwD— Eric Kaufmann (@epkaufm) May 1, 2019
Nathan Coombs, a lecturer in economic sociology at Edinburgh University, called it “outrageously irresponsible behaviour”, tweeting: “It's really depressing to see so many colleagues pile in to a baseless witch-hunt against an early career scholar.”
His "poor scholarship" includes a better publication record than some of the tenured professors who mobbed him.— Nathan Coombs (@NathanCoombs) May 1, 2019
Noah Carl’s appointment earlier this year as Toby Jackman Newton Trust junior research fellow had prompted a torrent of complaints from students and staff, who claimed his writings on race helped “legitimise racist stereotypes”. Over 1,000 people signed an open letter, leading the college to launch an investigation.
A special panel upheld the complaints, claiming Carl “had put a body of work into the public domain that did not comply with established criteria for research ethics and integrity”, adding Carl Noah had collaborated with individuals known to hold extremist views.
Carl Noah was previously a research fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, and attended the London Conference on Intelligence, where “race intelligence” and eugenics were discussed.