Shhh...You Can’t Say That! The Critical Role of Free Speech in the College Experience

Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 1:00 PM until 4:00 PMEastern Daylight Time

Instructor: Christopher J. Ferguson, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology

With everything from the firing of newspaper editors and reporters to the de facto censorship of Dr. Seuss and other authors, free speech has been on the decline in recent years.  Data suggests that students are increasingly afraid to speak openly on controversial topics, lest they be judged negatively by their peers or professors.  Much of this comes, not from the government (de jure censorship), but from within institutions such as academia, journalism, and big tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter (de facto censorship).  However, the college experience is built around the free exchange of ideas, the willingness to challenge even popular moral narratives, the civil engagement in debate and the primacy of data over opinion or anecdote.  This course will discuss the primary role of free speech in the academic environment and help students to foster a culture of free exchange of ideas, even ideas that may deeply offend them.

Meets Thursday, July 15, 1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.


Registration is no longer available because the event has been cancelled.