5 April 2019 • HOP, Inge Schouten
Hundreds of academics condemn Baudet in an open letter
Over eight hundred lecturers and researchers from research universities, universities of applied sciences and research institutions criticised Thierry Baudet’s recent comments about science and education. “We are concerned and alarmed”, they write.
“We are being undermined by our universities”, stated Thierry Baudet in his victory speech after his win in the elections for the Provincial States in the Netherlands. The party leader of Forum for Democracy lashed out at the academic community, which he has accused of “left indoctrination” for a while. The party recently set up an indoctrination hotline and asked students to report examples.
More than eight hundred academics are “concerned and alarmed” about Baudet’s statements. “Our society will not accept any political restrictions on the freedom to undertake critical academic research and education”, they write in an open letter. According to the signatories, Baudet is creating a “conspiracy-like atmosphere” and portrays scientists and opinion-makers as “the enemy of the people”.
One example stated by the authors of the letter is Baudet’s rejection of climate science. According to the writers, he propagates an “alternative historiography, based on national pride”. The indoctrination hotline mostly involves “selectively disqualifying any science that doesn’t suit his own political and ideological agenda”, states the letter.
Earlier, twelve scientists from Radboud University appealed to their Executive Board to speak out against Baudet. At the time, the Association of Universities (VSNU) and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) didn’t see the need to do so, but the indoctrination hotline is going too far, according to the VSNU. “Universities are bastions of academic freedom, they trust their lecturers and firmly distance themselves from this hotline”, wrote the VSNU in a statement last Friday.
Left-wing indoctrination in higher education?