Jeff Schmidt on Academic Freedom

Jeff Schmidt, author of one of my favourite books (Disciplined Minds):

“Intellectual workers don’t need academic freedom to service the status quo, which is what they’ve been hired to do, but they do need academic freedom to do what they should be doing, which is questioning what they’ve been hired to do and working instead in the public interest. If salaried intellectual workers want to make a difference in the world, if they want to make the world a better place, then they have to do things beyond the service work that they’ve been hired to do. That’s what activists do: things that they weren’t hired to do.”

The clip below is from his talk at the Frederic Ewen Academic Freedom Center’s 2nd Annual Conference at New York University on April 3, 2009.

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