Engaging with challenging ideas

Richard Garside
Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Last week we hosted a webinar to discuss the problem of deplatforming, or 'cancel culture' as it's sometimes called.

Professor Rosa Freedman of the University of Reading and Professor Jo Phoenix of The Open University talked about their experience of deplatforming at the University of Essex in the months leading up to the first COVID lockdown. The problems of deplatforming are, however, wider than these particular events, and extend also beyond universities.

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has itself been targeted for deplatforming, though this is hardly a good enough reason in itself for us to have hosted yesterday's webinar.

As a charity engaged in public education, we recognise the foundational role of improved knowledge and understanding in enabling effective action for meaningful change. 

Deplatforming has a corrosive effect on knowledge production and improved understanding. Indeed, it is only by engaging with wide range of ideas and research, including those that run counter to one's own beliefs and values, that improved knowledge and understanding becomes possible.

We'll be publishing a recording of the webinar on our YouTube channel next week.