Press Invitation HRK + University of Chicago: „Freedom of Expression: On the Culture of Debate at Universities“, 24 June
Dear Sir or Madam, dear colleagues,
We hereby invite you to a jointly-organized event by the University of Chicago and the German Rectors‘ Conference (HRK):
Freedom of Expression: On the Culture of Debate at Universities
Wednesday, 24 June 2020; 6.30 pm (CET)
– An online event via Zoom –
Academic freedom and the freedom of expression are the foundations on which universities rest as places that cultivate democracy and intellectual debate. Recent shifts in political culture and debate have consequences for the culture of debate at universities. In the United States, as well as in Germany, universities currently are called upon to take a stand for the principles of free expression. A growing mistrust of science, racial injustice, and xenophobia pose challenges to universities and the culture of free and science-based debate they rely on.
What is the current state of free debate and open discourse at universities? Are there limits to free speech? And how can freedom of expression be protected? These and other questions are at the center of the event “Freedom of Expression: On the Culture of Debate at Universities”, co-organized by The University of Chicago and the German Rectors’ Conference. The keynote speech will be delivered by Professor Dr Susanne Baer LL. M., Justice of the German Federal Constitutional Court. (Brief information on all participants is provided on the following page.)
In the University of Chicago, the German Rectors’ Conference also found a partner for the event that has made an internationally-acclaimed commitment to the protection of free speech in 2015 with its ‘Chicago Principles’.
The program can be found under https://www.hrk.de/fileadmin/redaktion/hrk/02-Dokumente/02-07-Internationales/200608_Program_FreedomofExpression.pdf.
The event will be held in English. We hope you will be able to join us. Please register by 22 June 2020 under https://universityevents.wufoo.com/forms/k1oqh2o01eo3xlk/.
You will then receive a personal link to the Zoom event.
We would also be happy to refer you to interview partners, including representatives from the University of Chicago. Please contact the HRK Press and Communications Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Prof Dr Peter-André Alt is President of the German Rectors‘ Conference. He previously served as President of the Free University of Berlin. Together with members of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany and international partners, the HRK speaks out for the protection of academic freedom. In the United States, the HRK was a co-organiser of an event on free speech at universities at GCRI in New York (August 2018) and an event on current shifts in political culture and its repercussions for universities at Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles (August 2019).
Prof Dr Susanne Baer has been Justice of the German Federal Constitutional Court since February 2011. She is a professor of public law and gender studies at Humboldt University Berlin. In her publications and speeches, she has frequently addressed questions of academic freedom. For example, in April 2018 she presented ‘A Berlin Call for University Ethics’ at the Global Congress of the Scholars at Risk network.
Prof Daniel Diermeier (Ph.D.) until recently served as Provost of the University of Chicago. He is a political scientist and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Diermeier grew up in Munich and Berlin and emigrated to the United States at the age of 23. He has very good knowledge of the German higher education system and is one of the driving forces behind the University of Chicago’s highly acclaimed commitment to the freedom of expression.
Prof Dr Katrin Kinzelbach is a professor of international human rights policy at the Political Science Institute of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Academic freedom is the central focus of her research. She is among the authors of the recently-published Academic Freedom Index, which allows for a comparison of the degree to which academic freedom is achieved in different states and chronicles the development of academic freedom in selected countries.
Prof Geoffrey R. Stone is the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School and has been part of the faculty of law at the University of Chicago since 1973. His ritings have repeatedly examined issues of freedom of expression. His most recent publications include the monograph ‘The Free Speech Century’ (2018) and the anthology ‘The First Amendment’ (5th edition, 2016).
https://www.hrk.de/fileadmin/redaktion/hrk/02-Dokumente/02-07-Internationales/200608_Program_FreedomofExpression.pdf Program of the event