A statement has been issued by a number of scholarly associations in the US supporting the right of academics to carry out research and publicize the results without fear of attack. The statement was sparked by a series of attacks on Professor Frances Fox Piven, a Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the City University of New York Graduate Center.
Signatories to the statement are calling on “public officials, political commentators, and others in the media to help discourage the rhetoric of hate and violence that has escalated in recent months. We vigorously support serious, honest, and passionate public debate. We support serious engagement on the research of Professor Piven and of others who study controversial issues such as unemployment, the economic crisis, the rights of welfare recipients, and the place of government intervention. We also support the right of political commentators to participate in such debates. At the same time, we insist that all parties recognize the rights of academic researchers not only to gather and analyze evidence related to controversial questions, but also to arrive at their own conclusions and to expect those conclusions to be reported accurately in public debates.”