ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND INTELLECTUAL DISSENT Online conference organised by Scholars at Risk – Ireland and ALLEA

May 31, 2021

This conference will focus on the importance of intellectual dissent and academic freedom to democratic societies in a Western, particularly European, context. The speakers and the panel will discuss the scope and the limits of academic freedom in the context of political populism, neoliberalism and the exigencies of the post Covid social and educational landscape. Topics to be discussed include but are not limited to

  • Academic freedom in relation to other core academic values, e.g. openness, trustworthiness, research integrity, and social responsibility
  • The scope and limits of intellectual dissent and academic freedom
  • Ways of strengthening academic freedom in a changing university funding landscape
  • The impact of social media on academic freedom
  • Lessons from a global pandemic


Timezone: Dublin GMT+1

2:00 pm            Opening Session

Academic Freedom as an Educational Challenge

Chair: Rowena Pecchenino (Maynooth University, Scholars at Risk)

Opening Keynote Lecture by Antonio Loprieno (ALLEA President)


2:45 pm             Coffee Break

3:00 pm             Panel Session

Academic Freedom and Intellectual Dissent

Chair: Jim Al-Khalili (Royal Society)


Maeve Cooke (University College Dublin)

Christian Ehler (Member of the European Parliament) tbc

Roja Fazaeli (Trinity College Dublin, Scholars at Risk)

Andrea Peto (Central European University)

Peter-Paul Verbeek (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, KNAW)

4:30 pm           Coffee Break

5:00 pm           Closing Session

Special Address and Keynote on Academic Freedom

Chair: Maria Baghramian (University College Dublin, Scholars at Risk)

Address by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland

Closing Keynote Lecture by Noam Chomsky


7:00 pm            End of Conference