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Academic censorship on sexual harassment

We support the academic protest in an open letter to the publisher Routledge – Taylor & Francis.

Many, primarily female researchers at universities, have been affected by sexual harassment and severe transgressive behavior during academic careers. When or if sexual misconduct is revealed it has mostly been treated as a personal issue only concerning the directly involved. The consequences could be the end of or set back in a promising university career.

A group of researchers, some with personal experiences of indecent behavior at the job, have written a book, Sexual Misconduct in Academia. The intention is to promote an open dialogue about the realities of sexual misconduct and power abuse in academia. The aim is to enact a much-needed deep transformation in our professional field. 

This discussion seems to be so dangerous, that the publishing house Routledge – Taylor & Francis Group has suspended to promote and sell the book. This is due to one chapter describing an unnamed research center with a sexualized culture and behavior. A professor has identified himself as the actor of some of the reported acts of transgressive behavior. He has now used his power and position and has threatened the publisher with legal action in order to silence the chapter. The webpage for the book has now disappeared and the book has temporarily been withdrawn from circulation.

Together with many others we emphasize that academic freedom upholds the right to freedom of inquiry and in particular to pursue and discuss ideas related to their field. Sexual harassment and power abuse in academia is an area that is in urgent need of action. We support the authors and their editors for their efforts in calling on Routledge – Taylor & Francis Group to publicly state why they have removed the chapter and the book from their website, to reinstate the chapter and the book as a whole and to stand up against abusive legal threats.

For more information,

See also link here, here and here.

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