World Science Day symposium: Academic Freedom in Troubled Times


Date: Wednesday 6 November
Time: 15:15–18:00
Venue: Lecture hall Dragonen, University of Gothenburg, Sprängkullsgatan 19, Göteborglänk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster
The symposium is free of charge. Refreshments and a light snack are included.
Registration (below) is mandatory.
Organisers: The Academies Human Rights Committeelänk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster, V-Dem Institutelänk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster and The Young Academy of Sweden

Academic freedom is shrinking as a part of the ongoing trend that includes the rise in populism and political oppression. Being a vital part of democracy, the ability of universities to pursue research questions freely must be defended. Some countries and research topics are currently hotspots, receiving more pressure than others. At the World Science Day symposium, we scrutinize and discuss the ongoing challenges to academic freedom.

Speakers World Science Day

From left to right, top row to bottom: Angelika Sjöstedt Landén, Staffan I. Lindberg, Alev Özkazanç and Arne Jarrick, Johanna Wiklund, David Brax, Karolina Catoni and moderator Sebastian Westenhoff. Click to zoom. Photo: Annacarin Aronsson, Markus Marcetic/YAS, Yunus Ozkazan, Marcetic/RSAS, PaulinaWesterlind (Brax), Johan Wingborg (Catoni), Erik Thor/Young Academy of Sweden (Westenhoff).


Moderator: Sebastian Westenhoff, Professor in Biophysical Chemistry, University of Gothenburg, Young Academy of Sweden Member

15.15 Introduction
Mia Liinason, Professor of Gender Studies, University of Gothenburg, and Jonas Olofsson, Professor of Psychology, Stockholm University and Member of the Academies' Human Rights Committee, both members of the Young Academy of Sweden

Theme 1: Academic freedom in an international context

Development of democracy in the world and the role of academic freedom
Staffan I. Lindberg
, Professor in Political Science at University of Gothenburg, and Director of the Varieties of Democracies Institute, V-Dem, Young Academy of Sweden Alumni

Political influences on research in Turkey and the role of solidarity networks
Alev Özkazanç
, Researcher in Anti-gender movements and Gender violence at the University of Oxford, UK, and Angelika Sjöstedt Landén, Associate Professor in Gender Studies at Mid Sweden University in Östersund

16.15-16.35 Coffee break

Theme 2: Moving from the international to the national context – supporting scholars at risk

Encountering threats to academic freedom: Gender studies in Sweden and Hungary/Central European University
David Brax
, Senior Investigator at the National Secretariat for Gender Studies, University of Gothenburg, and Arne Jarrick, Professor of History, Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution, Stockholm University, Member of the Academies' Human Rights Committee

Scholars at Risk - activities at Swedish universities
Johanna Wiklund
, International Administrative Officer, Stockholm University, and Karolina Catoni, International Administrative Officer at the International Centre, University of Gothenburg

Panel with all speakers

18.00 The end

World Science Day Symposium 2018 Photo: Erik Thor/YAS

In 2018 the symposium ‘The Shrinking Academic Freedom in Europe’ was arranged together with The Swedish National Commission for UNESCO. Panel, from the left: Richard Sannerholm, Astrid Söderbergh Widding, Beatrice Crona and Andrea Pető. Click to enlarge. Photo: Erik Thor/Young Academy of Sweden

The World Science Day for Peace and Development

The World Science Day for Peace and Developmentlänk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster, celebrated every year on 10 November, was established by UNESCO in 2001 with the aim of highlighting the important role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging and important contemporary issues relevant to science. In 2018 the Young Academy of Sweden arranged the symposium The Shrinking Academic Freedom in Europe together with the The Swedish National Commission for UNESCO.


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