Monday, February 05, 2018 by Ethan Huff
Institutions of higher learning are supposed to be incubators of academic and intellectual liberty. But at Bath Spa University in the United Kingdom, the freedom to explore and learn new things apparently stops at hot-button social issues like the recent transgender phenomenon that’s recently captured the news cycle.
Psychologist and researcher James Caspian learned this the hard way when he decided to launch a study on people who regret having undergone so-called “gender reassignment” surgery – which isn’t all that surprising since Caspian specializes in providing therapy for transgender people.
But when Bath Spa administration caught wind of Caspian’s intended research, they immediately shut it down because of the “potentially politically incorrect” results it might produce. More important to this university than facilitating the pursuit of truth, in other words, is catering to the whims of political correctness.
Caspian had intended to file a lawsuit against the school back in December 2016, but was told that he should first utilize the university’s formal complaint procedure. He followed these instructions, but Bath Spa reportedly delayed the process for so long that it wasn’t ready by the time the issue arrived in court. As a result, Caspian’s case was thrown out entirely.
Adding insult to injury, Bath Spa then demanded a monetary judgment from Caspian in the amount of £5,000 (roughly $7,000) – to which the court agreed. When Caspian offered to pay the school monthly installments of £200, presumably because he doesn’t have thousands of dollars in cash just lying around, he says he received a “nasty” and “aggressive” email from the university’s solicitor, who demanded immediate payment of the full amount.
“This is obviously a tactic to get rid of me,” Caspian is quoted as saying by The Times (U.K.). “They have breached the most basic tenets of intellectual freedom of inquiry and are now trying to shut me down by bullying me about the money.”
Bath Spa declined to comment about its demand for money, or on Caspian’s allegations that the school had threatened him about payments. It did, however, issue a claim that Caspian’s work wasn’t rejected for political reasons, but rather on “methodological” grounds – which isn’t what the school initially told Caspian when it expressed concerns about the research being “politically incorrect.”
The whole things stinks of corruption and censorship, and Caspian is committed to getting to the bottom of it. That’s why he recently launched a CrowdJustice.com campaign to raise money for another lawsuit against the school.
With a goal of obtaining £50,000 by the end of February, the campaign is already well on its way with £13,585 pledged (as of February 2). But there’s still a lot more to go, which is why we need your help in spreading the word about this important, precedent-setting case for academic liberty.
“Free speech and an independent academia capable of critical thought is a cornerstone of our democracy,” Caspian explains about the importance of the case. “My lawyers contend that Bath Spa University’s veto of this important research is a failure of the university to comply with its duties under the Human Rights Act and the Equality Act.”
“If a university – a place for the exchange of ideas, discussion, dissent, questioning, research and critical thinking – is unable to tolerate the risk of criticism, where then are left the most basic tenets of academic and intellectual freedom of enquiry?”
Be sure to check out Caspian’s CrowdJustice.com campaign to learn more about how you can help to protect freedom of speech and the liberty to conduct research at Bath Spa University. Read more news about the oppression and intolerance of the militant LGBT community at Gender.news.
Sources for this article include: