Cambridge University Academic Fired for Questioning 'Left-Wing Sacred Values'

CC BY 2.0 / Roman Boed / King's College, CambridgeCambridge University is one of the educational establishments in the UK unsure on the future of EU students.
Cambridge University is one of the educational establishments in the UK unsure on the future of EU students. - Sputnik International
The case of Dr Noah Carl generated a great deal of online debate and controversy over the past year, with critics blasting him as an unrepentant racist, while supporters argued that he has been the victim of a left-wing mob.

A Cambridge University research fellow who was fired after being accused of peddling "racist pseudoscience" has said that he lost his role for questioning "left-wing sacred values."

Dr Carl, now a former Sociologist at Cambridge University, was given the boot from his position this week after over a year of campaigns by hundreds of left-leaning academics to get his prestigious Toby Jackman Newton research fellowship scrapped.

Dr Carl's sacking was the culmination of a petition which garnered the signatures of 586 academics accusing him of "racist pseudoscience."

Matthew Bullock, the head of St Edmund's college at Cambridge where Dr Carl was based, said in a statement: "the panel found that in the course of pursuing this problematic work, Dr Carl had collaborated with a number of individuals who were known to hold extremist views."

"There was a serious risk that Dr Carl's appointment could lead, directly or indirectly, to the college being used as a platform to promote views that could incite racial or religious hatred, and bring the college into disrepute," Mr Bullock added.

Dr Carl also evoked controversy in 2016 when he wrote in an academic paper that it "seems plausible" that "the higher the percentage of Muslims in the population, the greater the share of citizens susceptible to Islamist radicalisation." He has also, according to reports, claimed that concerns about mass immigration can be based on what he has allegedly described as "rational beliefs."

Dr Carl's research more generally looks into a range of controversial topics, such as IQ and race, gender, free speech and Brexit. 

At a talk this week on political correctness, Dr Carl argued that he was the victim of an ideologically-driven left-wing witch-hunt. Pointing to a correlation between the rise in political correctness on university campuses and the increasingly dominant role played in academia by the political left, Dr Carl said that, "four studies found that in 1960 about a third of academics supported Conservatives and 45 per cent Labour. By 2015, 11 per cent supported the Conservatives and about 70 per cent Labour."

"There is denial and mischaracterisation of research believed to threaten certain left-wing sacred values. I would argue I've been a victim of that myself, and many other people in controversial fields such as IQ research and other fields where some content appears to threaten left-wing values," he added.

The move against Dr Noah comes hot on the heels of Cambridge University's decision to cancel its offer of a fellowship to self-styled freedom of speech crusader Professor Jordan Peterson, a Canadian psychologist and public intellectual. Cambridge made the decision after Professor Peterson was photographed next to a man wearing a t-shirt which had "I'm a proud Islamophobe" printed on the front.

A number of commentators and websites have rallied to Dr Carl's defence. Quilette, a pro-free speech website which describes itself as "respecting ideas, even dangerous ones," has described the campaign against Dr Carl as an "academic mobbing."

"We live at a time where academic freedom is under threat from ideologues and activists of all persuasions. The latest threat comes from St Edmund's College, Cambridge, where administrators appear to have capitulated to a mob of activists (students and academics) who mounted a campaign to have a young scholar fired for "problematic" research," Quillette writes.     

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