Academic Freedom and Intellectual Dissent

Online conference organised by Scholars at Risk – Ireland and ALLEA

Watch the recordings of the conference on the ALLEA YouTube Channel.

This conference focussed on the importance of intellectual dissent and academic freedom to democratic societies in a Western, particularly European, context. The speakers and the panel discussed 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 included but were 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


Academic Freedom in Global Education

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

Keynote Lecture by Antonio Loprieno (ALLEA President)

Q&A moderated by Sinead O’Gorman (Director of Scholars at Risk Europe)

Academic Freedom and Intellectual Dissent

Chair: Jim Al-Khalili (Royal Society)


Maeve Cooke (University College Dublin)

Christian Ehler (Member of the European Parliament)

Roja Fazaeli (Trinity College Dublin, Scholars at Risk)

Andrea Peto (Central European University)

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

The University in a Time of Crisis

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

Address by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland

Keynote Lecture by Noam Chomsky



8 June 2021

14:00 – 19:00 (Dublin time)

15:00 – 20:00 (Berlin time)


Online Zoom Webinar

Free and open to all.


Michael D. Higgins

President of Ireland

Noam Chomsky

Linguist and Philosopher


Maria Baghramian
Professor of American Philosophy, University College Dublin

Daniel Kaiser
Scientific Policy Officer, ALLEA