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An Invitation to Freedom

Press Release


The 25th issue of Die Junge Akademie Magazine is dedicated to academic freedom

Die Junge Akademie Magazine’s twenty-fifth issue is dedicated to the topic of academic freedom. Across 56 pages, our authors shed light on various aspects of this topic and comment on its relevance with respect to their own work. The publication is intended to invite readers to engage with a topic that is of the utmost importance to scientists but has always been difficult to define.

Musicologist Miriam Akkermann and literature scholar Caspar Battegay comment on the significance of the topic: “Academic freedom in teaching and research is under attack around the world. As a result, established branches of research are denounced as mere opinions and attacked for political reasons. Universities that refuse to concede to political pressure find themselves confronted with financial cuts or with restrictions being imposed on their work. In the West, such interventions into academia occur occasionally and to a limited extent only, but in the global context, such censorship is practically the norm.” They also note: “In addition to our choice of topic, we’ve also given ourselves more freedom than ever before when it comes to the design of the magazine.”

In their texts and interviews, our authors engage with the meaning of academic freedom in relation to their respective disciplines. Beyond that, the current issue also deals with questions on the compatibility of academia, politics, and activism, and the call for more leisure. In their individual contributions, legal expert Anuscheh Farahat and astrophysicist Fabian Schmidt, whose short films on working freely in academia were released this past July, deal with critical trends in academic funding and organisational framework conditions such as the freedom of movement. Historian Jan Hennings of the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest participates in a debate with a political scientist and an expert in constitutional law on the question of how political academia needs to be in order to remain free.

Especially in times of the politicization of academia, it is important to maintain the everyday routines of academic life. Against the backdrop of current developments, Die Junge Akademie will hold its Autumn Plenary Session at the end of October at the CEU in Budapest. Die Junge Akademie looks forward to using this occasion as an opportunity to engage with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and its President László Lovász.

The entire issue of Die Junge Akademie Magazine on academic freedom (in German only) is available for download here. A translation will be available shortly. Print copies (in German only) can be obtained from the office of Die Junge Akademie.

The Junge Akademie was founded in 2000 as first academy for the new academic generation worldwide. The members of the Junge Akademie, young academics and artists from German-speaking countries, are dedicated to interdisciplinary discourse and are active at the interfaces between academia and society. The Junge Akademie is supported by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. The office is located in Berlin.

Contact Die Junge Akademie Anne Rohloff Tel.: +49 (0) 30-203 70-563 presse@diejungeakademie.de

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