Just heard that the Edwin Mellon press is dropping its lawsuit against blogging librarian Dale Askey. Thanks to everyone who signed the petition or otherwise protested. Let us hope that EMP’s actions have not produced too much of a chill in the academic blogosphere. Academic freedom is meaningless unless it still applies when it conflicts with vested interests.
Update on the story of Dale Askey, the blogging librarian being sued by Edwin Mellen Press: according to a post on the CAUT listserv, his employer, McMaster U, “has made arrangements to ensure Associate University Librarian Dale Askey can cover his anticipated legal costs in defending himself against the defamation suits.”
- “Librarians Rally Behind Blogger Sued by Publisher Over Critical Comments.” Jake New. The Chronicle of Higher Education (14/2/13): “As for Edwin Mellen Press, this is not the first time it has responded aggressively to criticism. The publisher once sued Lingua Franca for libel when, in a 1993 article, the now-defunct magazine criticized the publisher. Edwin Mellen did not win, but it did later publish a book about the lawsuit, which can be purchased for $119.95.”
- “Price of a Bad Review.” Colleen Flaherty. Inside Higher Ed (8/2/13): “Askey said his case, like others before, shows that although academics largely espouse their firm belief in academic freedom, ‘the integrity of true academic freedom is only as strong as the will and resources to defend it.’”
- Sign the petition.
Latest from the PMO
- “Prime Minister urged to end clampdown on scientists.” Open letter from CAUT (14/2/13): “According to information we have received, your government has issued new confidentiality rules and publication “procedures” to federal fisheries scientists. These rules unduly restrict researchers from publishing or speaking about their work and require them to seek approval from government before publishing in scientific journals.”
- “The DFO and science: a fish story.” Michael Harris. iPolitics (12/2/13): “After DFO denied that there had been any change in publication policy, I contacted Professor Hutchings again. Having independently confirmed the information I had before he spoke for the record in my original column, he was not circumspect. ‘What a load of crap,’ he said.”
- “New policy gives government power to muzzle DFO scientists.” Michael Harris. iPolitics (7/2/13): “Canada, the only parliamentary democracy in the Commonwealth where a government has been found in contempt of Parliament, is now the only democracy in the world where a government bureaucrat can suppress scientific research.”
South of the border
- “Bloomberg, defending academic freedom, suggests other Israel supporters shut up about that Brooklyn College event.” Dana Rubenstein. Capital New York (6/2/13): “‘If you want to go to a university where the government decides what kind of subjects are fit for discussion, I suggest you apply to a school in North Korea,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg this morning, siding with Brooklyn College in a debate over its decision to host an event featuring speakers from a pro-Palestinian group called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.”