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“Who gets to speak?”

Empy lecture hall

UZH Event Series on Freedom of Speech

The right to free speech is the lifeblood of science and the cornerstone of democratic societies. It is not possible to establish facts and reach consensus on common goals unless differing positions, arguments and visions – however unconventional or unexpected they may be – are allowed to be expressed and discussed freely.

This right has its limits, of course. We should not humiliate other people or take what is theirs, for example. And yet, a whole raft of ongoing discussions suggests that the issue of where and how the line is to be drawn needs to be revisited with renewed urgency. Do marginalized groups have rights of ownership of cultural assets that must always be taken into account? If you feel uncomfortable or have a heightened awareness (in your view) of various forms of discrimination and injustice (i.e. you’re “woke”), do you have a special right to demand certain behavior from others? Are we already living in a cancel culture that prevents certain views or ideas from being discussed in the first place? Or is “cancel culture” itself a construct used by some to push their own views to the front of public discourse?

The University of Zurich invites anyone interested in these questions, from inside or outside the university, to join us in discussing and reflecting on the issues in a series of events featuring a wide and diverse range of views and formats. The talks will include academics whose research touches on these questions as well as other involved parties such as activists, affected people and representatives of initiatives in the field. Events will take place at irregular intervals at UZH and other venues around the city. 

Upcoming Events

«Cancel Culture» und Wissenschaftsfreiheit: Ein amerikanischer Diskurs als Exportschlager
Lecture by Prof. Dr. Adrian Daub, DLCL Stanford University, Wednesday, 13 December (in German)
More Information

Previous Events

«Wer sollte nicht an der Universität reden und warum nicht?»
Lectury by Prof. Dr. Geert Keil, Institut für Philosophie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
More Information (in German)