The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Speech

Princeton's Free Speech Initiative


I'm happy to announce the public launch of a new initiative at Princeton University. The Initiative on Freedom of Thought, Inquiry, and Expression will be under the umbrella of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. I'm grateful to JMP for hosting the initiative, and to Princeton University for giving its blessing to the project (though the initiative will rely on outside funds). I will be directing the Free Speech Initiative along with my colleague, Bernie Haykel.

We expect over time to host seminars, public lectures, conferences, and other programming to promote, explain and defend free speech and academic freedom. Hopefully we can help make a difference locally on the Princeton campus, and we intend to be a resource for students and faculty who have concerns about free speech protections at Princeton. But I hope over time that the initiative can help advance our understanding of free speech principles in the larger scholarly community and in our civic discourse. It is unfortunate that such an initiative seems necessary these days, but it is essential that the legacy of robust free speech principles be transmitted to the next generation.

Of course, I will continue to do my separate work as chair of the Academic Freedom Alliance.

Bernie and I talk about the new Free Speech Initiative on the latest episode of the Madison's Notes Podcast, which can be found here.