Publication Details

Martin, B. (2011). Monckton and Notre Dame: a case for free speech?. The Conversation, (30 June)

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The Conversation


Is it wise to try to block a speech by Christopher Monckton? Are there other options? Monckton, a well known climate change sceptic, was invited to speak at Notre Dame University in Fremantle on 30 June. Some supporters of mainstream climate science opposed allowing him this speaking opportunity. Monckton's critics claim he is unqualified and has no credibility on climate change, making his speaking engagement an embarrassment to the university. The trouble is, this seems like censorship. This is a recurring dilemma. Should those with outrageous or even dangerous views be offered platforms to speak? Or should Holocaust deniers, supporters of paedophilia, critics of vaccination, advocates of racial inequality - and climate sceptics - be censored in some way? It is useful to examine the issue from three perspectives: the arguments for free speech, pragmatism, and alternative options