Free Speech: Challenge of Our Times

‘Free Speech: Challenge of Our Times’

Free speech has always been a point of pride for many Americans. But it’s important to pause to consider how we use that right and how we protect it.

In a 2017-18 lecture series, the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University examined these and related topics.

Oct. 31, 2017

Former U.S. Senators Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Tom Daschle, D-S.D., discuss the role of disagreement and civil dialogue in American politics and civic culture.


Nov. 11, 2017

Lawyer and author Floyd Abrams, over the course of a career spanning more than half a century, has argued and won many significant Supreme Court First Amendment cases that protected freedom of speech, including the Pentagon Papers case. In this discussion, he explains why now, more than ever, free speech must be protected.

See Abrams’ appearance on Arizona Horizon here.


Jan. 26, 2018

Jonathan Haidt, author of “The Righteous Mind” and co-founder of Heterodox Academy, visited Arizona State University to contribute to our discussion of free speech on campus in his presentation: “America’s Escalating Outrage: Why Is It Happening, What Does It Do to Colleges and How Can We Reverse It?”


Feb. 2, 2018

Robert P. George and Cornel West visited ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership to discuss the importance of open dialogue in pursuit of civil discussion and the serious and respectful exchange of ideas, on university campuses and in American society.


April 13, 2018

Middlebury Professor Allison Stanger and Reed Professor Lucía Martínez Valdivia discuss issues surrounding free speech on campus when protests turn extreme.


April 20, 2018

ASU dean of students Nicole Taylor leads a student panel discussion on why students need free speech on campus. Student panelists include Gabriel Sandler (ASU), Matthew Foldi (University of Chicago), Tea Francesca Price (ASU) and Zachary Wood (Williams College).


April 27, 2018

Dr. Bret Weinstein, evolutionary biologist, Heather MacDonald, Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and Dr. Ulrich Baer, professor of German and Comparative Literature at NYU, talk about negotiating controversial speakers on campus at the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership’s spring conference on free speech and intellectual diversity in higher education. Moderated by Stefanie Lindquist, ASU deputy provost and vice president for academic affairs.


May 4, 2018

Professor Geoffrey Stone of the University of Chicago, who authored the school’s statement of principles on free expression, discusses the appropriate limits on free speech in institutions of higher learning.


May 11, 2018

Experimental psychologist and Harvard University professor Steven Pinker argues that free speech is fundamental — a right which, if not absolute, should be abrogated only in carefully circumscribed cases — and that it’s important to have the reasons at our fingertips when that right is called into question.


May 14, 2018

Steven Hayward of Powerline and University of California, Berkeley, presents “The Intellectual Suicide of American Universities: Causes and Remedies.”

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