Leverhulme Trust to Investigate One of Its Philosophy Fellows at Cambridge (updated)


The Leverhulme Trust, a philanthropy in London which provides grants and fellowships to scholars across a range of disciplines, has launched an investigation of one of its early career fellows who works in philosophy at the University of Cambridge.

[Note: This was originally posted on February 15, 2024, 10:37am, but was lost when a problem on February 17th, 2024 required the site to be reset. I’m reposting it on February 18th with its original publication date.]

 

The philosopher in question is Nathan Cofnas, whom readers may recall from this episode.

(Photo via Varsity)

In response to blog posts he recently wrote and which were reported on by Varsity, a Cambridge student newspaper, the Leverhulme Trust announced on Monday:

The Trust has become aware of claims made in a blog by Nathan Cofnas, Early Career Fellow employed at the University of Cambridge. As a result, we have begun an urgent investigation. The grant provided was not for research into the relationship between race and IQ. The views expressed in the blog are in no way those of the Leverhulme Trust. We are very clear that racism of any and all forms is abhorrent.

Cofnas appears to believe that the future of humanity depends on people agreeing with him that the white race (update: or maybe the East Asian… race?) is genetically superior to others, at least in regard to intelligence.

If you’ll permit me some editorializing about this….

On second thought, it’s not worth it.

You can read Varsity‘s account here.

Comments are closed, because I hate free speech and am afraid of the truth, etc., etc.

UPDATE (2/15/24): I ought to have commented on the academic freedom aspect of this when I posted. A reader reminded me of this, hence this update. So, to be clear: to revoke Cofnas’ fellowship or to fire him from Cambridge on the basis of his blog posts would be a blatant violation of his academic freedom, and, in my opinion, were Leverhulme or Cambridge to do so, they’d be wronging Cofnas. Of course, to make this point is not to defend any of Cofnas’s views, which, to put it in a rather understated way, strike me as utterly bizarre. Nor is it to comment on the matter of whether he should have been awarded the fellowship and position in the first place.

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