Michael Biggs photograph

Michael Biggs

Use attributes for filter !
Gender Male
Age 49
Date of birth August 16,1974
Zodiac sign Leo
Born Rio De Janeiro
State Of Rio De Janeiro
Parents Ronnie Biggs
Record labels Columbia Records
Music groups Turma do Balão Mágico
Grandparents Henry Jack Biggs
Lillian Edna Biggs
SongsLetter To My Mama
Bag Death
The Forgotten Door
I Have Fear
Night Code
Basement Suite
The Blooming
Head Fog
Vampire's Blood
Heavy Moods 1
Let You Down
Settle Down
End Credits
Heavy Moods 2
Lemon Pepper Wings
Heavy Moods 3
Date of Reg.
Date of Upd.
Send edit request

Michael Biggs Life story

Kathleen Stock: Oxford professors sign free speech letter in gender row

May 17,2023 1:21 pm

Universities must remain places where " contentious views can be openly discussed" University of Oxford academics have warned.

It Comes amid a row over The Invitation of gender-critical academic Kathleen Stock to take part in a debate.

There had been speculation a decision by The university's student union to split with The Oxford Union debating society was due to The Invitation .

But The Oxford University Student Union said The decision was unrelated.

The Letter , signed by 44 academics and, stated The signatories represent left and right viewpoints.

It said The Group " wholeheartedly condemn" The Students ' union split with The 200-year-old Oxford Union debating society.

High Profile names on The Letter include evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins .

Speaking to The Bbc , one of The signatories Dr Michael Biggs , associate professor of sociology at University of Oxford, said he had signed The Letter because he is a " strong believer in academic freedom of speech".

He Said it was " under threat" as there is " an emerging body of students who have learnt that anybody who has a view that is not their own is hateful and bigoted, and doesn't deserve any opportunity to speak".

Responding to The Letter , Prof Stock said she was " very pleased to see there are still those at Oxford University who understand The value of upholding academic freedom, and are prepared to demonstrate this important value in public".

" I hope their example will inspire others to do similar, " she added.

In a statement, Education Minister Claire Coutinho said student debaters " shouldn't be punished for encouraging The Free exchange of ideas".

She Said The new Freedom of Speech Act " will make sure that universities promote free speech" and people who have their " free speech rights unlawfully restricted on campus can seek redress".

Prof Stock left Her Job with The University of Sussex in 2021 after protests against her from students following The publication of a book where she questioned The idea that gender identity

After plans for her invite were unveiled last month, The Oxford University LGBTQ+ Society said it was " dismayed" and accused The debating union of " disregarding The welfare of its LGBTQ+ members under The guise of free speech".

Responding to The academics' letter on Wednesday, The Society said it stood by its statement, and said it was an " insult" for Oxford Union to give Prof Stock a platform.

Oxford Union has said attendees will have an " opportunity to respectfully engage and challenge" Prof Stock's views at The Event on 30 May, as well as being able to ask questions anonymously.

It said there would be " additional welfare resources available on The evening" due to The sensitive nature of The Event .

The academics' letter characterised Prof Stock's views as being The belief that " biological sex in humans is real and socially salient" and said they are views which until recently " would have been so commonplace as to hardly merit asserting".

" There is no plausible and attractive ideal of academic freedom, or of free speech more generally, which would condemn their expression as outside The bounds of permissible discourse, " it says.

It added The Move by The Student 's union is aimed at damaging The Oxford Union debating society's business model, by banning it from freshers' fairs, which it said is an important source for recruitment of members.

It said The Move is a " a profound failure To Live up to" ideals of " free inquiry and The disinterested pursuit of The Truth by means of reasoned argument".

, The Oxford University Student Union said national press coverage " erroneously" conflated The opposition to Prof Stock and The decision to split with The Oxford Union.

It said The Debate prior to The decision made no mention of Prof Stock or any other speaker, and was due to " long-standing concerns" about " alleged bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination, and data privacy breaches".

It added: " [The Student 's union] will defend The Right of people to freedom of expression, and will defend The Right of people to have controversial and unpopular ideas debated as part of an integral part of university life".

UK tensions

There has been ongoing tension in UK universities over freedom of speech on The issue of Transgender Rights .

Last month, a about gender-critical issues was cancelled due to protest at The University of Edinburgh.

The Oxford Union is celebrating its bicentennial year in 2023, and has a history of welcoming some of The World 's most high-profile figures.

Its debating chamber has previously heard from a host of American Presidents , and figures like Archbishop Desmond Tutu , Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking .

It has also drawn controversy, having extended invites to The likes of and

Their appearances were marked by protests.

Related Topics

Source of news: bbc.com

Related Persons

Next Profile ❯