Ministers need to protect academic freedom

Posted By TEU on Jun 28, 2012 |

The former minister of education, Anne Tolley’s attack on the academic credibility of Waikato University academic Martin Thrupp has tacitly given permission for a subsequent torrent of ill-informed blog-abuse against the researcher.

“The minister’s statements were an attack on academic freedom and were designed to intimidate and silence an academic who was criticising government policy,” says TEU national president Sandra Grey.

“The minister has used her power and position to effectively give permission for a storm of nasty and ill-informed internet vitriol against an academic who is known for being a measured and cautious researcher who evidences his conclusions and has the respect of his peers.”

“Simply because Martin Thrupp has been commissioned by NZEI, the primary teachers union, to carry out research into national standards does not taint his research, just as the research that numerous academics have produced for numerous government officials and commercial organisations has not been tainted by being commissioned,” said Sandra Grey.

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