Truth, Free Speech and Free Science

Free Public Lecture

Truth, Free Speech and Free Science

Theatre D (155)
Old Arts


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T: 0434142369

Ideals of free speech, and related ideals of free science, were developed at a time when the danger was the despotism of a single, dictatorial voice, religious or political. They need rethinking at a time when a second type of danger is even more salient: a free-for-all of many, undisciplined voices.

Just as light pollution stops us from seeing the stars, so pollution of the news and science media stops us from tracking the truth. Worse, it invites us to wallow in our preferred view of the world, signing up to whatever view most appeals, whether about the origin of our species, our impact on planet earth or the nature of the universe. Freedom requires that we should be entitled to our own opinions, as Daniel Moynihan once said, but not that we be entitled to our own facts.


  • Professor Philip Pettit
    Professor Philip Pettit, LS Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Australian National University