Free to Think features conversation with interesting, thoughtful, and inspiring individuals whose research, teaching, or expression falls at the always sensitive intersection of power and ideas. We'll be speaking with those who have the courage to seek truth and speak truth, often at great risk, as well as with those who support them and share their stories.
Free to Think is a podcast presented by Scholars at Risk, where we celebrate people with the courage to think, question, and share ideas. For information on membership, activities, or donating to Scholars at Risk, visit www.scholarsatrisk.org.
Higher Education for Democracy
Free to Think talks with Dr. William Tierney, university professor emeritus and founding director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California.
He discusses his book, Higher Education for Democracy: The Role of the University in Civil Society." Beyond research, teaching, and preparing graduates for future careers, Tierney argues that "the university has to change its behavior and be more involved in trying to support the basic tenants and organs of democracy."
Free to Think message on the crisis in Afghanistan
University scholars and civil society leaders across Afghanistan are in fear for their lives. For the better part of twenty years they have worked for a new, forward-looking and knowledge-based Afghanistan. They dedicated their lives to education, openness, and tolerance. Their lives are now at risk.
In honor of our colleagues there, Free to Think is replaying our earlier conversation about Afghanistan. We will return with new episodes soon.
Info @ https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/afghanistan_support/
Beyond Solidarity: Bangladesh's Dr. Shuchi Karim
Free to Think talks with Dr. Shuchi Karim, an academic, researcher, feminist and activist from Bangladesh whose work on gender and sexuality brought her praise and condemnation, forcing her into exile. Shuchi shares her experience as a SAR-assisted scholar at universities in the Netherlands and Canada.
"Fear does live with you, you know, not only for your sake, but your loved ones, because we are not isolated individuals.” She is currently a Visiting Professor at Carleton University.
Sanctioned by China: "No regrets for telling the truth"
Free to Think talks with Dr. Jo Smith Finley, a reader in Chinese studies at Newcastle University, UK. In March 2021, Dr. Smith Finley was sanctioned by the People's Republic of China for her research on human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, including forced internment of over one million Uyghurs, a largely Muslim ethnic minority group. As such, the sanctions represent a dramatic escalation in the PRC's campaign to censor research and a threat to academic freedom everywhere.
Still very much in Africa: Zimbabwe's Dr. Prosper Maguchu
Free to Think talks with Dr. Prosper Maguchu, researcher, human rights lawyer, and activist from Zimbabwe who defended victims of state violence before domestic and international courts, bringing vindication to his clients, but drawing threats and violence against himself. "I wanted to be on the right side of history," he said, "That's why I never gave up."
Prosper shares his experience as a SAR-assisted scholar at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Questioning Authority in Myanmar
Free to Think talks with Kyaw Moe Tun, director of the Parami University, the first private, non-profit, liberal arts and sciences university in Myanmar. Parami nurtures future leaders by providing students skills in global citizenship and critical thinking.
After receiving his PhD from Yale University, Dr. Kyaw Moe Tun returned to Myanmar to dedicate his life to the educational development of his country. He discusses the promise and challenges of liberal education in a time of protests and unrest.
Learning a lot keep it up…Go SAR Canada!