The dismissal of sociologist Noah Carl from a prestigious research fellowship at the University of Cambridge was a victory for students and academics who opposed the promotion of far-right pseudo-science at one of the world’s leading universities.
Carl was a presenter at the reactionary, eugenicist London Conference on Intelligence. Among his published works are ones alleging that anti-migrant views are “reasonably accurate” as regards criminality. In another paper, he claims to correlate average regional IQ with economic prosperity, heavily implying that the former (measured intelligence) is the cause of the latter (prosperity). This is a naked justification for social inequality and imperialism.
Carl’s dismissal is not the end of the fight—it is only the beginning.
Over the past month, an international campaign has been mounted by Carl’s far-right friends and allies to portray his dismissal as an attack on “free speech.” Students whose principled actions unmasked the junior academic’s pseudo-scientific and unscholarly views have been slandered as a “mob.”
According to the Times, Carl is “the latest victim of an authoritarian leftism that has taken hold at many British universities.” In reality, Carl is being supported at the highest levels of the political and media establishment, including by the Conservative Party’s Toby Young, the Spectator and the Daily Telegraph. They have been joined by a phalanx of right-wing academics including Charles Murray, Helmuth Nyborg, Heiner Rindermann and Nigel Biggar.
Carl is a poster boy for an extreme right that is gaining influence due to the authoritarian lurch of the ruling elite in every country as it seeks to justify policies of savage austerity, militarism and war. These forces have declared war on what they describe as “cultural leftism,” attempting to revive previously discredited ideas associated with the worst crimes and horrors of the 20th century.
The International Youth and Students for Social Equality will discuss the international and historical issues raised by events at Cambridge University. Our speaker Thomas Scripps will provide a detailed rebuttal of the claims made by Carl’s defenders and will propose a socialist perspective with which to take on the right-wing ideologues.
Public meeting details
Sunday June 9, 2pm
The Royal Cambridge Hotel, Hobson Suite
Cambridge, CB2 1PY
(Tickets: £5 or £2 students/unwaged)
The Facebook event for the meeting is here.