学术自由物有所值吗?

英国沃里克——经济危机期间,人们是否还能负担得起学术自由? 这一议题在年初有大学之母之称的博洛尼亚大学举行的《大学宪章》年度签字仪式上引发了热烈的讨论。

《大学宪章》是推动并保护大学自治权的世界最著名的原则声明。 二十多年来,世界各地将近700所高校已经签署这份声明。 但在普通人为收支平衡绞尽脑汁的今天,总让人感觉大学已经成为一种奢侈品。

人们的担忧总是不无道理。 回顾历史,大学一般是在物质丰裕时期建立,目的是鼓励人们跳出基本生存需求的羁绊,献身于更有启迪意义的精神或国家目标。 近50年前,一位注重统计数据的科学史家德里克·德索拉·普赖斯观察到一个国家的人均能源消费是学术研究成果的最佳指标: 两者呈共同增长之势。

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