Moral Courage & censorship

Its easy to lose your faith in institutions and so its nice to read that Cambridge University refused to censor a masters thesis. This is my favorite part of the letter (via BoingBoing):

Second, you seem to think that we might censor a student’s thesis, which is lawful and already in the public domain, simply because a powerful interest finds it inconvenient. This shows a deep misconception of what universities are and how we work. Cambridge is the University of Erasmus, of Newton, and of Darwin; censoring writings that offend the powerful is offensive to our deepest values. Thus even though the decision to put the thesis online was Omar’s, we have no choice but to back him. That would hold even if we did not agree with the material! Accordingly I have authorised the thesis to be issued as a Computer Laboratory Technical Report. This will make it easier for people to find and to cite, and will ensure that its presence on our web site is permanent….

Read more about the whole back story A Merry Christmas to all Bankers and the full Letter to bankers (PDF)

Nice to see an act of moral courage coming from the university. I know that they are supposed to be like this but its nice to see that they sometimes act this way too.