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Damned in Amsterdam: A Bizarre Deplatforming

We wanted to give a talk on how ideological bias hampers science—and were disinvited because of our politics.

Black and white portraits of Maarten Boudry and Jerry A. Coyne. Background is two different types of stones.
Maarten Boudry and Jerry A. Coyne.

Like being struck by lightning, getting deplatformed—first invited to speak and then disinvited for your political views—is something you assume happens only to other people. But, unlike a lightning strike, it’s not a rare occurrence. The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE)’s “campus deplatforming database” of US universities lists 626 successful deplatforming attempts since 1998. This year alone, there have already been 110 attempts to cancel talks, most involving speakers sympathetic to Israel. Neither of us, however, had ever personally experienced this kind of cancellation before.

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