Committee on science and freedom

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The Committee on Science and Freedom grew out of the Congress for Cultural Freedom held in Hamburg, 1953. From 1954 to 1962 the Committee published the Bulletin which contained articles on the relationship between society and scholarship and on the university as an institution.

From the description of Records, 1953-1962. (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52246358

The Committee on Science and Freedom was an outgrowth of the Congress for Cultural Freedom held in Hamburg in 1953. From 1954 until 1962 the Committee published occasional bulletins with articles on the relationship between society and scholarship in general and on the university as an institution in particular. In 1962 the bulletins were replaced by the journal Minerva, under the editorship of Edward Shils. The Minerva Papers, which are also at the University of Chicago, are organized as a separate collection.

The Committee’s involvement with scholars who participated in the Hungarian revolution began on November 3, 1956, shortly after the Hungarian uprising was quelled, the Committee on Science and Freedom received a telegram from the rector and seventeen professors of Szeged University, appealing to "all the universities in the world to rally to their side with their moral authority." In compliance with this appeal the Committee, on November 6, 1956, mailed a circular to scholars all over the world, asking them to declare their solidarity with their Hungarian colleagues.

fter the Hungarian uprising the Committee on Science and Freedom attempted to obtain the names and addresses of Hungarian scholars in order to arrange a cultural exchange between them and their Western colleagues. The collection includes miscellaneous correspondence written and received by the Committee in pursuit of this aim.

nother portion of the collections tracks the Committee’s involvement in conditions, which existed at the University of Tasmania between 1954 and 1956.

In October 1954, an inquiry into the university's affairs was demanded in a letter written by Professor S. S. Orr and endorsed by a number of other faculty members. The charges made against the university ultimately led to an investigation conducted by a Royal Commission. His criticisms made Orr persona non grata with university authorities. Rumors concerning his moral conduct began to circulate on campus, and in November 1955, he was accused by one of his students of having seduced her. Orr eventually lost his position and in turn sued the university for wrongful dismissal. Since fundamental issues of academic freedom were raised in connection with this case, the Committee took considerable interest in it.

From the guide to the Committee on Science and Freedom. Records, 1953-1962, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Polanyi, Michael. Papers, 1900-1975 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Polanyi, Michael, 1891-1976. Papers, 1900-1975 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Committee on Science and Freedom. Records, 1953-1962 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
creatorOf Committee on Science and Freedom. Records, 1953-1962. University of Chicago Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Polanyi, Michael, 1891-1976. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
South Africa
Hungary
Australia
Subject
Scholars
Universities and colleges
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Active 1953

Active 1962

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