Bias in academic courses

Young Libs campaign to out biased dons (from The Australian):

“NATALIE Karam, a second-year university law student, recently changed classes because she was so uncomfortable about the ideological stance of one of her lecturers.”

Apparently this biased lecturer stated that he belonged to the Greens, and poor Natalie, a Young Lib, felt marginalised in his class by belonging to the mainstream and moved classes. It made her think twice: what if she said something he didn’t like? … Perhaps she should have thought a third or fourth or fifth time until she came to the far more sensible realisation that this lecturer is capable of distinguishing his own bias, her bias and any other bias that creeps into academic work unacknowledged. The whole point of the academy is to analyse ideas, understand different perspectives, identify what is bias and what is “mainstream” (I’m assuming that anything “not mainstream” constitutes bias in the terms of the article in The Australian), and present a range of conflicting viewpoints. This is unlikely to happen if everyone runs off to immerse themselves in the company of like-minded people who will never challenge their view of the world.

Then again, let’s imagine that the lecturer had kept quiet about his affiliation with the Greens. Natalie would not even have known how uncomfortable she should have been!! Or perhaps the lecturer would no longer have been biased? Hmmmmm – how would that work? So perhaps what she is really saying, along with her Young Libs leader Noel McCoy, is that biased (non-mainstream, Greens-affiliated) academics should not be allowed to give lectures at all? Sweet. I wonder how Ms Karam expects to practise Law if she is not able to identify, present, analyse, or assess a line of argument in a professional capacity that differs from her own views? Then again, perhaps she won’t need to present any legal arguments when she can just go to the media and market her clients as victims.

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