June 6, 2022

Censorship on Our Mind: A Worldwide Political and Philosophical Crisis

Event Series: Free Speech at the Crossroads: International Dialogues

Showing the Censorship on Our Mind: A Worldwide Political and Philosophical Crisis Video

No one seems particularly shocked when Vladimir Putin prevents the Russian people from hearing the truth about his war in Ukraine. But many are oblivious when powerful figures in Western democracies, while paying lip service to free expression, regularly and willingly cooperate with international censorship regulations in the name of commerce. Are we prepared to have our films edited and our sports figures silenced to please dictators?

This event is co-sponsored by the Free Speech Project (Georgetown University) and the Future of the Humanities Project (Georgetown University and Blackfriars Hall and Campion Hall, Oxford). It is part of the ongoing event series Free Speech at the Crossroads: International Dialogues.


Nadine Elzein, a research fellow in the department of philosophy at the University of Warwick, holds a Ph.D. from University College London. Her research focuses on free will, determinism, moral responsibility, and retributive practices. Her work has included papers on the relevance of alternative possibilities, indeterminism and luck, freedom, the relevance of neuroscientific research for moral and legal responsibility, and transcendental arguments for freedom.

Edward Hadas, a research fellow at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, worked for 35 years in finance and financial journalism. His book Counsels of Imperfection: Thinking through Catholic Social Teaching was published in 2020. A new book, Money, Finance, Reality, Morality, will appear in 2022. In progress are books on narratives of conflicting and complementary modernity and on economics and ethics.

Corynne McSherry, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and one of California's top entertainment lawyers, specializes in intellectual property, open access, and free speech issues. She has defended online fair use, political expression, and the public domain against the assault of copyright maximalists. Her policy work includes efforts to promote net neutrality and best practices for online expression. She testified before Congress about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Section 230.

Gwen Robinson is editor-at-large of Nikkei Asia, the English-language journal and website of Japanese media group Nikkei Inc., and the director and former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. She is a senior fellow at the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, where she specializes in the politics and economics of Myanmar, and more broadly mainland Southeast Asia. She was previously a senior editor and correspondent with the Financial Times in Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Michael Scott (moderator) is senior dean, fellow of Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, college adviser for postgraduate students, and a member of the Las Casas Institute. He also serves as senior adviser to the president of Georgetown University. Scott previously was the pro-vice-chancellor at De Montfort University and founding vice-chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University.

Sanford J. Ungar (moderator), president emeritus of Goucher College, is director of the Free Speech Project at Georgetown University, which documents challenges to free expression in American education, government, and civil society. Director of the Voice of America under President Bill Clinton, he was also dean of the American University School of Communication and is a former co-host of "All Things Considered" on NPR.