Staff news

Statement on upcoming Edinburgh Academics for Academic Freedom (EAFAF) event

At the University we are fully committed to upholding freedom of expression and academic freedom, and facilitating an environment where students and staff can discuss and debate challenging topics.

Updated statement: Wednesday 26 April 2023, 17:30

We are disappointed that again this event has not been able to go ahead.

In line with our commitment to fostering an inclusive, supportive and safe environment for our whole community, we worked with the organisers and put measures in place to mitigate risks associated with the event. However, with protesters restricting access to the venue, safety concerns were raised should the event proceed. It was therefore decided that the screening should not continue.

It is in this context that Edinburgh Academics for Academic Freedom (EAFAF) are holding the screening and discussion of the documentary 'Adult Human Female' on the University campus.

We are aware of the planned protest by the Staff Pride Network in collaboration with ‘Cabaret Against the Hate Speech’, which is due to be held concurrently with the screening of ‘Adult Human Female’.  

We support the right to peaceful and lawful protest, and of our staff and students to convey their opposition to this event, in accordance with the University's Dignity and Respect Policy. This policy will also apply to the conduct of staff and students attending the screening of ‘Adult Human Female’.   

As set out in the University’s Statement on Freedom of Expression, we do not expect members of our community to act in ways which are intended to disrupt the event or deliberately obstruct the freedom of others to express their views.  

We acknowledge the strength of feeling this event causes in some members of our community. However, by permitting events such as the ‘Adult Human Female’ screening to take place on the University campus, as well as peaceful and lawful protest in response to such events, we ensure that our campus is a place where challenging topics can be debated and discussed.

In doing so, the University is not endorsing or taking a stance on any particular views expressed as part of these activities, but rather upholding our commitment to freedom of expression.