Carl was dismissed from his research fellowship at St Edmund's CollegeSimon Lock

Controversial research fellow Dr Noah Carl, who was dismissed by St. Edmund’s earlier this year following an investigation into his research on discredited ‘race sciences’, has raised more than $100,000 to fund legal action against the College.

In April, the Master of St Edmund’s announced that the College had terminated Carl’s 3-year research fellowship. This came after months of protest from St. Edmund’s College members due to his past research into links between race, criminality, and IQ.

In June, following his dismissal, Carl launched an online fundraiser to support legal action against the College.

Earlier this month, he reached his target of $100,000. To date, Carl’s fundraiser has received more than 1,200 individual donations, with several of these standing at $5,000 or more. Many of the donations have been made anonymously, including one of 1.17 Bitcoin (then valued at $11,236.39) made on the day the fund was launched.

On his website, Carl says that his case “is about protecting freedom of speech”. In a public statement following his dismissal, St Edmund’s College stated that the panel investigating complaints about Carl’s research activities found that “the poor scholarship of the problematic body of Dr Carl’s work, among other things, meant that it fell outside any protection that might otherwise be claimed for academic freedom of speech.”

His crowdfunding campaign is coordinated through a liability company, ‘Noah Carl Legal Fund LLC’ created by developer Conner Douglass, who has previously supported members of the alt-right and white supremacists through providing similar services.

Douglass is the creator of MakerSupport, a payment platform set up to facilitate crowdfunding for members of the far-right, including some of those involved in the 2017 Neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Previous fundraisers on the platform include white nationalist Richard Spencer, as well as anti-feminist polemic and former YouTuber Carl Benjamin, who is now banned from YouTube.

Douglass did not respond to Varsity’s previous request for comment. Carl meanwhile, speaking to Oxford student newspaper Cherwell, asserted that he has “no connection to the other individuals for whom they have built crowd-funds.”

The decision to fire Carl was ultimately made by the St. Edmund’s Governing Body, following the conclusions of two investigations. One looked into the appointment process, and the second – the Herrtage Report – into Carl’s research and professional connections.

Potential failures to disclose his participation in a secret eugenics conference, as well as multiple details of his academic papers, were found in the first investigation. These omissions were in an attempt to “downplay their existence”, suggested the investigation review.

The Herrtage report, meanwhile, found that Carl’s body of work in the public domain, much of which is published on online platform OpenPsych, “did not comply with established criteria for research ethics and integrity”. Furthermore, in the course of pursuing “problematic work”, the report found that Carl “had collaborated with a number of individuals who were known to hold extremist views”.

They concluded that there “was a serious risk that Dr Carl’s appointment could lead, directly or indirectly, to the College being used as a platform to promote views that could incite racial or religious hatred, and bring the College into disrepute.”

Varsity has reached out to St. Edmund’s College regarding Carl’s planned lawsuit.

St. Edmund’s students first took their concerns to the College in November of last year, condemning Carl’s attempts to link race, criminality, and IQ in his work. Feeling that the College was failing to act sufficiently quickly, they took Carl’s appointment public.

In December, more than 1,400 academics and students signed an open letter calling for the termination of Carl’s research fellowship, citing his non-peer-reviewed research into links between race, IQ, and criminality. The letter expressed the “deep concern” that “racist pseudoscience is being legitimised through association with the University of Cambridge”.

Months of protest followed, including a “human chain of solidarity” on King’s Parade in March, and a peaceful rally within the College in January, which resulted in three BME students being threatened with disciplinary action.


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His dismissal was met with celebration by protesters, but questions remain. The investigation into the appointment process, the Elias report, “rejected the complaints that there were failings in the recruitment procedure”, according to a statement from the College, although Varsity later revealed that a senior fellow at St Edmund’s had found ‘potential failures of disclosure’ on Noah Carl’s behalf. The College’s investigation came under criticism from members of the College, who cited a “lack of independence and representation”.

One St Edmund’s student involved in protesting Carl’s appointment asked: “how can a ‘working’ system hire a ‘racist’?”

Since his dismissal, Carl has branded himself as an “exiled researcher”, with multiple right-leaning and outright right-wing publications – including The Times, The Spectator and Quillette – using his case as an example of what some deem to be the “left-wing orthodoxy” of modern universities.

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