Emmanuel College recently cut ties with Cofnas over the controversial blog postLIPTON MATTHEWS / YOUTUBE

Multiple Cambridge academics have signed a letter urging the University to not fire “race realist” fellow Nathan Cofnas, claiming that “there is nothing to investigate” about his controversial views.

The letter, sent to The Times, called on the Faculty of Philosophy to “call off their investigations” into Cofnas’ views and urged Emmanuel college to “reverse it’s decision” to cut ties with him.

The letter was signed by Professor Matthew Kramer of the Law Faculty and Professor Partha Dasgupta of the Economics Faculty. Australian philosopher and animal rights activist Peter Singer was also among the letter’s signatories.

Emmanuel College recently cut ties with Cofnas over a controversial blog post, where he claimed the number of black professors at Harvard would “approach zero” in a meritocracy.

Cofnas has characterised his views as “race realism,” and argues for “the preservation of racial distinctions” in society.

The College’s investigations into Cofnas concluded that the blog posts “amounted to, or could reasonably be construed as amounting to, a rejection of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) policies”.

This claim was challenged in the letter, which alleged that the decision to fire Cofnas was an attack on free speech, and that “members of the college or university who disagree with Dr Cofnas’s views could issue statements repudiating those views and explaining why they believe them to be mistaken”.

The letter also called on the Faculty of Philosophy and Leverhulme Trust to call off their investigations into Cofnas, stating that “there is nothing to investigate”.


Mountain View

Emmanuel College cuts ties with ‘race-realist’ fellow

The campaign calling for Cofnas’ dismissal has been active for months, with a protest organised last term and a petition circulated among students, which amassed more than 1200 signatures.

Lord Simon Wooley, Master of Homerton College, has also called for Cofnas’ termination, describing his actions as “gross misconduct” at a town hall meeting hosted to discuss the controversial fellow. Wooley urged the university to “protect free speech but not at the expense of abhorrent racism”.

Peter Singer, one supporter of the letter calling for Cofnas’ protection, went public in support of the fellow last month. Singer wrote, in an op-ed for Project Syndicate, that Emmanuel College’s definition of freedom of expression “does not include the freedom to challenge its DEI policies”.

Angela Breitenbach, chair of the faculty of philosophy at Cambridge, told The Times: “The University is fully committed to academic freedom and freedom of speech within the law. We are considering the concerns that have been raised in relation to Dr Cofnas’s blog under our existing processes. These processes are by their nature confidential so we will not be commenting further.”