Clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s time at Cambridge University ended before it ever began — thanks in part to enraged professors and students.
The bestselling author of “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” threw British academics into a tailspin this week after announcing a two-month visiting fellowship at the iconic institution. That offer was terminated less than 48-hours later with statements about alleged “hatemongering” and principles incompatible with Cambridge’s campus.
“[Cambridge] is an inclusive environment and we expect all our staff and visitors to uphold our principles. There is no place here for anyone who cannot,” a spokesperson for the university said, the U.K. Guardian reported Wednesday.
“The truth is Cambridge just doesn’t have enough sage authoritative white men who believe they know better than everyone else and can tell the world how to run itself,” professor Priyamvada Gopal sarcastically tweeted. “We need to ship them in from outside.”
“Enraged and disappointed with @Cambridge_Uni that Jordan Peterson has been given a visiting fellowship,” added Ph.D. student Lieske Huits. “Such hatemongering shouldn’t be given a place at our University.”
The university’s student union was equally as irate at the original invitation.
“We are relieved to hear that Jordan Peterson’s request for a visiting fellowship to Cambridge’s faculty of divinity has been rescinded following further review,” the group said in a statement, the newspaper reported. “It is a political act to associate the University with an academic’s work through offers which legitimize figures such as Peterson.”
Critics maintain that Mr. Peterson, a University of Toronto professor, is “transphobic” because he said that he would not be coerced by future laws to use state-mandated language.
His commentary — a warning on the linguistic and legal seeds of totalitarianism — came during a 2016 debate over Canada’s “C-16 bill.”
The author’s biblical lecture series on YouTube has tallied millions of views since it was uploaded in 2018.
• Douglas Ernst can be reached at email@example.com.
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