Kicking off our new monthly series on freedom of speech, Keith Whittington and Donald Downs discuss the Princeton Principles for a Campus of Free Inquiry. These principles, outlined by a group of scholars convened by Professor Robert P. George here at the James Madison Program in March 2023, expand on the well-known Chicago Principles in ensuring campus free speech and institutional neutrality.

Professors Whittington and Downs are both among the original fifteen participants and endorsers of the Princeton Principles, and played significant roles in drafting the document. Keith Whittington is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics in the Department of Politics at Princeton University, and the author of Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech (Princeton UP, 2019). He specializes in public law and American Politics, and will soon join the faculty of Yale Law School. Donald Downs is the Alexander Meiklejohn Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His areas of specialty include freedom of speech, academic freedom, and American politics. Since retiring, Downs has been the lead faculty advisor to the Free Speech and Open Inquiry Project of the Institute for Humane Studies in Washington, D.C.

Princeton’s governing document, Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities, referenced during the episode. The James Madison Program’s Initiative on Freedom of Thought, Inquiry, and Expression.

Annika Nordquist is the Communications Coordinator of Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions and host of the Program’s podcast, Madison’s Notes.

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