The future of the impact agenda depends on the revaluation of academic freedom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Opponents of the impact agenda often base their arguments on the claim that requiring scholarly research to demonstrate broader societal impacts conflicts with academic freedom. This paper argues that this claim entails a narrow interpretation of academic freedom as freedom from interference. A richer interpretation is proposed of academic freedom as freedom to pursue research that may have broader impacts. Adopting a positive view of academic freedom will require disciplines to adjust their standards of academic rigor and universities to amend their criteria for promotion and tenure. It will also provide the foundation for an academic response to the rise of neopopulism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number41
JournalPalgrave Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Cite this