Academics write to the EHRC

In the face of ongoing harassment and discrimination against university staff and students because of their beliefs on sex and gender 240 academics have written to Baroness Kishwer Falkner, Chair of the EHRC asking for the EHRC to undertake a Reindorf Review” for the higher education sector. Download the letter

The letter appears in edited form in the Sunday Times and also features in an article by Sian Griffiths.

Read the letter

Dear Baroness Kishwer Falkner 

Thank you for publicly stating that the attacks on Professor Kathleen Stock at Sussex University are disgraceful, and for calling on other institutions to follow Sussex University’s lead to stop these attacks on freedom of speech.

The EHRC has previously published guidance on freedom of expression in higher education. However this is not just an issue of freedom of expression, but of harassment and discrimination on the basis of characteristics protected under the Equality Act: sex, belief and sexual orientation. Universities have created an intimidating, hostile, degrading and humiliating environment for staff and students who recognise that sex matters.

Sex Matters has logged 80 news reports of similar bullying, harassment and no-platforming incidents across UK Universities including Edinburgh, Bath Spa, Kings College London, Oxford, Reading, University College London, Essex, Liverpool John Moores, Bristol, the Open University, Durham, York, Huddersfield, Exeter, Imperial and Cambridge Universities which have occurred over the past five years. And we know of many other cases which have not been reported in the media. Professor Stock herself has compiled a set of anonymous testimonies from academics facing harassment and discrimination at UK Universities because of their beliefs on sex and gender—compounded in most cases by their sex and in some cases by their sexual orientation.

The review by Akua Reindorf of the events at Essex University highlighted a culture of fear, enabled by policies which violate the Equality Act, and a system of institutionalised discrimination and intimidation by “trans rights activists” within the university. There is ample evidence that this is not limited to Essex University

It is now clear that many university leaders lack the courage or capacity to address the issue, which they have allowed to continue for several years in the face of mounting public criticism. Following the release of the Reindorf review, the Vice-Chancellor of Essex (Professor Anthony Forster) issued an extraordinary apology for the manner of undertaking the review itself, for releasing it “during Pride Month” and to “anyone having been made to feel unsafe as a result of the Review.” In 2019 Imperial College London vice-provost apologised for “liking” tweets by the organisation Transgender Trend. The London School of Economics has taken no public action after the Department of Gender Studies denounced the Gender Critical Research Network established at the Open University, nor after it emerged that the department had promoted a student essay which fantasized about stabbing “TERFs”.

Almost all universities in the UK remain members of the Stonewall Champions Scheme, which promulgates misleading information about the Equality Act. After the EHRC announced it was intervening in the Forstater case in support for freedom of belief, Stonewall together with other members of the LGBT consortium wrote to you castigating that decision. Stonewall have not revised their guidance in light of the Forstater judgment which recognised that believing that sex is real and important is a protected characteristic. The Athena Swan scheme encourages Higher Education Institutions to monitor gender identity not sex.

Universities that have chosen to remain committed members of the Stonewall scheme following the Reindorf Review have shown that they will continue to discriminate against academics who uphold a distinction between sex and gender, especially those who are female.

We call on the EHRC to undertake a comprehensive review of policies and practices in UK Universities that impose a radical gender orthodoxy. This review should recommend  new guidance to prevent discrimination against those  who recognise that sex is a protected characteristic. 

Yours sincerely

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta FBA FRS, Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Cambridge

Professor Sir Michael Pepper FREng FRS, Pender Professor of Nanoelectronics, University College London

Professor Arif Ahmed MBE, Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Professor Donald Nicolson OBE, Professor, University of Essex

Professor Sophie Scott CBE, University College London

Professor Ian Acheson FRSA, Visiting Professor, Staffordshire University

Professor Hannah Barker, University of Manchester 

Professor Timothy Bates, Professor of psychology, University of Edinburgh

Professor Andrew Bennett, Professor, University of Bristol

Professor Chetan Bhatt, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science

Professor Stephanie Bird, Professor of German Studies, University College London

Professor Robert Black QC FRSE, Professor Emeritus of Scots Law, University of Edinburgh 

Professor Simon Blackburn FBA,FAAAS,FAHA, Emeritus Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, University of Cambridge

Professor Deborah Cameron, Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication, Oxford University

Professor Jackie Cassell FRCP, FFPH, Professor of Primary Care Epidemiology, Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Professor Sin Yi Cheung, Professor of Sociology, Cardiff University

Professor David Curtis FRCPsych, Honorary Professor, University College London

Professor Andrew Davies, Professor of Modern Social History, University of Liverpool

Professor Paul Du Gay, Professor,

Professor John Dupré FAAAS, FAAAS, FRSA, Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Exeter

Professor Debbie Epstein, Emerita Professor of Cultural Studies in Education, University of Roehampton

Professor Matthew Fox, Professor of Classics, University of Glasgow

Professor Rosa Freedman, Professor of Law,Conflict and Global Development, University of Reading 

Professor Sarah Garfinkel, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL

Professor Matthew Goodwin, Professor, University of Kent 

Professor Simon Goodwin, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Sheffield

Professor Lesley Gourlay, Professor of Education, University College London 

Professor Anne Green, Professor of Physics, University of Nottingham

Professor Lee Grieveson, Professor of Media History, UCL

Professor Francois Guesnet, Professor, University College London

Professor Jonathan Hearn, University of Edinburgh

Professor Robin Hogan, Professor of Atmospheric Physics, University of Reading

Professor Stephen Jenkins, LSE

Professor Matthew Kramer FBA, Professor of Legal & Political Philosophy, Cambridge University

Professor Richard Laing MRICS FRSA, Professor (Architecture and Built Environment), Robert Gordon University

Professor Ellie Lee, Professor, University of Kent

Professor Mary Leng, Professor of Philosophy, University of York

Professor Eva Lomnicka QC (Hon), Professor of Law (semi-retired), Dickson Poon School of Law

Professor Colin MacCabe, Dept of English and Humanities, Birkbeck, University of London (retired)

Professor John Macdonald, Professor, Cardiff University

Professor John Maloney, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Exeter

Professor Kieran McEvoy FAcSS MRIA FBA, Professor of Law and Transitional Justice, Queens University Belfast

Professor Aileen McHarg, Professor of Public Law and Human Rights, Durham University

Professor Jane Monckton Smith, Professor of Public Protection, University of Gloucestershire 

Professor Michele Moore, Head of Centre for Social Justice and Global Responsibility, London South Bank University 

Professor Tim Newburn, Professor of Criminology and Social Policy, London School of Economics

Professor Katherine Newey, Chair of Theatre History,University of Exeter, University of Exeter

Professor Sean Nixon, Professor, University of Essex

Professor Lindsay Paterson FBA,FRSE, Professor of Education Policy, University of Edinburgh

Professor Sarah Pedersen, Professor of Communication and Media, Robert Gordon University

Professor Richard Percival, Professor of Criminal Law and Practice, University of Sheffield

Professor Jo Phoenix, Chair,criminology, The Open University

Professor David Pilgrim, Honorary Professor of Health &Social Policy, University of Liverpool

Professor Lucinda Platt, LSE

Professor Sally Power, Professor, Cardiff University

Professor Angelique Richardson, Professor, University of Exeter

Professor Sheila Riddell, Professor of Education, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh

Professor Karen Ross, Professor of Gender and Media

, Newcastle University

Professor Judith Rowbotham FRSA,FRHistS, Visiting Professor, University of Plymouth 

Professor Alan Sokal, Professor of Mathematics, University College London

Professor Irena Spasic, Professor, Cardiff University

Professor Perdita Stevens, Personal Chair in Mathematics of Software Engineering, University of Edinburgh

Professor Jill Stewart, Professor of Systems Modelling and Optimisation, University of Derby

Professor Doug Stokes, Professor, University of Exeter

Professor John Strawson, Honorary Professor of Law, University of East London

Professor Judith Suissa, Professor of Philosophy of Education, UCL Institute of Education

Professor Alice Sullivan, Professor of Sociology, University College London

Professor John Tasioulas, Professor of Ethics and Legal Philosophy, University of Oxford

Professor Selina Todd, Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford

Professor Robert Tombs CPA, Emeritus Professor of French History, University of Cambridge

Professor James Treadwell, Professor of Criminology, Staffordshire University

Professor Alison Twells, Professor of Social and Cultural History, Sheffield Hallam University

Professor Roger Waston FRCN FRCP Edin FRCN, Professor of Nursing, University of Hull

Professor Peter Watts QC, Visiting Professor of Law, Harris Manchester College, Oxford

Professor Timothy Williamson FBA, FRSE, MAE, IHMAAAS, Wykeham Professor of Logic, University of Oxford

Professor Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law, King’s College London

Professor David Wootton, Anniversary Professor of History, University of York

Professor Emeritus Steve Hall, Retired, Teesside University

Professor Emeritus William Scott, Professor Emeritus, University of Bath

Professor Emeritus Iain Hampsher-Monk, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory, University of Exeter

Dr Sophie Allen, Lecturer in Philosophy, Keele University

Dr Arianna Andreangeli, Senior lecturer in Competition Law, University of Edinburgh 

Dr John Armstrong, Senior Lecturer, King’s College London

Dr Peter Astheimer, Ex Professor/ Director, University of Abertay Dundee

Dr June Balshaw, Lecturer retired/visiting fellow, University of Greenwich

Dr Elizabeth Barrett, Senior Lecturer in Education, Sheffield. Hallam University

Dr Stephen Basdeo, Lecturer,

Dr John Baxendale, Visiting Fellow in Cultural History, Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Shereen Benjamin, Senior Lecturer in Primary Education, University of Edinburgh

Dr Michael Biggs, Associate Professor of Sociology and Fellow of St Cross College, University of Oxford

Dr Linnie Blake, Reader, Manchester Metropolitan University 

Dr Janice Blenkinsopp, Research Associate, HWU

Dr Paula Boddington FRSA, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Healthcare, University of West London

Dr Diane Brewster, Retired Academic, Sussex & OU

Dr Rachel Broady, Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores

Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans, retired academic, Kings College London

Dr Peter Bryden MRCGP, PhD Candidate. Retired Medical Practitioner, University of Exeter

Dr M. Chirimuuta, Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

Dr Sharon Clancy,

Dr Gary Clapton, Honorary Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Dr Fiona Cosson, Head of School,Humanities and Social Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University

Dr Elizabeth Dalgarno, Lecturer, University of Manchester

Dr Madeleine Davies, Associate Professor, University of Reading

Dr Roopal Desai, Research Fellow, University College London

Dr Juliana Dresvina, University of Oxford

Dr Debbie Du Preez, Lecturer in Economics, University of Exeter

Dr Nadia Edmond, Principal Lecturer, University of Brighton

Dr Mark Ellerby, Honorary Research Associate, UCL

Dr Fiona English, Senior Honorary Research Associate, UCL

Dr Jessica Evans, Senior Lecturer,Sociology Department., The Open University

Dr Jeanette Findlay FRSA, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Glasgow

Dr Dalvir Gill, Senior Lecturer, University of Roehampton 

Dr Luna Glucksberg, Research Fellow, LSE

Dr Charlotte Goodburn, Senior Lecturer, King’s College London

Dr Amanda Gosling, Senior Lecturer, School of Economics,University of Kent

Dr Yvonne Hail, Research Fellow, University of Stirling

Dr Laura Hamilton, Research Fellow, University of Hertfordshire

Dr Johanna Harris, Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter

Dr Anna Hartnell, Senior Lecturer, Birkbeck,University of London

Dr Sheila Henderson, Retired Senior Lecturer, University of Dundee

Dr Rebecca Hibbin, Lecturer, Uclan

Dr Emma Hilton, Postdoctoral researcher, University of Manchester

Dr Sian Hindle, Senior Lecturer, Birmingham City University

Dr David Hirsh, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Goldsmiths,University of London

Dr Andrew Hobbs FRHistS, Senior Lecturer, University of Central Lancashire 

Dr Zoe Hollowood, Alumni, University of Cambridge 

Dr Sarah Honeychurch, Good Practice Adviser, University of Glasgow

Dr Clare Horrocks, Senior Lecturer, Liverpool John Moores

Dr Chloe Houston, Associate Professor, University of Reading

Dr Rachel Howell, Lecturer in Sociology/Sustainable Development, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Miroslav Imbrisevic, Associate Lecturer, Open University

Dr Robin Ion, Senior Lecturer, University of the West of Scotland 

Dr Robin Ion, Senior Lecturer, University of the West of Scotland 

Dr Paula James, Retired senior lecturer classical studies, Open University 

Dr Betty Jay, Senior Lecturer, Royal Holloway, University of London

Dr Jagbir Jhutti-Johal, Reader, University of Birmingham

Dr Stephen John, Associate Professor, University of Cambridge 

Dr Jane Clare Jones, Director, Centre for Feminist Thought

Dr Louise Kay, Lecturer, University of Sheffield 

Dr Elliot Kendall, Associate Professor, University of Exeter

Dr Ann Kolodziejski,

Dr Sian Lacey Taylder, PhD student, University of Exeter

Dr Ann MacDonald, Senior Lecturer in Primary Eduction, University of Edinburgh

Dr Gale Macleod, Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

Dr Angela Mansi, Senior lecturer, University of Westminster

Dr Janette Martin, Teaching and Research Manager, University of Manchester

Dr Susan Matthews, Associate Research Fellow, Birkbeck College

Dr Caoimhe McAnena, Senior Lecturer, Goldsmiths,University of London

Dr Alison McClean, Lecturer, University of the West of England

Dr Laura McGrath, Lecturer, Open University 

Dr Colin Mills, Associate Professor, University of Oxford

Dr Emma Milne, Assistant Professor in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, Durham University

Dr Victoria Moul, Reader, UCL

Dr Kath Murray, Research Fellow in Criminology, University of Edinburgh 

Dr Paul Norman, Associate Professor, University of Leeds

Dr Sarah O’Flynn, Deputy Dean in School of Education, Roehampton University

Dr Deirdre O’Neill, Lecturer, University of Hertfordshire 

Dr Alison Penn, Senior Lecturer, The Open University

DR Laetitia Pichevin, Senior researcher, University of Edinburgh 

Dr Jon Pike FRSA, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Open University

Dr Eva Poen, Lecturer in Economics, University of Exeter

Dr. Thomas Prosser, Reader in European social policy, Cardiff University

Dr Helen Pryce, Senior lecturer, Aston University

Dr Hannah Quirk, Reader in Criminal Law, King’s College London

Dr Helen Rogers, Research Fellow, Liverpool John Moores University

Dr Michael Rosie, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Edinburgh

Dr Michael Sanders, Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester

Dr Eurig Scandrett, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Queen Margaret University,Edinburgh

Dr Eleanor Scott, Retired, Newcastle University,Leicester University,Open University,Reading University,Winchester University; Portsmouth City Council Cabinet Member. 

Dr Susan Scott Hunt, Retired Associate Professor of Law, Middlesex University

Dr Lesley Semmens, Senior Lecturer (retired), Leeds Beckett University 

Dr Simon Shackley, Reader, University of Edinburgh

Dr Danielle Sinnett, Associate Professor, UWE

Dr Edward Skidelsky, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Exeter

Dr Holly Smith, Lecturer in Higher Education, UCL Institute of Education

Dr Ian Stark, Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

Dr Jill Steans, Senior Lecturer (retired), Birmingham/Keele/NTU/OU

Dr Ray Stoneham, Principal Lecturer (retired), University of Greenwich

Dr Geraldine Stoneham, Principal Lecturer (retired), London South Bank University

Dr Neil Thin, Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

Dr Mira Vogel, Lecturer, King’s College London

Dr Lynne Wainwright, LJMU

Dr Lee Walters, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Southampton

Dr Paula Warrington,

Dr Carina Westling, Senior Lecturer, Bournemouth University 

Dr Emily Wheater, PhD alumna, University of Edinburgh

Dr Elizabeth White, Senior lecturer, UWE

Dr Peter Williams, Affiliated Lecturer, Faculty of Divinity,University of Cambridge

Mr Jonny Best, PhD student, University of Huddersfield 

Mr Chris Blue, Retired lecturer in Social Work., Durham University.

Ms Elizabeth Burrough, Research Associate, University of Edinburgh

Mr John Collins, Professor, University of East Anglia

Ms Wilma De Jong, Retired senior lecturer, University of Sussex

Ms Cathy Devine, Independent Researcher,previously Senior Lecturer in Sport and Physical Activity, Previously,University of Cumbria

Mrs Charlotte Edun, MA Researcher, University of York

Ms Liz Elkind, Lecturer in Community Eduction (retired), University of Edinburgh

Ms Sue England, Lecturer in Law,Abertay University and Dundee University,retired

Solicitor England and Wales, Abertay University Dundee University

Ms Lucinda Evans, PhD student, University College London

Mr Tim Green, Student, Regent’s Park College,Oxford University 

Ms Susan Hawkes, Principal Lecturer, University of Wolverhampton

Mr Rod Hine, Antenna Consultant, University of Leeds

Ms Andrea Holland, Lecturer, University of East Angia

Mr Peter Jenkins, Senior Lecturer (Retired), University of Manchester

Ms Kathleen Jenkins, Retired lecturer, University of Edinburgh 

Ms Judy Keiner, Former Senior Lecturer in Education,University of Reading, University of Reading

Mr Tim Kent, Programme Leader MA Inclusive Education, Roehampton University

Ms Sue Kilminster, Retired, University of leeds 

Ms Alison Lacey, PhD researcher, University of Sussex

Ms Tracey Logan, PhD student, University of Leicester

Ms Joanna Lowry, Principal

Lecturer (retired), University of Brighton

Mr Gilbert Markus, Researcher, University of Glasgow

Ms Aileen McColgan QC, Former professor of law, King’s College London and the University of Leeds

Ms Janice McGhee, Honorary Fellow,School of Social and Political Science, The University of Edinburgh

Ms Sally Millar, Research Fellow,Centre Director (retired), University of Edinburgh

Mr Paul Milnes, Retired Senior Lecturer, London Metropolitan University

Mrs SK Moss, Associate Lecturer, Open University

Ms Maureen O’Hara, Senior Lecturer in Law, Coventry University

Ms Stella O’Malley, Research Postgraduate Student, Dundee

Ms Ellen Pasternack, PhD Researcher, University of Oxford, Department of Zoology

Mr Levi Pay, Former Director of Student Services, King’s College London

Mrs Samantha Pay, DPhil student, University of Oxford

Mr Timothy Pitt-Payne QC, Former Visiting Professor of Information Law, University of Northumbria

Ms Lynne Pratt, Coordinator of PGDE secondary teacher education programme – retired, University of Edinburgh

Miss Florence Richardson, Rapid Prototying Engineering Technician, University of Bath

Ms Rose Rickford, PhD student, University of York

Ms Jane Sedgewick, Lecturer in Education, University of Sussex

Ms Geraldine Shaw, International Primary Science Author

Former Senior Lecturer in Science Education, Sheffield Hallam University

Ms Deborah Siddoway, PhD Candidate, University of Durham

Mrs Gillian Staerck, retired, Institute of Contemporary British History

Ms Denise Sumpter, PhD Student, Birkbeck College London 

Ms Georgia Testa, Associate Professor, University of Leeds

Ms Sally Wainwright, Senior lecturer, retired, Heriot Watt university

Ms Jessica Winkler, Safeguarding Manager, UWE Bristol 

Ms Freda Wolfenden, Professor of Education and International Development, The Open University

Mr Scott Wortley, Lecturer in private law, University of Edinburgh