Freedom in the Academy: A Conversation with Niall Ferguson


Finishing off our series on freedom of speech, renowned historian Niall Ferguson discusses ideological conflict both between America and China and within the United States, and particularly our universities. Along the way, he shares important lessons from academic culture during the World Wars, how history ought to be taught, how optimistic we should be about the future of tech, and, of course, his newest project, the University of Austin.

Niall Ferguson is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, where he served for twelve years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History. He is the author of 16 books, most recently Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, which has been short-listed for the Lionel Gelber Prize. He is a founder of the University of Austin, a new university in Austin, TX. His recent essay for The Free Press, “The Treason of the Intellectuals,” referenced during the episode, discusses the role of German academia in the Third Reich.

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Annika Nordquist

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. She graduated from Stanford University in 2021, where she studied Classics and Linguistics. She was also Editor-in-Chief of the Stanford Review and a member of the varsity fencing team. Previously, she was a Research Assistant in Education Policy at the American Enterprise Institute.

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