Amid Boston Overdose Crisis, a Pair of Harvard Students Are Bringing Narcan to the Red Line


At First Cambridge City Council Election Forum, Candidates Clash Over Building Emissions


Harvard’s Updated Sustainability Plan Garners Optimistic Responses from Student Climate Activists


‘Sunroof’ Singer Nicky Youre Lights Up Harvard Yard at Crimson Jam


‘The Architect of the Whole Plan’: Harvard Law Graduate Ken Chesebro’s Path to Jan. 6



To the Editor of the Crimson:

The main argument in the Bertrand Russell controversy revolves around the "free speech issue." It should be remembered that Harvard as an educational institution has as its duty not the maintenance of an open forum for everybody with eccentric ideas. This is a propagandistic function and those who wish to indoctrinate special issues should hire a hall. Harvard has a higher purpose: to lead its students, by a consideration of unbiased thoughts presented by men of moral integrity, to make up their minds on controversial issues. This is the educational function.

Bertrand Russell is a propagandist. This is freely testified in all his writings and naive expressions of scientific rationalism. That he is of low moral integrity is amply demonstrated. . . .

In the past year Harvard has faced the charge of violation of free speech again and again. By appointing men, who have aroused general public resentment, to teach, Harvard can only encourage scholars to hide behind the free speech cry rather than to stand on their merits as good citizens when seeking appointment. To appoint Russell is to put a premium on moral eccentricity rather than scholarship. There are many able men, fully as able as Russell and much less biased, who could give these lectures. To appoint Russell under these conditions is to hire an ax-grinder and lose an educator. Howard L. Beer '40.

(Ed Note: The University has made clear that the issue is not freedom of speech, but the power of the Corporation to appoint as lecturers whatever scholars it chooses. Bertrand Russell was not chosen because Harvard wishes to give freedom of speech to "eccentric ideas" about domestic relations. He was selected because he is a foremost scholar in the field of logic. He is not to lecture on the relations between male and female but on the relations between logic and language.)

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.