Frédérique Vidal asks “to open the debate”

The Minister of Higher Education, Frédérique Vidal, said in an interview with the JDD that she hoped “the debate will be raised” while embroiled in controversy after conducting an investigation into the “Islamo-Left” at university had requested.

“We need to take stock of what is being done in France in research on these issues,” said Frédérique Vidal, making sure that she wanted a study “in the sociological sense of the word”.

The minister was embroiled in controversy after denouncing the “Islamo-Left” on February 14, which she said “plagues society as a whole and the university is not impervious”, before she “gave a CNRS rating” on Tuesday demanded by “All Research” takes place in France to distinguish what is academic research and what is activism.

600 scientists are demanding his resignation

These statements sparked strong reactions in the academic world, to the point that 600 academics (teachers, researchers …) called for his resignation on Saturday in a column published by Le Monde newspaper, accusing him of “being an intellectual threat.” increase “oppression”. Frédérique Vidal refuses to want to set up a “thought police” and sees it as a “process of intention”. On the contrary, she assures that she “wants to deconstruct the idea that there is a single thought on certain issues and …) protect the pluralism of ideas at the university “.

I have always defended academic freedom and researchers

“I’m an academic. I’ve always defended academic freedom and researchers,” she says. “If the academics who do not know me felt offended, it was not my intention. Everyone has to be able to express themselves, it is also the disagreement that we are promoting,” said the minister.

The CNRS agreed on Tuesday to take part in the study on the “Islamo-Left” requested by the minister, but regretted “an emblematic controversy over the instrumentalization of science” and a “political slogan” [qui] did not correspond to any scientific reality. “” I want a rational, scientific approach to the subject. We have to quantify things, get out of the feeling and the premise, ”she says.

The priority: students and the pandemic

“Academic freedoms and research must be defended at all costs. I would like to know whether these freedoms in the work of researchers and teacher-researchers are not hindered,” said the minister. Frédérique Vidal noted that “this issue has generated a lot of reactions, but it is not our priority today”. “The priority is the student situation and the pandemic”.