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+Open Inquiry+Viewpoint Diversity+Constructive Disagreement+Teaching+Campus Policy

Episode 7: My Academic Freedom Journey from Post-Soviet Russia to Canada

John speaks with Alexandra Lysova about her time as an academic after the collapse of the Soviet Union, her journey to Canada, and the importance of open inquiry on college campuses.

Alexandra Lysova, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver/Burnaby, Canada. Her research career, spanning more than 20 years, focuses on intimate partner violence, including violence against men, women, and children. Having experienced limitations on freedoms in Russia, where Alexandra grew up, she has developed a heightened appreciation for democratic values and, at the same time, has become sensitive to limitations on academic freedom and freedom of expression in Canada and The U.S. Lysova has received the 2023 Leadership Award from Heterodox Academy for her persistent efforts to protect academic freedom, and she was also the recipient of the 2022 Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy.

Alexandra spearheaded the SFU Academic Freedom Group with the mission of “promoting open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement in research and education,” which now boasts 60 SFU faculty and staff as members. She also led her campus in becoming part of Heterodox Academy’s Campus Community Network in 2023.

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