Petition to Terminate Employment of Controversial Fellow Nathan Cofnas at the University of Cambridge

Nathan Cofnas is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, despite the fact that he never should have been appointed in the first place. 

His very appointment was protested hotly in 2022, following his extremely incendiary and casually racist publication stating that there are "gaps" in IQ between different racial groups. Unsurprisingly, as the University and Faculty did not take action then, they have been implicitly validating him and his increasingly bigoted views since.

As if endorsing what is essentially the logic of a eugenicist was not enough in the first instance, Cofnas has only struck again in a new publication in recent days. A self-declared 'race realist', he is very public on X (formerly Twitter) with his exceptionally harmful 'opinions' as well as his published research / blog posts, marketing them as 'anti-woke' and in defence of free speech as if they are not verbal abuse through the filter of academic legitimacy.

For more information on the specifics of his comments, please consult the articles below:

These publications explaining Cofnas' actions, written by students here at the University in their independent newspaper, shed light upon his absolutely abhorrent research - his assertions include a core belief in racially-orientated segregation ("There must be some barriers set up between races in order for each one to express its own unique genius"); that 'generations of [white] children' are being 'brainwashed' into feeling inferior and therefore turning to 'transgenderism' (in itself an archaic and somewhat derogatory term, which inherently miscontrues what it is to experience gender dysphoria) to escape the role of 'oppressor'; that if there were a true 'meritocracy' in terms of academic practice, then there would be no 'black professors' at Harvard due to an innate racial lack of 'intellgience'; and that a 'hereditarian revolution' (which he names 'both feasible and desirable') and 'racial tribalism' are both things that we as a society should promote. This is just to name a select few of his comments. This goes beyond any inconsistency or confusion in tone or language; this man has deliberately and intentionally acted upon what he views as proper research, doing so over several months or even years, draining University funding in the process. At the same time, as Dr Bronwen Everill (Director of the University's Centre for African Studies) expressed: “It’s a shame that, in an era when so many young academics doing groundbreaking scholarship based on real research are struggling to find jobs, others, hired purely to promote an anti-woke agenda, use the University’s brand to write click-bait blog posts.”

Cofnas himself has even speculated on how amazed he is to have been hired by the University in the first place, listing other places of publication that refuse to give airtime to his controversial and deliberately inflammatory views. 

This is disgusting and should not be tolerated any further. The Univeristy of Cambridge has a lot to answer for historically, acting as a senior institution in the oppression of every minority imaginable. It flaunts itself in headlines each year stressing increases in BME intake statistics, in attempts to drain the discrimatory biases from inside itself, in its reputed want to rebirth the entire University itself from a place of acceptance and comfort. This cannot be the case, however. If it was, if they were really set on reform and making Cambridge a place of inclusion and equality, they would consider the Black eighteen-year-old that arrives here beyond their unit of measurement in an admissions statistic chart. When young People of Colour are walking into their very first lecture at what is allegedly one of the highest and most world-class institutions on the planet, having excelled at everything handed to them for years in order to claw their way into this place, and are being met with the face of a man who thinks their very existence is lesser because of their race, something is wrong. More than anything, when the institution itself is what is platforming this individual, funding his slews of discriminatory and bigoted rhetoric and encouraging him to produce more instead of handing his research position to someone who could actually use it to take the field forward, as opposed to into the distant past, something is severely wrong.

Cofnas should never have been granted his fellowship in the first place; he has only proved repeatedly in the mere two years since that he does not by any stretch of the imagination deserve to keep it. The University of Cambridge and its Faculty of Philosophy, in particular, need to be forced to listen - since the suffering of its already marginalised student body has apparently never served as enough reason to in the past.



(All views expressed here are my own and not reflective of any organisation or external party.)

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