What Does Freedom of Expression Mean to You?

Three students hold up Freedom of Expression Theme Year t-shirts on Bailey Plaza at the Dean's Welcome
Simon Wheeler for Cornell University

The theme for the academic year is The Indispensable Condition: Freedom of Expression at Cornell. Graduate students are joining the discussion by sharing their thoughts on what freedom of expression means to them.

Respond to the question of what freedom of expression means to you through the Qualtrics link in the Graduate School News and Events newsletter, and your answer could be featured!

What freedom of expression means to me…

…intellectual exploration without self-censorship.

Hana Barrett

“Freedom of expression means freedom for intellectual exploration without the pressure to self censor in order to conform to social norms and expectations. A free academic environment requires intentional effort to overcome barriers that might prevent some people from expressing themselves fully and authentically.”

Hana Barrett, plant pathology and plant microbe biology Ph.D. student

Tables with banners reading, 'Protect trans kids' and 'Love not hate'
Photo contributed by Hana Barrett

…a space where everyone feels supported and accepted

Megan Driscoll“Freedom of expression is vital in academia and science because everyone deserves a space where they feel supported and accepted. We are often taught about academic freedom, and how crucial is to preserving the authenticity of research. Less often do we hear about freedom of expression. Science is home to a wonderful group of diverse, creative, and independent minds, and to limit their expression would be to limit their potential as a scientist and as a human. Protecting freedom of expression for the increasingly diverse scientific community is paramount to pushing research limits and furthering science for generations to come.”

Megan Driscoll, chemistry and chemical biology Ph.D. student