Chicago

University of Chicago takes top honors in the first college free speech rankings developed by RealClear Education and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The rankings are based on interviews with 20K students at 55 schools across the nation. They measure openness to discuss challenging topics; tolerance for allowing controversial speakers on campus; self-expression; administrative support, which is the students’ perception about whether their college protects or punishes free speech; and FIRE’s speech code rating which gauges college policies on how they protect or restrict free speech.

The University of Chicago, which has one of the most liberal student bodies of any school on the list, is noted for championing free expression. It released The Chicago Statement in 2015, which states:

“Because the University is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn.... [I]t is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.”

Kansas State University ranks No. 2 on the list, followed by Texas A&M, UCLA, Arizona State, University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Brown University and University of Arizona.

The bottom five schools are Oklahoma State, Syracuse University, Dartmouth College, Louisiana State University and DePauw University.

Cornell Alliance for Science: Coronavirus Misinformation

Master of Misinformation… Donald Trump is the largest driver of misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study by the Cornell Alliance for Science.

The study evaluated 38M articles in the English-language media and found that 1.1M of them disseminated, amplified or reported misinformation about the virus.

“Miracle cures” ranks as the most popular topic in the COVID-10 “infodemic.” Trump powered the miracle cures category by playing up unproven treatments such as hydroxychloroquine and swallowing disinfectants to cure coronavirus.

The Alliance found the No. 2 topic of misinformation was that the pandemic was created to advance “a new world order/deep state." That was followed by a hoax pushed by the Democratic party and a bioweapon concocted and released by a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan.

Trump continues to contribute to the infodemic by claiming that a vaccine for the virus will be here rather quickly, perhaps ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential elections.

“This is not a publicity stunt,” said Federal Aviation Administration administer Steve Dickson, who conducted his own test flight of a Boeing 737 Max on Sept. 30. That plane has been grounded for more than 18 months following crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Dickson, a former Delta Air Lines pilot, had to complete new training procedures and do a practice run on a 737 simulator before taking to the air.

“I like what I saw on the flight,” said Dickson, adding that more work has to be done before the FAA re-certifies the 737 Max.

A daughter of an Ethiopian crash victim called Dickson’s test flight a gimmick.

"It's nothing but a clown in a suit to reassure the public that everything is fine," Zipporah Kuria said. "It's clearly a PR stunt for the FAA and a free endorsement for Boeing."

Dickson, who took over the FAA last fall, has promised throughout that he wasn’t going to sign off on the plane until he flew it and was satisfied that he would put his own family on it without a second thought.

In flying the 737 Max, Dickson put his own life on the line. That was hardly a PR stunt. He’s talking the talk and walking the walk.