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The Daily Telegraph


Proposal to research 'trans regret' rejected by university for fear of backlash, claims psychotherapist
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/02/19/proposal-research-trans-regret-rejected-university-fear-backlash/





'A psychotherapist who wanted to research reverse gender reassignment claimed that he had his academic proposal rejected because his university was scared of backlash from trans community, the High Court heard.

James Caspian, 59, planned to study the experiences of people who have detransitioned as part of an MA at Bath Spa University, but his idea was rejected because it was "too ethically complex for a piece of research at master's level".

When Mr Caspian proposed the project, the university’s ethics subcommittee said: "attacks on social media may not be confined to the researcher but may involve the university."

On Tuesday, Mr Diamond told the court: "That is not academic judgment, that is terror on the streets of our universities." Mr Caspian’s barrister, Paul Diamond, argued that the Bath Spa had rejected the proposal on the grounds that "engaging in a potentially politically incorrect piece of research carries a risk to the university" and was seeking a judicial review of the process.

However, the judge, Michael Kent QC, quashed their case, saying: “I entirely accept that there are important issues of freedom of expression. I just do not accept that, on the facts of this particular case, there is an arguable case made out.

He added that the application was brought too late after the university's decision, and said: "I accept that it could be said that this is pedantic and it is far removed from the underlying decision, but I can’t see any way round that."

Speaking afterwards, Mr Caspian told The Telegraph: “I think this sets a dangerous precedent in that research into sensitive areas will not be carried out because universities don’t want to take ownership.”'



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