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Cambridge students organise protest and petition calling for termination of Nathan Cofnas

The Philosophy fellow has faced backlash for a controversial blog post where he advocated for a ‘hereditarian revolution’


Cambridge students have organised a protest and petition calling for the termination of controversial “race realist” fellow, Nathan Cofnas, at the university.

The action comes following a recent blog post where the Philosophy Research Associate at Emmanuel College advocated for a “hereditarian revolution” where we accept “race realism.”

In the post, he argued that, in a colourblind system, the percentage of black people occupying “high-profile” positions such as Harvard professorships would “approach zero per cent.”

Image credit: Nathan Cofnas on X

The official protest, scheduled for Thursday 29th February at 12pm, will take place at the Philosophy Faculty Entrance, where Nathan Cofnas is a member of the department.

Ahead of the protest, students have been circulating a Petition to Terminate Employment of Controversial Fellow Nathan Cofnas at the University of Cambridge, which has received over 500 signatures so far.

This is not the first time Cambridge students have taken collective action against the academic. In November 2022, a petition was launched against the appointment of Cofnas as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Philosophy department.

Faculty of Philosophy building, outside which the protest will take place

In an email to its students, the Faculty of Philosophy claimed it is taking concerns about Cofnas “very seriously.” Students were invited to discuss the issue with the Chair of the Faculty and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at an open meeting on Friday 23rd February.

“Cofnas is a disgrace to the Philosophy Faculty and to the university,” a third year Philosophy student who attended the meeting tells The Cambridge Tab, “It is the overwhelming consensus of the Philosophy students that they need to be clearer in their disagreement to Cofnas’ blog posts and twitter remarks.”

Nathan Cofnas was contacted for comment, to which he responded with an extract from the University Statement on Freedom of Speech: “The university will ensure that staff are able to exercise freedom of thought and expression within the law without placing themselves at risk of losing their job or any university privileges and benefits they have.”

In an official statement, Professor Bhaskar Vira, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, has responded to Cofnas’ recent blog posts saying “While we encourage freedom of speech, it is important to be clear that the voice of one academic does not reflect the views of the whole university community.”