When Academics Spread False Information

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Academics are treated with reverence and respect around the world, because they are regarded as the custodians of all that is just and right. It is even more so in India where we literally say आचार्य देवो भव, meaning “Teachers are like Gods.” The education they impart, is not just in the form of texts they teach, but also as a living example.

They are supposed to be the upholders of truth. However, these days academics around the world are often found lying and propagating false information, sometimes despite ample evidence of the truth. An academic or two lying here or there could be ignored, but what would you say if I told you that thousands of academics lent their names to a lie? What if I told you that every single line of their statement is baseless with plenty of evidence refuting it, and yet they lied with impunity? What would your reaction be? In my paper, I talk about one such instance where 10,000 academics from across the world came together to endorse a blatant white lie.

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