Edinburgh University lecturer falsely called a racist and 'rape apologist' returns to campus

A senior tutor falsely accused of being racist, a “rape apologist” and a threat to student safety has returned to work at Edinburgh University, according to recent reports.

By Hannah Brown
Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 3:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 3:29 pm
Lecturer Neil Thin, falsely accused of being racist, a “rape apologist” and a threat to student safety, has returned to work at Edinburgh University (Photo: Jane Barlow).

Dr Neil Thin, 60, aims “to build a more considerate and convivial campus after a devastating couple of years”, according to a recent report in The Times.The lecturer in social anthropology stepped back from teaching at Edinburgh University after campus activists claimed he had voiced “problematic” views on social media and penalised candidates who challenged him.Thin was exonerated after a two-month investigation.Yet students have repeated the accusations anonymously.

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Ann Henderson, whose three-year term as rector at Edinburgh University ended in February, had claimed to have suffered a sustained campaign of abuse and attempts to silence her after she called for a debate on gender recognition reforms.

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Speaking to The Tab, Thin said: “These kind of cowardly, divisive, defamatory and inconsiderate attacks will only lead to tragic outcomes. We must avoid giving such cowards the oxygen of publicity.”

Thin and other academics had opposed the renaming of the university’s David Hume Tower after campaigners highlighted discriminatory comments made by the philosopher in 1742.He also raised concerns about a campus event called Resisting Whiteness, featuring an area exclusively for people of colour, which he branded “segregation”.The historian Sir Tom Devine has called for an inquiry for the university’s “unacceptable and sinister culture”.

Devine previously said: “An unacceptable and sinister culture has been allowed to develop in Scotland’s greatest university, of which the Thin affair is one manifestation.”

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