From Refugee Assistance to Freedom of Learning: the Strategic Vision of A. V. Hill, 1933–1964

Paul Weindling

in In Defence of Learning

Published by British Academy

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264812
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754029 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

From Refugee Assistance to Freedom of Learning: the Strategic Vision of A. V. Hill, 1933–1964

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The founding of the Academic Assistance Council (AAC) in May 1933 was a rapid and constructive response to the Nazi threat to science and learning. Among the far-sighted academics involved was the physiologist A. V. Hill (1886–1977). He was to be a consistent, effective, and loyal supporter of the AAC and, as it became in 1936, the Society for Protection of Science and Learning (SPSL). Hill was remarkable in terms of his scientific achievements and his support of scientific organizations, most notably the Royal Society. Accompanying these activities was a set of social values concerning the scientist as citizen in a parliamentary democracy, and an agenda for science to modernize health care provision. Hill's commitment to the cause of academic refugees can be understood within a broader set of commitments and activities. Apart from many acts of practical assistance, Hill contributed to a broadening of the agenda of the SPSL, making academic freedom a core value. This chapter examines Hill's broader political vision of the defence of learning.

Keywords: Academic Assistance Council; SPSL; Royal Society; academic refugees; A.V. Hill; academic freedom; Society for the Protection of Science and Learning

Chapter.  7967 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

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