Widening the public sphere

Save the dates

Our conference on 6–7 May is in-person only, and space is limited. Request a seat here:

Why “Knowledge Praxis”

Singaporeans are among the best educated and most connected peoples in the world. But we are not fully using these strengths for the collective good of society. This gap has been acknowledged by the government’s large-scale national consultation exercises, and universities’ attempts to promote knowledge transfer and social impact beyond academia, for example. We can do a lot more. In 2024, AcademiaSG hopes to extend this work through “Knowledge Praxis” — a series of initiatives to explore the state of knowledge production in contemporary Singapore, not only in academia but also in various other sectors.

Our civil society conference on 6-7 May will discuss challenges and opportunities for knowledge producers of all kinds. – View the programme.

In our forthcoming series of personal essays, established academics write about how they have dealt with obstacles to critical, public scholarship in Singapore. – Read

To take the ideas from our conference further, we will organise webinars on selected topics from June until the end of 2024.

“The more people see themselves as part of this public sphere, the more we begin to escape the quandary of knowledge and ideas produced and circulated only among an insulated and privileged few in the universities; and the stronger our base for imagining better futures for our society.

These engagements are inherently political, with a small rather than a capital p, insofar as all issues that concern our shared wellbeing are political —enmeshed in tensions, competing interests, power relations. In the Singapore context, this needs to be said: we must not turn our faces away from issues simply because they are labeled ‘political’. There is no change, no progress, no representation, without politics.

18 April 2020

Academic freedom

AcademiaSG’s founders came together in 2019 to coordinate academics’ responses to impending legislation against online falsehoods. Challenging restrictions on academic freedom in Singapore has remained a key goal of our collective. Below are some of our publications on this topic.

Our 2021 survey of academics working in Singapore universities revealed the extent of non-academic interventions in their research, teaching and public outreach. – Read the report.

AcademiaSG editors Cherian George and Chong Ja Ian, with sociologist Shannon Ang, wrote a chapter in an edited volume published by Columbia University Press in 2022. – Read the chapter.

AcademiaSG editors and other commentators have critiqued how the drive to climb international rankings has compromised universities’ social purpose. – View our listing.

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