White House COVID adviser, anti-lockdown doctors join 'Science and Freedom' academy

The founding fellows previously challenged Big Tech censorship of COVID heterodoxy with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Updated: December 10, 2021 - 1:57pm

Two authors of the anti-lockdown Great Barrington Declaration and a former White House COVID-19 adviser have joined a new Hillsdale College educational center based in Washington, D.C.

The Academy for Science and Freedom will "educate the American people about the free exchange of scientific ideas and the proper relationship between freedom and science in the pursuit of truth," the private college that refuses taxpayer funding said in a press release.

Hillsdale President Larry Arnn said the "silencing of scientific inquiry in favor of policies absolutely hostile to freedom" is a defining feature of the response to the pandemic. His institution, founded by abolitionists and open to blacks and women from the start, turned 177 last week.

Two of the academy's three founding fellows are affiliated with Stanford University's Hoover Institution: Scott Atlas, whose new book promises "behind the scenes" details about President Trump's coronavirus task force, and Jay Bhattacharya, a medical professor who co-wrote the declaration. His co-author Martin Kulldorff, of Harvard Medical School, is the other fellow. 

Atlas and Kulldorff have been censored by Twitter for expressing skepticism about the protective power of masks. Kulldorff was kicked off the platform for a month, and LinkedIn later censored him.

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The three have spoken against Big Tech censorship with Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis.

"This dangerous trend interferes with our ability to address future crises and threatens the very principles of freedom and order essential to democracy," Atlas said in the Hillsdale release.

Bhattacharya warned that science is imperiled "when a small cartel of government scientists, who control a lion’s share of financial support for scientific activity even by private actors, can dictate scientific conclusions at odds with the facts as has happened during the pandemic."

The new academy will particularly focus on reforming science funding.

Kulldorff invoked the early pioneers of science - "Brahe, Kepler, Galileo and Descartes" - in warning that silencing and censorship campaigns will "end of 400 years of enlightenment."

The academy will host workshops, conferences, panel discussions and testimony, and publish in academic and popular publications, Hillsdale said. 

It's not the first institution founded to challenge the mainstream COVID-19 policy narrative.

The Brownstone Institute for Social and Economic Research, which calls itself the "spiritual child of the Great Barrington Declaration," was founded this spring, and Kulldorff is the group's senior scientific director.