University cancels lecture on biological gender
A university in Berlin has canceled a lecture by biologist Marie Vollbrecht on the topic of biological gender after LGBT activists threatened to stage a protest, German news outlet Die Welt reported on Sunday.
Vollbrecht, who has a masters degree in biology, was supposed to participate in Saturday’s “Long Night of Science” event, which takes place in Germany every year and allows large scientific institutions to hold lectures and demonstrations for the general public. Her talk was supposed to cover the topic of biological gender and explain why there are only two sexes in biology.
However, activists from a left-wing group called 'Working Group of Critical Lawyers' decried Vollbrecht’s thesis as “unscientific, inhuman and hostile to queer and trans.” They accused Humboldt University(HU), where the biologist works, of offering a stage to a “well-known trans-hostile speaker” and proclaimed on Twitter that “there is no place for queer hostility at our university. See you on the street!”
As reported by Die Welt, HU later announced that it had canceled Vollbrecht’s lecture citing security concerns, adding that they were informed by the police that a protest was planned for her appearance and that a counter-demonstration was also expected.
"We very much regret that Ms. Vollbrecht cannot give the lecture," HU’s head of communications Birgit Mangelsdorf was quoted as saying. She insisted that the decision only served the purpose of security and that the university was “looking for a way that Ms. Vollbrecht can talk about her work at the HU at a later date.”
Mangelsdorf added that what happened is not what the HU wants or imagines. "We welcome the exchange with us, even between the most different opinions," she said, adding that “there is no censorship.”
Vollbrecht has reportedly stated that she understood the university’s cave-in to what she called “radical violent activists who have no understanding of biology" but found it “alarming” nonetheless. She noted that it was no longer possible to speak of an objective debate while events were being canceled over a “fear of violence” and added that the recent incident is yet another example of “the radical means used by gender ideologues.”