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“The fundamental reason given was that it might cause criticism of the research on social media and criticism of the research would be criticism of the university and they also added it was better not to offend people,” Mr Caspian told BBC Radio 4.

He added: “I was astonished at that decision. I think a university exists to encourage discussion, research, dissent even, challenging ideas that are out of date or not particularly useful.”

The university reportedly told Mr Caspian that “engaging in a potentially politically incorrect piece of research carries a risk to the university”.

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