Welcome

We are a politically diverse group of social scientists, natural scientists, humanists, and other scholars who want to improve our academic disciplines and universities.

We share a concern about a growing problem: the loss or lack of “viewpoint diversity.” When nearly everyone in a field shares the same political orientation, certain ideas become orthodoxy, dissent is discouraged, and errors can go unchallenged.

To reverse this process, we have come together to advocate for a more intellectually diverse and heterodox academy.

Recent Blog Posts

Zachary Wood’s Quest for Political Diversity at Williams

Zachary Wood, President of Uncomfortable Learning (a group that invites controversial speakers to campus) and member of the Class of 2018 at Williams College, delivered compelling testimony on the value of free speech and viewpoint diversity in the academy at this week's Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses.” Wood, a self-described "liberal Democrat who supports many progressive causes" sees higher education as an opportunity for "students...to engage with people and ideas they vehemently disagree with." His full testimony is in the video below. Read more →

Weekly Roundup of Heterodoxy—June 23, 2017 Edition

The revised Heterodox Academy Guide to Colleges, released Monday, evaluates and ranks the top 50 US liberal arts colleges and top 150 US universities based on their policies regarding academic freedom and freedom of speech; their campus culture; and their history of handling controversial topics. Here is our methodology.

In the latest episode of Half Hour of Heterodoxy, Chris Martin interviewed Cristine Legare, HxA member and professor of psychology at UT Austin. We talked about why socio-economic diversity matters at universities, and how professors can incorporate contentious religious and political topics into classes.

Professors who comment on white racism and white supremacy are likely to have their statements misrepresented on sites like Campus Reform and The Daily Caller, writes sociologist Matthew Hughey, and these misrepresentations elicit harassment, intimidation, and violent threats. Professors who have received such threats include Saida Grundy, Zandria Robinson, and Tommy Curry—and most recently, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor,... Read more →

Cristine Legare on Socioeconomic Diversity & Teaching Controversial Topics

In this episode, Chris Martin (@Chrismartin76) interviews Cristine Legare (@CristineLegare), Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas-Austin. She specializes in the study of culture, cultural learning, and cognition. She is a winner of the 2015 APS Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions. She serves on the executive board of Heterodox Academy (@HdxAcademy).

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0:00 Why socioeconomic diversity is important 6:21 How UT Austin is increasing socioeconomic diversity 12:10 SES diversity is intertwined with viewpoint diversity 15:05 Cristine’s recent experience with controversial class topics 20:00 Positive class evaluations 22:49 Techniques to have productive conversations in class 26:30: Illustrating unproductive forms of dialogue

You can learn more Cristine Legare at her website.

Cristine’s argument for greater SES diversity can be found here.

Articles and books mentioned during the interview:

Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict by Ari Norenzayan The... Read more →

Weekly Roundup of Heterodoxy—June 9, 2017 Edition

I interviewed political science professor and HxA member April Kelly-Woessner (Elizabethtown College) about whether political tolerance is declining, why conservatives opt out of academic careers, and whether tolerance is lower among people who don’t attend college.

Megan McArdle writes about the partisan rift in explanations for why college has become more expensive, contrasting the liberal explanation that points to declining state support with the conservative explanation pointing to the student-loan industry, and exploring the evidence for each view.

The next dean of Harvard Law School will be John Manning. As Karen Sloan at Law.com notes,  “Manning’s appointment is notable in part because his conservative background stands in contrast to most of his Harvard Law colleagues and that of his two immediate dean predecessors—Minow and current U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.” Kagan brought Manning to Harvard Law in 2004 amid a hiring campaign to boost ideological diversity.

In Wisconson, Pat Schneider at The Capital Times... Read more →

A Second Evergreen Professor Speaks Out

This blog post contains the text of an email sent out on June 1 by Mike Paros, a professor of biology and veterinary medicine at Evergreen State College. So far, Paros is the only faculty member at Evergreen State College who has spoken out publicly in support of Bret Weinstein. (If you don’t know the background on the case, read this first.) In contrast to Paros, more than 50 professors at Evergreen have signed a letter demanding a “disciplinary investigation” of Weinstein. Paros and Weinstein are both members of Heterodox Academy.Paros sent the text of this email to the Evergreen staff and faculty email list on June 1. Since then he has tried to get it published in local newspapers, as his statement of support for Weinstein, but with no success. So we are publishing it here at Heterodox Academy as a show of support for Weinstein, Paros, and the right of faculty everywhere to question administrative policies in a reasoned and respectful way, as Weinstein did. Read more →

April Kelly-Woessner on Declining Political Tolerance: HxA Video Interview 4

In this episode, Chris Martin (@Chrismartin76) interviews April Kelly-Woessner, Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies at Elizabethtown College. She specializes in public opinion, mass behavior, and political psychology. She is the co-editor of The Still Divided Academy: How Competing Visions of Power Politics and Diversity Complicate the Mission of Higher Education (2011).

2:30 Marcuse reflected in a Harvard Crimson op-ed

7:21 Why political researchers mistakenly thought tolerance was increasing

8:10 Shutting down opinions reflects an insecurity about civic knowledge

12:00 Often, American government classes are taught by high school coaches

13:00 How do you teach students about political tolerance?

19:10 Are conservatives opting out of academia because of college experiences?

21:40 The role of viewpoint diversity in making people tolerant

23:35 At small colleges, students can’t self-isolate

26:28 Is there an effect among people who don’t attend college?

27:10 Social... Read more →


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