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

Jonathan Haidt on Heterodox Academy’s 2nd Anniversary: Half Hour of Heterodoxy #12

Half Hour of Heterodoxy #12: Jonathan Haidt (@JonHaidt) is a co-founder and executive director of Heterodox Academy. He is a professor of business ethics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and has written The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006) and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012), which became a New York Times bestseller. Read more →

Jonah Gelbach Responds to Amy Wax and Jon Haidt

[Guest post by Jonah Gelbach] As is by now well known, my Penn Law colleague Amy Wax recently co-authored a controversial op-ed published at Philly.com with University of San Diego law professor Larry Alexander; for brevity, which is in short supply in this post, I’ll generally call this just the “op-ed” and refer to it as Professor Wax’s, except when it is especially relevant to refer to Professor Alexander. Professor Wax subsequently gave an interview to the Penn student newspaper, the Daily Pennsylvanian, which led to an article that fueled the controversy; henceforth, I’ll call this the “DP interview”. Much more has transpired, including a number of critical columns and other statements, as well as various tweets and posts in support of Professor Wax and articles with quotes from or extended interviews with Professor Wax.This post will focus principally on the op-ed and the DP interview, as well as an open letter to the Penn community that I signed along with 32 other colleagues of Professor Wax’s; henceforth, I’ll call this the “Open Letter”. As a matter of full disclosure, I note that I was the organizer of this letter and took ultimate responsibility for creating and finalizing its contents. [There is a brief response from Haidt at the end] Read more →

Norm Ornstein on US Politics, Partisanship & Tribalism: Half Hour of Heterodoxy #11

Norm Ornstein (@NormOrnstein), is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He has written and co-written a number of books about gridlock and partisanship in the American political system including The Permanent Campaign and Its Future (1995), The Broken Branch (2006), and It’s Even Worse Than It Looks (2012).

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HxA’s Guide to Colleges Featured in ACTA’s College Database

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni has integrated the ratings from Heterodox Academy's Guide to Colleges into their "What Will They Learn" initiative. WWTL is "a free resource...focusing on seven key areas of knowledge: Composition, Literature, Foreign Language, U.S. History, Economics, Mathematics, and Science designed to help [prospective students] decide whether the colleges [their] considering prepare their graduates to succeed after graduation." Ratings from our top 150 universities and top 50 liberal arts colleges are included wherever possible and allow an extra degree of understanding around the level of viewpoint diversity and free inquiry on campus. Read more →

Weekly Roundup of Heterodoxy—September 8, 2017 Edition

At Heterodox Academy

The Greater Male Variability Hypothesis - An Addendum to our post on the Google Memo by Sean Stevens and Jonathan Haidt
In Defense of Amy Wax’s Defense of Bourgeois Values by Jonathan Haidt
I Don’t Care if Amy Wax Is Politically Incorrect; I Do Care that She’s Empirically Incorrect by Jonathan Klick
Scott Lilienfeld on Microaggressions, and The Goldwater Rule | Half Hour of Heterodoxy #10

Elsewhere on the Web

"Sometimes I get asked why I bother arguing about people online..." by Julia Galef
Harvard Shows How It Should Be Done by Charles Murray, The Weekly Standard
Unfounded dumbfounding: How harm and purity undermine evidence for moral dumbfounding by Steve Guglielmo, Cognition
Campus Free Speech: The Books, by Scott Jaschik, Inside higher Ed. A review of Free Speech on Campus, Chemerinsky & Gillman, Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education, Palfrey, and Free Speech on Campus, Ben-Porath.
Arguments over free speech on campus are not left v right [gated], The Economist Read more →

Scott Lilienfeld on Microaggressions, and The Goldwater Rule: Half Hour of Heterodoxy #10

 

Scott Lilienfeld is professor of psychology at Emory University. Here, he talks about his 2016 article evaluating the psychological literature on microaggressions and his 2017 article about revoking the Goldwater rule. Scott is an Association for Psychological Science fellow, and he has published numerous studies in personality psychology, social psychology, political psychology, and clinical psychology. He also has an interest in debunking popular myths. His popular books include Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience and 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology.

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The Greater Male Variability Hypothesis – An Addendum to our post on the Google Memo

In this addendum we focus on the Greater Male Variability Hypothesis - the idea that men are more variable than women on a variety of abilities, interests, and personality traits - and the possibility that males are overrepresented in the upper and lower tails of such distributions.  This hypothesis was first proposed by Ellis over 100 years ago, in 1894.  It is also the hypothesis that Lawrence Summers was referring to in 2005 when, at the National Bureau of Economic Research Conference, he weighed in on the gender gap in STEM professions. Read more →

I Don’t Care if Amy Wax Is Politically Incorrect; I Do Care that She’s Empirically Incorrect

I was one of the 33 members of the University of Pennsylvania Law School faculty to sign a letter criticizing Amy Wax’s (joint with Larry Alexander) op-ed and subsequent comments regarding the decline of bourgeois culture and its role in America’s perceived social ills. Was this the predictable response of a morally squishy, politically correct, ivory tower academic lefty who is unwilling to endorse unspeakable truths for fear of being bounced from faculty cocktail parties? I can understand this presumption, but, in my case, I prefer going to my kids’ football games to chatting about Derrida over wine and cheese anyway... [I believe that] Wax’s arguments come up lacking when judged by rigorous empirics. Read more →

In Defense of Amy Wax’s Defense of Bourgeois Values

Since 2015 we’ve seen an increase in petitions and movements to denounce professors. Typically a professor says or writes something, then a group of students protests. The students demand that the professor be censured or renounced by the university administration, or by his or her colleagues. The event is amplified by social media and by secondary, agenda-driven news outlets, pressuring other professors to take sides and declare themselves publicly. (There is a different script for pressure from right-wing sources off-campus).The two highest profile cases so far involved Erika and Nicholas Christakis, at Yale, and Bret Weinstein, at Evergreen. We also had the case of Rebecca Tuvel, a philosopher at Rhodes College, in which the pressure campaign did not come from students but rather from other professors.  In all of these cases the professor in question was on the left politically, and had said something that most professors did not find offensive. As far as I can tell, most professors outside of the immediate conflict zone supported the accused professors, thought it was inappropriate to subject them to punishment of any kind for what they said or wrote, and thought that these denunciation campaigns ultimately reflected badly on the academy.Now, in late August, we have a case that may play out differently because the professor in question is a conservative who has made a conservative argument about poverty and culture. She made the argument a few days before the events in Charlottesville. Students at Penn have demanded that the university denounce her, and many of her colleagues did so. Read more →


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To improve the quality of research and education in universities by increasing viewpoint diversity, mutual understanding, and constructive disagreement.

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