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

Weekly Roundup of Heterodoxy—December 15, 2017 Edition

At Heterodox Academy

An Interview with John McWhorter about Politics and Protest

2017 Blog Recap: Defining Heterodox Academy’s Mission by HxA Communications Director Jeremy Willinger

We launched the Campus Expression Survey, a tool to measure the intensity of self-censorship in any group

Pre-sale alert: The Coddling of American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting up a Generation for Failure by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt

Elsewhere on the Web

Limits on Free Speech? by Judith Butler, edited version of an address to the Berkeley Senate Forum

Judith Butler Overestimates the Power of Hateful Speech by Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

Bonfire of the Academies: Two professors on how leftist intolerance is killing higher education by HxA members Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein

Clausewitz on Campus: The Militarisation of the Universities by HxA member M. L. R. Smith, Strife

The Importance of Dumb... Read more →

An Interview with John McWhorter about Politics and Protest

I interviewed John McWhorter recently. That interview was supposed to be episode 17 of Half Hour of Heterodoxy. I recorded the interview using an app that has worked very well in the past. Unfortunately, it failed me this time; the audio quality of this recording was extremely poor. Instead of releasing the interview as a podcast episode, I decided to release the transcript instead. It’s a long interview, so I added headings to make the transcript easier to navigate.

1. On Political Theater

Chris Martin: The first thing I want to talk about is the idea of the political protests or political theater and what you mean by that and why you think that’s problematic.

John McWhorter: Well, I think that one of the most awkward aspects of all this is that there’s a certain contingent who are inclined to think that if you have a problem with the kind... Read more →

Weekly Roundup of Heterodoxy—December 8, 2017 Edition

At Heterodox Academy

New Books by HxA Members by Jeremy Willinger

Elsewhere on the Web

The Two Clashing Meanings of “Free Speech” by Teresa M. Bejan, The Atlantic

Emory University Gets “Green-Light” Free-Speech Rating from FIRE by Sasha Volokh, The Washington Post

Free Speech and Quality Speech by Judith Shapiro, Inside Higher Ed

An Immigrant’s American Dream by Jason D. Hill, Spiked Review

The World is Relying on a Flawed Psychological Test to Fight Racism by Olivia Goldhill, Quartz

Generational Moralizing is Not Enough by Bard College President Leon Botstein, Chronicle of Higher Education

Quarrel at a Flagship Ignites a Battle with State Legislators by Eric Kelderman, Chronicle of Higher Education 

My Laurier Interrogation Shows Universities Have Lost Sight of their Purpose by Lindsay Shepherd, National Post

Read more →

Weekly Roundup of Heterodoxy—December 1, 2017 Edition

At Heterodox Academy

Non-Discrimination Statements at the Institution Level & What to Do About It by Sean Stevens and Debra Mashek

Hiring in Higher Ed: Do Job Ads Signal a Desire for Viewpoint Diversity by Debra Mashek and Sean Stevens

Stigmatizing Legitimate Dissent Threats Freedom of Speech by Lee Jussim and Akeela Careem

Lindsay Shepherd and the Potential for Heterodoxy at Wilfrid Laurier University by Raffi GRinberg

Faculty Responsibility for On-Campus Policy Debates with Diverse Viewpoints by George La Noue

Elsewhere on the Web

Free Speech, Personified by Yale University president Peter Salovey, New York Times

The Death of Scholarship by Warren Treadgold*, Commentary

Do Ideologically Driven Scientific Agendas Impede the Understanding and Acceptance of Evolutionary Principles in Social Psychology by William von Hippel* and David M. Buss*, from the edited volume, The Politics of Social Psychology

A Letter to Conservatives: You... Read more →

Stigmatizing Legitimate Dissent Threatens Freedom of Speech

By: Dr. Lee Jussim, founding member of Heterodox Academy and Akeela Careem, PhD Candidate in Social Psychology at Rutgers University

In this essay, we discuss Spiked’s Unsafe Spaces event, held at our home institution, Rutgers.  It was, at times, a wild and woolly event, complete with a substantial security presence, Black Lives Matter activists, some interruptions, and a fairly anarchic ending.  As such, two separate reports of the event have cast the behavior of those activists as somehow beyond the pale, and of a piece with other leftist protests on campuses around the country that are threats to speech and academic freedom.  In this particular case, though, we both attended the event, and, however justified the concerns may be about other protests around the country, neither of us saw much in the way of such threats at this particular event.  We use this experience, and the two... Read more →

Lindsay Shepherd and the Potential for Heterodoxy at Wilfrid Laurier University

By: Raffi Grinberg, co-Director of Heterodox Academy’s OpenMind Platform

The audio recording of a recent meeting at Wilfrid Laurier University, in Waterloo, Canada has captured the academic world’s attention.

A teaching assistant named Lindsay Shepherd was reprimanded by her supervising professor, as well as a “manager of Gendered Violence Prevention and Support” and one other professor. Her crime? Screening for two sections of her communications class a recorded TV segment in which Jordan Peterson, among others, debates a recent law concerning the use of gender pronouns. Nobody in the video criticized trans people; the question discussed was whether or not the law should require Canadians to use the pronouns that other people choose for themselves (Peterson said no). Furthermore, Shepherd didn’t criticize or disparage students of any kind in any way, nor did she even endorse Peterson’s view; in fact, as she later stated, she disagreed... 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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