Heterodox Academy (HxA) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization of thousands of faculty, staff, and students committed to advancing the principles of open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement to improve higher education and academic research.
Our commitment to heterodoxy within the academy is a response to the rise of orthodoxy within scholarly culture that leads people to fear shame, ostracism, or any other form of social or professional retaliation for questioning or challenging a commonly held idea.
We aspire to create college classrooms and campuses that welcome diverse people with diverse viewpoints and that equip learners with the habits of heart and mind to engage that diversity in open inquiry and constructive disagreement.
We see an academy eager to welcome professors, students, and speakers who approach problems and questions from different points of view, explicitly valuing the role such diversity plays in advancing the pursuit of knowledge, discovery, growth, innovation, and the exposure of falsehoods.
Heterodox Academy was founded in 2015 by Jonathan Haidt, Chris Martin, and Nicholas Rosenkranz, in reaction to their observations about the negative impact a lack of ideological diversity has had on the quality of research within their disciplines. What began as a conversation among social researchers about the challenges facing their disciplines and institutions, grew into a community of thousands of faculty, staff, and students.
Today, our membership extends from large research universities to community colleges in the US, Canada, and around the world, and represent nearly every academic discipline. HxA members are dedicated to advancing the principles of open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement as cornerstones of academic and intellectual life.
We believe that in order to separate good ideas from bad, and to make good ideas better, it is essential for scholars and students to develop the habits of heart and mind necessary to evaluate claims, sources, and evidence; and to reason carefully and compassionately about the world.
We gather and empower diverse academic insiders to advance open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement across higher education. We conduct research, develop resources, build communities, engage with leaders, and elevate public conversations, working to re-shape the formal policies and informal norms that determine academic culture and practice.
Open inquiry is the ability to ask questions, share ideas, and challenge existing orthodoxy without risk of censure. In an environment that is sufficiently open, people can explore facts, opinions, and beliefs; discover and create important innovations; solve problems; and flourish intellectually.
Viewpoint diversity is when members of a group or community approach problems or questions from a range of perspectives, backgrounds, and personal experiences. When a community is marked by intellectual humility, empathy, trust, and curiosity, viewpoint diversity gives rise to engaged and respectful debate, constructive disagreement, and shared progress toward truth.
Constructive disagreement occurs when people who have different perspectives on an idea or issue are committed to collaboratively exploring and learning from one another. Rigorous, open, and responsible engagement across lines of difference is the foundation of healthy academic practice and is essential to make good ideas better.
We work with mission-aligned institutions and organizations across the academy and the nonprofit sector.
HxA’s vision, ‘great minds don’t always think alike’, sets the standard for viewpoint diversity and inclusion, consistent with the contents of our character. We often think of diversity and inclusion in the context of external demographics, it’s time we consider diversity and inclusion in the context of internal demographics.
We are not pro-right or pro-left, we're pro-university. And if you're pro-university, then you must have viewpoint diversity and open inquiry
We encourage our members to embody a set of norms and values in all of their professional interactions — and insist on them for anyone publishing on our platforms or participating in our events.