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September 20, 2023+Team HxA
+Open Inquiry+Viewpoint Diversity+Research & Publishing+Teaching+Campus Climate

Heterodox Academy Announces 2023 Open Inquiry Award Winners

SEPTEMBER 20, 2023, NEW YORK, NEW YORK — Heterodox Academy (HxA), a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to improving institutions of higher education by advocating for principles of viewpoint diversity, open inquiry, and constructive disagreement, announced the seven winners of their annual Open Inquiry Awards.

Launched in 2018, the Open Inquiry Awards recognize those who do exemplary work promoting HxA’s core values in higher education — providing models that others can learn from, be inspired by, and emulate. This year’s winners include four members whose scholarship spans astrophysics, philosophy, criminology, and sociology (see below), in addition to recognizing two influential research universities and a student debate society.

“It is encouraging to see so many HxA members making positive contributions to open inquiry and viewpoint diversity to better our universities,” said John Tomasi, President of Heterodox Academy. “It is a special delight to announce this year's Open Inquiry Award winners – they truly are the best of the best."

Winners were selected based on open nominations received from HxA members and supporters. This year’s winners join an esteemed group of heterodox leaders across the academy that include Roslyn Clark Artis, President of Benedict College (2022), John McWhorter, Professor of Linguistics at Columbia University (2020), Coleman Hughes, writer (2019), and Alice Dreger, historian (2018).

2023 Open Inquiry Winners

Exceptional Scholarship Award given to Robert B. Talisse for his impressive body of scholarly and popular work on the topics of argumentation and constructive disagreement across his career.

Leadership Award given to Alexandra Lysova for her persistent efforts of protecting academic freedom at Simon Fraser University and across the academy.

Courage Award given to Beatriz Villarroel for her courage in the face of harassment and discrimination within her field for her choice to work with exoplanet pioneer Geoff Marcy.

Teaching Award given to Eric Silver for the impactful course he teaches at Penn State, Knowing Right from Wrong, that enrolls over 700 students each semester.

Institutional Excellence Award given to UNC Chapel Hill & UNC Charlotte for their myriad efforts and successes in promoting free expression on their campuses and serving as role models for other research institutions.

Outstanding Student Group Award given to the John Jay Society at Columbia University for their commitment to fostering viewpoint diversity and constructive disagreement at Columbia with a wide-ranging impact across campus.

About Heterodox Academy

Heterodox Academy is a New York City-based nonpartisan nonprofit that works to improve the quality of research and education by promoting viewpoint diversity, open inquiry, and constructive disagreement across higher education. The HxA membership is made up of more than 6,000 faculty, staff, and students who come from a range of institutions — from large research universities to community colleges.


Nicole Barbaro

Director of Communications



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