Heterodox Academy Announces Six Inaugural Fellows Joining Its Center for Academic Pluralism in NYC Beginning Fall 2023
JUNE 8, 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 its inaugural faculty and postdoctoral fellows who will be joining the new Center for Academic Pluralism, opening this August in NYC.
The six accomplished fellows — Diana C. Mutz, David Rozado, Azim Shariff, Elizabeth Weiss, Adam Gjesdal, B. Duncan Moench — will be visiting scholars at The Center during the 2023-24 academic year, for an academic term or a full year. The multidisciplinary group of fellows spans computer science, political science, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy, bringing a wide array of viewpoints and experience to the planned interdisciplinary research at the intersection of intellectual pluralism and their respective fields of expertise.
“I'm delighted that HxA is bringing together such a diverse and talented group of scholars for the launch year of the Center for Academic Pluralism,” said John Tomasi, President of Heterodox Academy. “Scholarly breakthroughs come from dynamic interactions among bright people who bring diverse viewpoints to bear on common problems.”
The Center for Academic Pluralism at HxA was funded by a multi-million dollar lead grant from Templeton Religion Trust, announced earlier this year. The fellows will produce scholarship to amplify HxA’s mission and empower our diverse academic communities.
The Center for Academic Pluralism enables HxA to deepen its impact at a time of hot debate over the future of higher education. By bringing together scholars at The Center to conduct research, assemble data, and host events, HxA aims to uncover new insights about the role of pluralism in academic life, with the ultimate goal to improve campus culture, climate, and practices. By creating the Center, together with HxA’s new Campus Community Network of 36 campuses across the US and Canada, HxA is demonstrating how collaborative organizing and research can empower advocates of open inquiry and viewpoint diversity on college campuses.
Visiting Scholar Biographies
Diana C. Mutz, Faculty Fellow, holds the Samuel A. Stouffer Chair in Political Science and Communication at the University of Pennsylvania where she also serves as Director of the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics. Mutz has published many books and articles on public opinion, political psychology and the media, with a focus on how people are exposed to differing political perspectives. In 2021, she was inducted to the National Academy of Sciences. Research Topic: Hearing the Other Side in an Era of Mass Polarization
David Rozado, Faculty Fellow, received his PhD in Computer Science from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain. Currently, he is an Associate Professor at Te Pūkenga - The New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. His research interests are computational social science, institutional dynamics and algorithmic bias. His popular Substack page, Rozado’s Visual Analytics, offers analysis of under-explored topics including ideological bias in AI. Research topic: Quantifying Trends in Institutional Viewpoints
Azim Shariff, Faculty Fellow, is Professor and Canada 150 Research Chair of Moral Psychology at the University of British Columbia, where he runs the Centre for Applied Moral Psychology. His research looks at the intersections of morality, religion, cultural attitudes, economics, and technology. He has published extensively in academic journals including Science and Nature, and has spoken at the World Science Festival, Aspen Ideas Festival, and TED. Research topics: Motivations for Diversity Initiatives / Moral Psychology of DEI
Elizabeth Weiss, Faculty Fellow, is Professor of Anthropology at San José State University. Her research tries to reconstruct past peoples’ lives through the study of human remains, including examining skeletons that range from precontact Californian Amerindians to 18th Century Quebec prisoners-of-war. She is co-author (with James W. Springer) of Repatriation and Erasing the Past (University of Florida Press, 2020), which takes a critical look at repatriation laws and the debate-stifling ideology behind these laws. Research topics: Homogeneity in Museums / Religion in Anthropology
Adam Gjesdal, Postdoctoral Fellow, is a political philosopher. His research explores how liberal political institutions should reflect the foundational moral diversity that is an inescapable part of free societies. He recently served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business. He is currently working on how cultural evolution can lead to consensus on shared political values, and on the value of viewpoint diversity in business management. Research topics: Cultural Learning and Political Consensus / Viewpoint Diversity in Business
B. Duncan Moench, Postdoctoral Fellow, is social critic at large at Tablet as well as a columnist for the new County Highway magazine. Moench is finishing up a Visiting Professor role at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' Center for the Study of Government and the Individual. Previously, he created the Keeping It Civil podcast for Arizona State University. He has lectured widely and is completing a book with the University Press of Kansas that offers a new answer to the "Sombart question" (i.e. why is there no socialism in the United States?). Research topic: Post-Protestantism, Wokeness, and Intellectual Pluralism (or Lack Thereof)
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