Heterodox Academy Celebrates Grand Opening of the Center for Academic Pluralism
On September 21, Heterodox Academy welcomed esteemed guests to the grand opening of the new Center for Academic Pluralism in the heart of New York City. The opening event follows the arrival of six visiting research fellows earlier this month whose scholarship and expertise spans computer science, political science, psychology, anthropology, and philosophy.
“We aim to build the go to place for research and scholarship on open inquiry within universities,” HxA president John Tomasi noted in his opening remarks. “We’re going to be the go-to source for people who care about open inquiry, and don’t want to just criticize universities but sincerely want to show the great things they can be.”
John Tomasi and the Center’s inaugural fellows welcomed guests including the President of the National Association of Scholars Peter Wood; President of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni Michael Poliakoff; and a gathering of HxA professors, students, and supporters.
The grand opening event was headlined by a keynote speech from visiting fellow at the Center Elizabeth Weiss who shared her experiences as a researcher whose work was recently halted at San Jose State University as a result of her views on working with Native remains. “My pro-research perspective is no longer a topic that can be discussed,” Weiss shared with the audience.
Weiss recently published an article about how discussion of researching Native remains has become homogenous and anti-research. This past week Weiss and her colleagues Carole Hooven and Kathleen Lowrey were informed that their panel to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association and the Canadian Anthropology Society had been canceled on the grounds that their defense of biological sex in research would cause “harm” to attendees.
The official launch of the Center in New York City follows a year of activity from HxA in which local faculty-led groups have opened on 36 campuses. “We're not tearing the university down. We're here instead to provide a vivid example of what open inquiry in higher education looks like.” Tomasi said after the event.
Jonathan Haidt, founder and board chair of Heterodox Academy, expressed to those in attendance, “It’s amazing to see what HxA has done in the past year with establishing this Center and also building the Campus Community Network, which I think are landmarks of a major change in higher education.”
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