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November 20, 2023+Team HxA
+Research & Publishing+Open Inquiry+Viewpoint Diversity

New Paper on Scientific Censorship, with 24 Heterodox Academy Members as Co-authors, Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

This week, a team of 39 authors, including 24 Heterodox Academy members, published a groundbreaking paper, “Prosocial Motives Underlie Scientific Censorship by Scientists: A Perspective and Research Agenda," in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

This paper was co-authored by dozens of prestigious scholars in the academic freedom space: Cory Clark, Lee Jussim, Komi Frey, Sean Stevens, Musa al-Gharbi, Karl Aquino, Michael Bailey, Nicole Barbaro, Roy Baumeister, April Bleske-Rechek, David Buss, Steve Ceci, Marco Del Giudice, Pete Ditto, Joe Forgas, David Geary, Glenn Geher, Sarah Haider, Nathan Honeycutt, Hrishikesh Joshi, Anna Krylov, Elizabeth Loftus, Glenn Loury, Louise Lu, Michael Macy, Chris Martin, John McWhorter, Geoffrey Miller, Pamela Paresky, Steven Pinker, Wilfred Reilly, Catherine Salmon, Steve Stewart-Williams, Philip Tetlock, Wendy Williams, Anne Wilson, Bo Winegard, George Yancey, and William von Hippel.

Lead author Cory Clark hopes that the paper “will raise the standards of our science leaders and decision-makers who aim to obstruct science based on their personal moral intuitions. At minimum, they should be held to the same standards as the rest of us who strive to create and disseminate science, and make their case with data.”

The paper “suggests that scientific censorship is often driven by scientists, who are primarily motivated by self-protection, benevolence toward peer scholars, and prosocial concerns for the well-being of human social groups.”

The official press release, emailed out on Monday, November 20th states, “These new insights suggest that minimizing scientific censorship requires persuading scientists of the low societal costs of publishing even controversial work and the high societal costs of censorship. The paper concludes by advocating for more transparency and accountability in scientific decision-making by journals and professional societies. These changes would facilitate empirical tests of the true costs and benefits of censoring controversial research.”


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