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New HxA Member Interview Video

Heterodox Academy has quickly grown from a small group of roughly a dozen professors to more than 1,700 as of early January 2018. Over the summer of 2017, we interviewed select members about their motivations to join the organization and the issues that arise in climates of orthodoxy on campus. The goal was to present,..

Why I’m Leaving the Academy in Order to Help Save it

By: Debra Mashek, HxA’s Executive Director   Dear Members of Heterodox Academy, I landed my dream job in 2005.  For the past 13 years I have been on the faculty at Harvey Mudd College, an elite liberal arts school with an intense focus on the STEM disciplines. Every single day I get to work alongside incredible..

Research Summary: Intellectual Humility and Openness to the Opposing View

The results of Porter and Schumann (2017) have direct relevance for Heterodox Academy and the OpenMind Platform.  One of our hypotheses regarding the OpenMind Platform is that it can increase intellectual humility and openness, and that these increases will then have downstream effects on communication between individuals who have opposing views on an issue.  By demonstrating one way to, at least temporarily, increase intellectual humility, Porter and Schumann (2017) have provided a valuable first test of one of OpenMind’s main hypotheses.

Teaching Heterodoxy: ESL and Viewpoint Diversity

This is the second post in our Teaching Heterodoxy series.

By Dr. Cory Holland, Worcester State University

The following activity occurred in the context of an English as a Second Language (ESL) writing class for international students hoping to matriculate in US universities. This particular class was evenly split between students from China and students from Saudi Arabia, a detail that will become important shortly. Students in this class are at a high-intermediate level of English proficiency and are learning to write short essays in genres common to introductory university classes.

Research Summary: The Polarizing Effects of Online Partisan Criticism: Evidence from Two Experiments

We conclude that online partisan criticism likely has contributed to rising affective and social polarization in recent years between Democrats and Republicans in the United States, and perhaps between partisan and ideological group members in other developed democracies as well. We close by discussing the troubling implications of these findings in light of continuing attempts by autocratic regimes and other actors to influence democratic elections via false identities on social media.

Research Summary: The Wisdom of Polarized Crowds

Sean Stevens is HxA’s Research Director The founding of Heterodox Academy had roots in a collaboration between five social psychologists and one sociologist that produced a featured paper, and 33 responses to it, in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.  A number of specific recommendations to improve social psychology were made, but the main thesis was that..

The Campus Expression Survey: Summary of New Data

By Sean Stevens, HxA’s Research Director Back in July, I presented some preliminary data from our Campus Expression Survey (CES).  The CES was developed by members1 of Heterodox Academy in response to students and professors who say they feel like they are “walking on eggshells”, not just in the classroom but in informal interactions on campus..

Essential Reading: Richard Shweder on the End of the Modern Academy

This post is the first in our "Essential Reading" series. These posts make it possible for readers to get the basic idea of a major work quickly. Here is the first such essay: Richard A. Shweder (2017). The End of the Modern Academy: At the University of Chicago, for Example.
Shweder describes the “modern” (as opposed to pre- or post-modern) conception of a university that was widespread in the 1960s and 1970s when he began teaching at the University of Chicago—an “ivory tower” conception in which the purpose of the university is “improving the stock of ordered knowledge and rational judgment.” He structures his essay around three ideals of the modernist university, and three threats that are now undermining those ideals. The three threats are: 1) the increasing pursuit of profit from research after 1980; 2) the rise of bureaucratic constraints on research, such as the creation of Internal Review Boards (IRBs) to govern all research; and 3) the rise of a post-modern form of expressive identity politics. This third point is the most important for our mission at Heterodox Academy, for this form of activism, when done by scholars, is sometimes in conflict with the cultivation of viewpoint diversity and the search for truth. When Shweder speaks of the “end” of the academy, it is a double-entendre. He refers to “end” as purpose or goal, but as he describes the three threats, it becomes clear that these threats may bring about the end (termination) of the modernist truth-oriented conception of a university.