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What is HxA’s position on x issue, debate, or policy?

HxA’s members have all endorsed the member statement. Beyond our shared commitment to open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement, our membership is extraordinarily viewpoint diverse. As such, we never attempt to speak for our members. 

Our leadership team may make statements from time to time in response to specific incidents that impact our membership. While all statements undergo a rigorous internal process, we do not purport to represent the views of our membership as a whole.

We welcome blog posts from our members on specific topics, but they speak for themselves, not for other members or for HxA. 

Is HxA a political organization?

Our mission–to improve the quality of research and education in universities–is apolitical. This is not a “left” issue or “right” issue; it is a learning issue.  As far as we know, we are the most politically diverse and politically balanced large group or society of professors to be found in the academy: according to our members who choose to self-identify, 16% of our members self-identify as conservative, 17% as progressive, 29% as centrist, and 26% as libertarian. We see these political differences as an opportunity for constructive disagreement, characterized by humility, curiosity, and a good faith effort to deepen understanding.

What viewpoints should be “off limits” in the academy?

We believe that scholars must have broad latitude to explore ideas, even controversial and unpopular ones. However, we also believe that scholars have  a responsibility to think about the contexts in which their scholarship, teaching, and public engagement unfold. 

We also recognize that colleges and universities are not “public squares” in the traditional sense, but rather, sites for the production and dissemination of knowledge. Consequently, we do not encourage free expression or viewpoint diversity as absolute goods, as ends in themselves, but rather as instrumental goods to help us gain a better understanding of the world, with sufficient depth, nuance, and complexity. For these reasons, we endorse a set of values governing constructive discourse, which we have taken to calling “The HxA Way.”

The lines of what discourse is constructive, what is not, which views are valuable, and which are not — these are few difficult questions. It is not for Heterodox Academy to set the lines for what is acceptable and valuable to say, study, and teach. There is no single, enduring, correct answer to these questions, and the positions we each forge will have to be revisited and reworked regularly. What HxA aspires to do is identify values and provide frameworks, resources, and communities to assist each of us in working through these complicated questions.

  • Nadine Strossen

    “Engagement with people who are broadly diverse, in terms of experience and ideas, is essential for promoting understanding in both senses of that word: knowledge and empathy.”

    Nadine Strossen, Advisory Council Member

I’m a professor and I want to improve the quality of my classroom discussions on sensitive topics. What can I do?

Visit heterodox: the blog to hear from the experiences and techniques other professors are implementing in their classrooms. Listen to our podcast, Half Hour of Heterodoxy, to hear interviews with insightful voices from the academy and beyond. Explore our Tools & Resources to learn more about ideas and resources around constructive engagement. Join an HxCommunity to engage with others within your field and share resources and learnings.

Who can join HxA?

Membership is open to educators, staff, and administrators of higher education and K-12 schools, as well as individuals working in higher education organizations. Additionally, graduate and undergraduate students can apply to be affiliate members, and Heterodox supporters whose experience and expertise lies outside of academia are welcome to join as Friends of HxA. Complete details and applications can be found here.

What can I do to help if I’m not a member?

Scholars, professionals, and researchers working in various academic areas may join Heterodox Communities, a platform for scholars to connect to discuss research, share ideas and resources, and collaborate.

If you’re not eligible to be a member or affiliate but want to stay involved, please sign up as a Friend of HxA. The Friends in our network participate actively in many of our events and contribute meaningfully to broader discussions about open inquiry and viewpoint diversity.

The most important things you can do to support the open inquiry movement are also the simplest: donate to support our work, amplify our work on social media, leverage our research, and join the conversation.