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Sixth Round of FFO Grant Recipients Announced

May 24, 2022

As we near the end of the HxCommunities Flexible Funding Opportunity grant period, we are pleased to support a varied group of academics who are showcasing the need for free inquiry and diverse perspectives in their respective fields. 

Read about these projects below and – if HxA can help with efforts taking place in your classroom or institution – please consider applying for your own FFO grant. Time is running out – proposals must be submitted by June 3 to support activities taking place before July 15, 2022.

  • Kelly Anthony headshot

    ‘‘Public Health Across the Aisles: Issues, Perspectives, and Politics”
    Kelly Anthony, Lecturer, University of Waterloo | HxCanada

    Health policies demand solid empirical evidence from high-quality research, thoughtful and ongoing discussion, knowledge sharing, and consideration of diverse perspectives. Some issues become so polarizing that open discussion, even of solid research findings, becomes a challenge. Academics working in controversial or sensitive topic areas often find it difficult to contribute to the scientific discourse when their research does not fully align with a prevailing perspective/viewpoint. Even passive dismissal of diverse, evidence-based perspectives runs counter to the foundational value of academic freedom. Further, it limits our ability to allow for a fully informed understanding of certain research areas. 

    The need to hear a range of expert perspectives on illicit substance use and/or addiction (e.g., ‘safe supply’, decriminalization, or legalization) is key to developing policies that can address their social, health, and economic consequences. As major drug law policy changes are being considered and implemented in Canada, the US, and elsewhere, policy makers, healthcare professionals, and politicians need access to all relevant research. This panel was created to allow for the full and transparent consideration of challenges, possible unintended consequences, and concerns as we consider drug policy reforms. Policies must be evidence-based and effective, and they must be in the best interests of those who continue to suffer from the ravages of drug addiction. 

    This event, ‘‘Moving Forward by Slowing Down: Considering Diverse Perspectives on Drug Decriminalization and Legalization,” will showcase the learnings from the Portuguese National Strategy, which involved a massive shift from a focus on law enforcement to prioritizing addiction treatment and prevention. Immediately following this discussion, several Canadian addictions researchers and clinicians will share their research and experiences. We hope to provide a more complex and nuanced view of what options of decriminalization, medicalization and legalization of substances such as crack cocaine and heroin might look like in a North American context. This event takes place June 7, 1-3:30 p.m. ET, and is free and open to the public. Registration required.

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  • Siddhartha Roy and Ivan Oransky headshots

    “The Science and Politics of Journal Retractions: A Conversation with Ivan Oransky (Retraction Watch)”
    Siddhartha Roy, Research Scientist, Virginia Tech | HxEnvironmental Engineering and Science (HxEES)

    Why can’t scientific journals be honest about how much gets through peer-review that shouldn’t? Why are some papers retracted following negative publicity on social media but other papers with demonstrably bad science remain untouched? Can valuing and promoting viewpoint diversity help correct the scientific record?

    Siddhartha Roy, HxEES Moderator, will speak with Ivan Oransky, co-founder of Retraction Watch, on research integrity, the self-correcting (?) nature of science, and the scientific and political reasons guiding or obstructing journal retractions in our COVID-19 era. This event takes place on May 25 at 1p.m. ET, and  is free and open to everyone. Registration required.

    Connect with Sid and Ivan on Twitter: @siddharthaxroy and @ivanoransky

  • hxcommunities_communication

    “Barriers in the Pursuit of Creative Freedom”
    Nicola Watson, Lecturer, Robert Gordon University | HxCommunication

    A 4 day summer symposium, aimed at emerging and recent graduates alongside those in academia and the creative industries. There are activities, discussions and workshops planned that help to encourage open inquiry into barriers faced in creative freedom. Starting a wider discussion about the flexibility and innovation of teaching practice in this industry. Are we held back by conventional teaching methods and delivery of creativity? Can we find new ways of engaging those whose ideas differ from the orthodoxy and current ‘gatekeepers’ of what constitutes creative expression? How do we support them? 

    Exploring new pathways that can underpin a creative process, alongside talks on freedom within creative expression, while introducing new tools for creative critical thinking. 

    The thread throughout the symposium will echo HxA’s mission and message that ‘great minds don’t always think alike, so we need to think together.’ This event takes place in Aberdeen, set in the historic Category B-listed Bon Accord Baths – one of the few remaining pools of its type in the UK, with impressive Art Deco features – surely an inspiring space for creative ideas and thoughts!  

    Connect with Nicola on Substack and Instagram: @miss_niw

To learn about the first four rounds of HxA’s Flexible Funding Opportunity (FFO) grant recipients, please see our previous announcements from September, November, December, February, and April

The HxCommunities Flexible Funding Opportunity was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed by funded programs, projects, or events are those of the individual Grantees, organizers, speakers, presenters, and attendees of such events/activities and do not necessarily reflect the views of Heterodox Academy and/or the John Templeton Foundation.

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