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Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

University faculty and administrators make considerable noise about “interdisciplinary” work. I have never met anyone who said that she opposes interdisciplinary scholarship in principle, and plaudits generally await those who cross-pollinate their research with research in other fields. In practice, however, crossing disciplinary boundaries too often amounts to invasion rather than collaboration: we use or..

active listening

Want Free Speech and Meaningful Classes on Campus? Encourage Listening.

Well-publicized incidents of speakers being disinvited or shouted down on college campuses, “watch lists” that single out professors at ideological variance from the lists’ creators, and general education classes that many students cannot imagine have real world utility are among the many things that have led some to declare a “crisis” in higher education.  The..

knowledge production

Seizing the Means of Knowledge Production

“The appeal to ‘social justice’ has by now become the most widely used and most effective argument in political discussion. Almost every claim for government action on behalf of particular groups is made in its name, and if it can be made to appear that a certain measure is demanded by ‘social justice,’ opposition to..

self-selection conversion

Political Disparities in the Academy: It’s More than Self-Selection

American university professors are overwhelmingly politically liberal.  Nowhere is this better demonstrated than by Mitchell Langbert’s (2018) recent study of faculty political party preferences at elite liberal arts colleges.  In short, Langbert found that Republicans are virtually absent in many academic disciplines and are entirely absent in some universities. The dearth of non-liberal faculty is..

faculty step up

Faculty, It’s Time to Step Up

Colleges have a responsibility to create environments where curious students can explore and grow. Heterodox Academy has guided this effort by drawing attention to the need for increasing open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement in academia. Now it’s up to us to do the work. In 2017 I worked with a small group of..


How Universities Have Been Part of the Problem (And Can Be Part of the Solution) for America’s Civic Crises

The United States has seen great increases in how many of us take part in higher education. The percent of Americans who’ve completed four years or more of college has grown nearly sevenfold  just since 1940. Illiteracy rates have plummeted. We have even seen consistent growth in Americans’ average IQ, the so-called “Flynn Effect” from..