Heterodox Academy Combats Academic Uniformity, Leftist Bias

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Fed Up with Peers’ Blind Devotion to Leftist Tenets, Freethinking Professors Launch their Own Website.

Kate Hardiman writes: In January, a mere five months after the launch of Heterodox Academy, the scholarly blog was cited by professor and columnist Paul Krugman in the New York Times as an example of educators who are “conservative” and “outraged” at “what they see as a sharp leftward movement in the academy.”

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“Krugman is wrong—we are neither conservative nor outraged. We are concerned about the loss of viewpoint diversity in the academy because it means that we lose ‘institutionalized disconfirmation.’”

— Jonathan Haidt

But Krugman – like so many of his left-leaning peers – appeared blind to the truth.

“The quality of research produced by politically orthodox disciplines deteriorates. We are working within the academy to try to improve it.”

“Krugman is wrong—we are neither conservative nor outraged,” responded Jonathan Haidt, a professor of business ethics at New York University and co-founder of the website. “We are concerned about the loss of viewpoint diversity in the academy because it means that we lose ‘institutionalized disconfirmation.’”

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…speakers and writers are often vilified for presenting contrary opinions to the common narrative. Here’s some of what can get scholars in trouble:

Suggest some or many aspects of modern feminism are misguided.”

“Claim that affirmative action is dysfunctional.”

“Argue that some psychological and behavioral differences between some groups might have derived from the different evolutionary adaptation pressures on different continents.

“Present evidence that many stereotypes are accurate.”

“Present evidence that children of gay or lesbian parents are not necessarily as psychologically well adjusted as parents of heterosexual parents.”

“Criticize Islam, as a religion and/or set of cultural values and/or political ideology.”

“The quality of research produced by politically orthodox disciplines deteriorates. We are working within the academy to try to improve it.”

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[Read the full story here, at The College Fix]

Heterodox Academy was founded in September 2015 by eleven professors of liberal, conservative, libertarian and centrist bents who hail from various disciplines and universities and who have taken up the mission to combat the lack of “viewpoint diversity” in academia, with a special focus on the social sciences.

Today the website benefits from the writings of about 30 professors and graduate students, who regularly post on the site’s blog and its scholarly publication page. They abide by their mission to cultivate diverse viewpoints, and an internal survey conducted in response to a criticism that the site is dominated by conservatives actually revealed the opposite, one of its founders told The College Fix.

“I am pretty sure that all Heterodox members (not just the founders) got there by having mostly independent, parallel experiences with mostly (though not exclusively) leftwing distortions of scholarship, teaching, and campus discourse,” co-founder Lee Jussim, a professor of social psychology at Rutgers University, told The College Fix via email.

“I got there mostly through scholarship,” he added. In Jussim’s case, it was his peers’ refusal to see the hard facts regarding social stereotypes….(read more)

Source: The College Fix



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