On July 4, 2017, I talked with Chris Martin about Heterodox Academy and his new YouTube project dedicated to restoring divergent, dissenting and controversial opinions to academia.
Chris Martin is a doctoral candidate in Emory University’s sociology PhD program. He conducts research on culture, mental health, and well-being, and is a co-founder and content creator at Heterodox Academy.
Lately, Chris has been putting out Heterodox Academy’s regular “Half Hour of Heterodoxy”, a series of video interviews focused on divergent topics in the social sciences. A few of Chris’ recent guests and topics include:
- Episode 7: Lee Jussim on the accuracy of stereotypes and biased science
- Episode 5: Christine Legare on the difficulties of teaching controversial topics
- Episode 2: George Yancey on anti-Christian bias and race relations
- Episode 13: Glenn Lourey on administrators and free speech challenges on college campuses
And this is how Chris’ work came to my attention.
After reading Jonathan Haidt’s seminal The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, and being impressed by Haidt’s prescription for society-scale collaboration between liberals and conservatives, and after combing through additional resources and references, I came across Heterodox Academy, of which Haidt is also a co-founder. The welcome message from Heterodox’s homepage is instructive:
We are a politically diverse group of social scientists, natural scientists, humanists, and other scholars who want to improve our academic disciplines and universities.
We share a concern about a growing problem: the loss or lack of “viewpoint diversity.” When nearly everyone in a field shares the same political orientation, certain ideas become orthodoxy, dissent is discouraged, and errors can go unchallenged.
To reverse this process, we have come together to advocate for a more intellectually diverse and heterodox academy.
I found this conversation with Chris to be very illuminating in regards to the reality of current issues with free speech, viewpoint diversity and dissenting opinions on college campuses. And I came away comforted that reasonable people like Chris, Dr. Haidt, and all the Heterodox collaborators, are hard at work on a fix.
Please enjoy part one my two-part interview with Chris Martin.