The Fight For Free Expression: Deb Mashek

Free speech on campus is under assault at many colleges and universities. From disinviting commencement speakers to shouting down professors and others they disagree with, some students demand "safe spaces" from controversial remarks and what they call micro-aggressions.


So far, 1800 professors from the right, left, center and other political leanings have joined the effort to bridge the ideological divide. Heterodox Academy is part of a growing number of attempts to encourage greater civility and respect for different points of view.


Deb Mashek is the first Executive Director of Heterodox Academy. For 13 years, she was a professor of psychology at Harvey Mudd College. 


"My learning is improved when I get to engage with you, because you see things differently, Deb tells us. It's not just about tolerating other viewpoints. "If we're serious about solving the world's biggest problems, we need to be open to the best ideas, regardless of where they come from."


"A willingness to evaluate new ideas is vital to understanding our world," says Harvard University Professor Steven Pinker. "Universities, which ought to be forums for open debate, are developing a reputation for dogmatism and intolerance." Heterodox Academy was formed in 2015 to counteract the narrowing of viewpoints on many college campuses.


In this episode we look at why viewpoint diversity matters just as much as other forms of diversity on campus and in society at large.


Useful links: 

Heterodox Academy podcast.

OpenMind Platform.

"The Closing of the American Mind", by Allan Bloom.