The “progressive” monoculture and free inquiry

Because they do it about maths it is an open and shut case so is not truly comparable to what really goes on, which is largely found in the social sciences. The story of Peter Ridd – told here – is extraordinary mostly because of how blatantly political the university was in shutting down debate.

Universities, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, are dominated by progressives. A US study found less than 10 per cent of academics identify as conservative, while another study found 39 per cent of US campuses have no Republicans. The situation in Australia appears to be similar. Universities seek gender and racial diversity but they are missing the diversity that is crucial for their effective functioning: viewpoint diversity.

“When everyone shares the same politics and prejudices, the disconfirmation process breaks down,” Haidt says.

Academics interviewed by Inquirer tell of a variety of ways that the progressive monoculture limits free intellectual inquiry in Australia. Important projects do not receive funding. Challenging papers are not published. Important issues are not investigated. Studies are designed to reach predetermined outcomes. Erroneous research is misguiding society. Academics self-censor. Administrators censor heretics. Students are exposed to fewer ideas and are marked down or failed for expressing a different perspective.

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