Richard Dawkins FRS is a zoologist specialising in Animal Behaviour and Evolution. He was Oxford’s first holder of the Charles Simonyi Professorship of the Public Understanding of Science. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and also the Royal Society of Literature. His many Honorary Degrees from around the world include Doctorates of Literature as well as of Science. Among his 17 books, The Selfish Gene was recently voted, in a Royal Society poll, the most inspiring science book of all time. The God Delusion has sold more than 3 million legitimate copies, and a bootleg Arabic translation has been downloaded 13 million times, 3 million in Saudi Arabia alone. Other bestselling books include The Blind Watchmaker, The Magic of Reality and The Greatest Show on Earth. His two volumes of autobiography are An Appetite for Wonder and Brief Candle in the Dark. He has presented many television documentaries, for BBC and Channel 4, and he gave the 1991 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.
Sam Harris is a neuroscientist, philosopher, and author of five New York Times best sellers. His work covers a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, political polarization, rationality—but generally focuses on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live. His books include The End of Faith, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, and Waking Up. Sam hosts the popular Making Sense podcast and is also the creator of the Waking Up app, which offers a modern, rational approach to the practice of meditation and an ongoing exploration of what it means to live a good life. Sam holds a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA.
Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations. He grew up in Montreal and earned his BA from McGill and his PhD from Harvard. Currently Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard, he has also taught at Stanford and MIT. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his nine books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, and Enlightenment Now. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, and one of Foreign Policy’s “World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals” and Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.” He was Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and writes frequently for The New York Times, The Guardian, and other publications. His twelfth book, to be published in September, 2021, is called Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and founder of the AHA Foundation. She served as a Member of the Dutch Parliament from 2003 to 2006. While in Parliament, she focused on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society, and on defending the rights of Muslim women.
She has written several books including Infidel (2007), Nomad: from Islam to America, a Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations (2010), Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now (2015) and The Challenge of Dawa (2017). Her next book Prey will be published by Harper Collins in February 2021. Prior to joining the Hoover Institution, she was a Fellow at the Belfer Center’s Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard University, and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.
She received her Master’s degree in Political Science from Leiden University in the Netherlands.
Alan Sokal is Professor of Mathematics at University College London and Professor Emeritus of Physics at New York University. He is co-author (with Jean Bricmont) of Intellectual Impostures: Postmodern Philosophers’ Abuse of Science (1998), and author of Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture (2008). Alan writes: ‘Whether my targets are the postmodernists of the left, the fundamentalists of the right, or the muddle-headed of all political and apolitical stripes, my refrain is the same: clear thinking, combined with a respect for evidence – especially inconvenient and unwanted evidence, evidence that challenges our preconceptions – are of the utmost importance to the survival of the human race in the twenty-first century.’
Born in Pakistan, Sarah spent her early youth as a practicing Muslim, leaving religion in her late teens. Since 2016, she has advocated for the acceptance of religious dissent as Executive Director of Ex-Muslims of North America. Sarah is a former board member of the Reason Rally Coalition, and a co-founder and current board member of the Rights and Religions Forum. Sarah and her work has been profiled and featured in numerous magazines, news outlets, and shows including The Economist, Slate, BBC, Global Journalist, Quillette, National Review, the Daily Beast, and NPR. In addition to freethought, Sarah is particularly passionate about civil liberties and women’s rights. You can reach Sarah at www.twitter.com/SarahTheHaider and access her Substack at haider.substack.com.
Erec Smith is an associate professor of rhetoric at York College of Pennsylvania and a writing fellow for Heterodox Academy. Recent observations of contemporary social justice activism have taught Erec that much anti-racist activism is either the effect of pre-established disempowerment or the cause of further disempowerment of the very groups such activism is meant to benefit. His latest book, A Critique of Anti-Racism in Rhetoric and Composition: The Semblance of Empowerment, addresses this unfortunate characteristic of social justice.
Eric Kaufmann is Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of Whiteshift: Immigration, Populism and the Future of White Majorities (Penguin/Abrams, 2018/19); Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth (Profile Books 2010), The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America: the decline of dominant ethnicity in the United States (Harvard 2004) and The Orange Order (Oxford 2007), among others. He is co-author of two reports on Academic Freedom in the UK (Policy Exchange, 2019, 2020) and of the report Changing Places: mapping the white British response to ethnic change (Demos 2014). He is co-editor, among others, of Political Demography (Oxford 2012) and editor of Rethinking Ethnicity: Majority Groups and Dominant Minorities (Routledge 2004). An editor of the journal Nations & Nationalism, he has written for the New York Times, Newsweek International, Foreign Affairs, New Statesman, National Review and Prospect and his work has been covered in major newspapers and magazines in the UK and US since 2007. He may be found on the web at www.sneps.net and on twitter at https://twitter.com/epkaufm.
Jonathan Church is an economist with two decades of experience working in the private and public sectors. His professional background is in antitrust, intellectual property, valuation, inflation, index number theory, statistics, and finance. In 2016, he began writing a weekly column for The Good Men Project, with a focus on current affairs, social justice, and masculinity. Outside of his day job and time with his daughter, he spends most of his remaining time writing on economics, finance, and social justice. He has been published in Quillette, Areo Magazine, Arc Digital, The Agonist Journal, Merion West, The Good Men Project, Culturico, New Discourses, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Stoic, and The Federalist. His book, Reinventing Racism: Why White Fragility Is the Wrong Way to Think about Racial Inequality, was published by Rowman and Littlefield in December 2020. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in economics and philosophy, and from Cornell University with an M.A in economics. He is also a CFA charter holder. He is also addicted to regular exercise and playing chess.
Lee Jussim is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology, and Department Chair, at Rutgers University. He has published over 100 articles and six books, and is a founding member of Heterodox Academy. For the last 10 years, much of his scholarship has focused on exposing how ideological biases distort scholarship in the social sciences; over the last few years, this has blossomed into a full-fledged concern (and several articles) on academic suppression of ideas and research, outright censorship, and the threat to academic freedom coming from illiberal left professors within the academy (he has no doubt that the right can be just as illiberal as the left, and, historically, has been even more so; however, there are so few rightwing professors left in the academy that those left could not suppress a feather if they wanted to). He regularly writes essays at places like Psychology Today and Quillette for the lay public on issues related to psychology, academia, and creeping authoritarianism.
Jordan is a psychology graduate and senior medical student at the University of Sydney. He has research interests in applied medicine, politics and personality, with a particular focus on moral psychology.
Mike Nayna is an Australian writer and filmmaker best known for his award-winning documentary short Digilante and his involvement in the Grievance Studies Affair. Mike’s work has featured on The Atlantic, ABC, SBS, and the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. With a strong focus on social media, internet communication, and contemporary activism, Mike is interested in how ideas move and why: “Universities were an ideological wet market through the 90’s. When critical theory met postmodernism it was a pangolin meets bat moment. “Theory” was now optimising for emotion & careerism in an overcrowded labour market. When it came into contact with social media it broke free.”
Colin Wright is an evolutionary biologist and Managing Editor at Quillette. He is an advisor for Atheists for Liberty, and is an academic advisor for the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM). He is a strong proponent of the separation of church and state, free speech, and ideology-free science. He writes about science, philosophy, academia, sex and gender, and Social Justice ideology, with bylines in The Wall Street Journal, Quillette, The Times, and The Australian. In his spare time he enjoys lifting weights and playing bass guitar.
Jerry Coyne is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. His scientific work is on the genetics of species formation, the problem raised discussed (but not solved) by Darwin in On the Origin of Species. Besides 125 scientific papers, Jerry c-wrote a scholarly book about his research area (Speciation, with H. Allen Orr) and two single-authored popular books, Why Evolution is True and Faith versus Fact: Why Science and Religion are Incompatible. He’s also written over 160 popular articles and book reviews in places like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, Slate, and The Nation. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the 2011 “Emperor Has No Clothes” Award from the Freedom from Religion Foundation as well as the 2015 Richard Dawkins Award from the Atheist Alliance of America. Coyne’s blog, Why Evolution is True, has 70,000 subscribers and discusses not only the latest research in evolutionary biology, but also a variety of unrelated issues, including philosophy, politics, food, and cats.
Ilana Redstone is a professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the founder of Diverse Perspectives Consulting. She is the co-author of the book (Oxford University Press) titled, “Unassailable Ideas: How Unwritten Rules and Social Media Shape Discourse in American Higher Education” and the creator of the “Beyond Bigots and Snowflakes” video series. More information about her work is available at diverseperspectivesconsulting.com.
Steven J. Lawrence is an Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Benjamin Institute of Technology. He received his graduate training at the University of Massachusetts, Boston where he studied Educational Transformation, an emerging field that brings together the knowledge and skills of organizational change theory, leadership theory, dialogue and communication, and the capacity to integrate multiple perspectives, models and teaching strategies to reach students from all backgrounds. The training included the study of Critical Pedagogy within a Social Justice framework, which has enabled him to bring an integrative approach to “Deep Inclusion” in K-12 and higher education environments. In recent years, Steven has been raising awareness of the inter-group hostilities that have arisen due to the implementation of a particularly aggressive version of Critical Social Justice ideology into workplaces, secular non-profits, schools and colleges, and spiritual practice communities. Steven’s writings on the topic of ideological conditioning and related topics can be found at http://www.groundexperience.org/ and http://www.supportyourmission.com/.
Professor Kathleen Stock is an analytic philosopher with past research interests in the philosophy of fiction and imagination. Her book on these issues Only Imagine: Fiction, Interpretation and Imagination was published by Oxford University Press (September 2017). Kathleen’s main research focus at the moment is philosophical questions about sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Her public writing on these topics can be found here. Her book, Material Girls: Why Reality Matters for Feminism, is out in May 2021. In it, she argues against the content and consequences of ‘gender identity theory’, and in favour of a vision of feminism as exclusively for females
Dr. Debra Soh is a sex neuroscientist and the author of “The End of Gender: Debunking the Myths About Sex and Identity in Our Society.” As a journalist, she writes about the science and politics of human sexuality and gender, free speech, and censorship in academia. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, Playboy, the Globe and Mail, and many others. Visit her at DrDebraSoh.com.
Benjamin is a writer, interviewer, and filmmaker exploring the tides and riptides of politics and culture. His principal body of work is a deep dive documentary of a brief yet volatile protest at a small liberal arts college—Evergreen State—in 2017. As a student there, he witnessed the escalation of Critical Theory from a set of virtue signals, into a template for the dismantling of critical thought and honest dialogue. He has also built a catalogue of in-depth interviews on the subject of gender, showcasing the complexities and nuances of men’s and women’s experiences as embodied, cultured beings. Find his work at YouTube.com/c/benjaminaboyce and anchor.fm/boyceofreason
Dr. Petra Bueskens is an Honorary Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, a psychotherapist in private practice, and a freelance opinion writer. Her books include Modern Motherhood and Women’s Dual Identities: Rewriting the Sexual Contract (Routledge 2018) and the edited volumes Motherhood and Psychoanalysis, Australian Mothering: Historical and Sociological Perspectives (Palgrave 2019) and Nancy Chodorow and The Reproduction of Mothering: Forty Years On (Palgrave, 2021). Her opinion pieces have appeared in Areo Magazine, The Conversation, New Matilda, The Huffington Post, Arena Magazine and more.
Ayishat Akanbi is a fashion stylist and writer. However, she has increasingly become known as a humanist cultural commentator. Concerned by the harshness and partisan nature of so much of public discourse, Ayishat urges the importance of compassion, curiosity, and honesty in order to understand not only those we disagree with better but ourselves. Ayishat’s book The Awokening: Clarity, Culture and Identity in the Web of Chaos will be released in August.
Laura Kennedy is an ex-philosopher, writer and beauty editor. She holds a PhD in the Philosophy of Psychology from Trinity College, Dublin.
Observing the pragmatic impact of Critical Social Justice theory within both the academy and media, she developed an intense interest in its origins and evolution. She is particularly interested in the way that philosophical and psychological ideas pragmatically impact and are impacted by online culture and discourse.
Heather Heying is an evolutionary biologist who has conducted research on the evolution of social systems and sexual selection. Currently a visiting fellow at Princeton, she earned her PhD in Biology from the University of Michigan, and has a B.A. in Anthropology. She was a professor at The Evergreen State College for 15 years, where she pushed students from their comfort zones in part through exploring remote sites in the neotropics. That ended in 2017 when she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, resigned in the wake of violent protests on campus. She has written and spoken about higher ed and the postmodern takeover of the academy; the evolution of sex, relationship and consciousness; and the philosophy of science, in venues including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Krishnamurti Institute, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. With husband Bret, she hosts a weekly livestream on the DarkHorse podcast. Their forthcoming book (September 2021) is A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century, and provides an evolutionary toolkit for living a good and honorable life as an ape in the 21st century.
Thomas Chatterton Williams
Thomas Chatterton Williams is an American critic and journalist and the author of Losing My Cool and Self-Portrait in Black and White. He is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, a columnist at Harper’s, and a non-resident fellow at AEI. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, Le Monde and many other publications in the United States and Europe, and has been collected in The Best American Essays. He is the recipient of a Berlin Prize and lives in Paris with his wife and two children.
Peter Boghossian is a non-tenure track assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University who was recently denied promotion to associate professor. He’s also an Affiliated Assistant Professor at Oregon Health Science University in the Department of General Internal Medicine and a visiting fellow at Reason Foundation think tank. Peter has a publication record across multiple domains of thought, and his popular pieces have been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, the LA Times, National Review, USA Today, New Statesman, etc. His most recent book, with translations in Mandarin, Polish, German, Romanian, Korean, and Czech, is How to Have Impossible Conversations. Peter can be found on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/peterboghossian.
The Equiano Project
The Equiano Project is a debate, discussion and ideas forum, which focuses on race, culture and politics. It facilitates conversations about and promotes the values of freedom, humanism and universalism by regularly hosting high-level debates and discussions with challenging thinkers and publishing thought-provoking content by members of the public. The Equiano Project also has a schools and community outreach programme, putting on talks and workshops.
Andrew Doyle is a writer, satirist and broadcaster whose commentary on political and cultural issues is regularly published in the national press. He is a panelist on “The Moral Maze” (BBC Radio 4) and often appears on Sky News to review the papers. He is the author of “Free Speech and Why It Matters”, published by Constable. His plays include “Borderland” (national tour for 7:84 Theatre Company, Scotland), “The Second Mr Bailey” (BBC Radio 4) and “Reacher’s Point” (BBC Radio 4). As a stand-up comedian, Andrew has written and performed seven live shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, four of which transferred to the Soho Theatre in London. In 2019, he toured the UK with his stand-up show “Friendly Fire” (produced by Phil McIntyre Entertainments). His satirical books “Woke: A Guide to Social Justice” and “My First Little Book of Intersectional Activism” (both written as Titania McGrath) are published by Constable. He has a doctorate in Renaissance Literature from the University of Oxford where he also worked as a stipendiary lecturer. He was formerly a Visiting Research Fellow at Queen’s University, Belfast.
John McWhorter teaches linguistics at Columbia University, is Contributing Editor at the Atlantic, and hosts Slate’s language podcast Lexicon Valley. He has written over twenty books on both language and race, the latest of which are Nine Nasty Words and The Elect.