A. Heterodox Academy (global)

We support the core values expressed by the larger Heterodox Academy organization: open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement.

“Our commitment to heterodoxy within the academy has taken shape as a response to the rise of orthodoxy within scholarly culture — when people fear shame, ostracism, or any other form of social or professional retaliation for questioning or challenging a commonly held idea. We believe that the best way to prevent orthodoxy from taking root within the academy is by fostering three key principles: open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement.”

B. HxA Berkeley

We have a few additional values particular to our local chapter:

1.  Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes

Our tagline, taken from a quote by American activist Maggie Kuhn, is our most important value. Have the courage to speak your mind and express your viewpoint to the best of your ability, even (and especially) when it feels difficult.  

2. Disagree without being disagreeable

There is a difference between constructive and destructive disagreement. Destructive disagreement is mean-spirited, harsh, closed-minded, and often ad-hominem. This makes it impossible to have an atmosphere where ideas can be debated on their own merit. Put simply, don’t be a jerk. Always adhere to Berkeley’s honor code: “As a member of the UC Berkeley community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others.”

3. Passion with compassion

To be emotional is to be human. As we discuss what matters most to us, conversations will inevitably become charged, and that’s not a bad thing. However, it can be easy to vilify those who disagree with us on matters that feel real and important–work against that. If the other person seems to say something unwarranted or unfair, pause. A simple strategy is to ask, "Can you say more?" It gives you a moment to breathe, and the other person an opportunity to clarify.