“I Refuse to do this”: Leading NYU Psychologist Resigns from Research Group Over Mandatory DEI Statement

NYU professor and leading social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has resigned from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology due to the new requirement that members must include Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and anti-racism commitments if they want to present research at any conference.  It is the latest mandatory statement as a threshold requirement for academics and Haidt has refused in what could be a major confrontation to this field.

We have been following conflicts over official statements or acknowledgements on diversity, colonialism, or privilege at universities. These conflicts often involve concerns over free speech or academic freedom. The most recent controversy has arisen at Cornell University and involves a challenge to an official declaration that the university perpetuates “settler colonialism, indigenous dispossession, slavery, racism, classism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, antisemitism, and ableism.” That led to a confrontation with  Randy Wayne, associate professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who objected to the statement and led to a controversy at the school.

We also discussed land acknowledgement controversies like University of Washington Professor Stuart Reges who was disciplined because he refused to post the school’s “land acknowledgment” and instead posted an alternative statement.

Haidt objected that “In order to present research at the conference, all social psychologists are now required to submit a statement explaining ‘whether and how this submission advances the equity, inclusion, and anti-racism goals of SPSP.’ Our research proposal would be evaluated on older criteria of scientific merit, along with this new criterion.”

He explained that “most academic work has nothing to do with diversity, so these mandatory statements force many academics to betray their quasi-fiduciary duty to the truth by spinning, twisting, or otherwise inventing some tenuous connection to diversity. I refuse to do this…”

Haidt is a cofounder of the Heterodox Academy, an organization of academics promoting viewpoint diversity

The issue with the statement is its mandatory elements. There would be no objections for an organization to put forward a policy that encourages members to pursue anti-racism agendas and offers specific elements of how one can pursue such a worthy goal.

However, the Society declared “The Task Force recognizes the need for the organization to make fundamental changes to its priorities and activities in ways that address the goal of anti-racism and equity.” What was an encouragement last year became a mandatory element this year: “We are now rolling the DEI statements out as part of the full review process this year.”

That raises questions of free speech and academic freedom for participants like Haidt. Yet, an academic (particularly less established or more junior academics) must fulfill these statements if they want access to key professional opportunities to present scholarship and research.


128 thoughts on ““I Refuse to do this”: Leading NYU Psychologist Resigns from Research Group Over Mandatory DEI Statement”

  1. Diversity, Inclusion and Equity seem like noble goals. But the devil is always in the details and Equity in this sense robs people of justice.

  2. They are now running medical school admissions thorugh the cheese grater of racial indoctrination. Education went first soon law school after that. Did you know they give extra time on the tests if you have ADD? In Law School? Don’t know about Medical, I can see it now: “The doctor will see you now..oh wait he needs a time out!”

    Look up the “diversity pledge” they made all the med school students at U. of Minnesota take this year. Right out of “Triumph of the Will”.

  3. This is what academia and cancel culture has led us to. Covid was politicized. Here are some anonymized death certificates. I’ll give part of one.

    Age 96
    Congestive heart failure

    listed as a Covid mortality. It seems they are trying as hard as they can to link anyone who dies as a Covid mortality.

    Where is the common sense of leftists and leftist academics? There is no common sense where leftism is concerned. They don’t even know what a woman is. Upstate’s cows are smarter.


      1. David, are saying the cause of death is based on the party the coroner is working for? You know that would be foolish, right?

          1. I don’t want to lecture you on how coroners have been pushed to provide different reports. We never got Covid right either. You should already know all about these things.

            Cause of death on death certificates is not what you think it is.

          2. If you have ever been an executor of a will, you know that the covid stats were BS from the beginning. Recall CNN had a minute by minute tally of “covid deaths”. How could that be? A death certificate takes about 45 days to be produced. The death certificate is where the cause of death is revealed. The executor is frozen in place until he/she has a death certificate in hand. The bank, insurance company, car loan, home loan, everything, can not be dealt with until the death certificate is in hand. Surely you are not suggesting that just in this one special case, death certificates were produced within minutes of someone’s death.

      2. I believe there are actually two systems in use today: the Coroner system & the M.E. or Medical Examiner system. The Coroner is used more in Canada; the ME is currently used more in the US. They are different concepts.

    1. Allan–Great comment! We heard these stories in Texas about 6 months into the “pandemic”
      No common sense is exactly right. It’s as if life is a skeet shoot, commom sense is a clay pigeon, and the Democrats keep yelling “Pull!”

    2. Sharyl Attkisson’s “Full Measure” program found Colorado had classified a murder-suicide as Covid. Meanwhile they are all tying themselves into pretzels to avoid linking any deaths to the mRNA shots. Their is a whole crew of MDs and researchers driven to Substack after being banned from Facebook and Twitter who present this evidence, but No Mention is Permitted on any corporate media. Tucker Carlson has come the closest, indirectly by way of the apparent increased death rates (Dr. John Campbell’s excellent videos on Youtube go near this materal as well but as he just stated, he has been threatened with expulsion by Youtube, apparently for simply citing statistics reported by European governments.

      1. Dr. Campbell has been incredible throughout the pandemic.
        He has not taken a political position on anything.
        He has been generally conservative in his judgement
        Interestingly the EU has been less agressive about censorship than the US, and more open about data.
        Campbell has been reporting on the actual data from the begining.

  4. OT:Skip scrutiny, don’t suspend FBI whistleblowers. Instead remove their clearance which prevents the agent from doing his job and then take the agent off the payroll. It is common

    Is FBI using security clearances to muzzle critics? Whistleblower’s lawyer says yes
    “They can take them off the payroll, take their badge and gun, sideline them,” said former Senate investigator and whistleblower attorney Jason Foster.

    A whistleblower lawyer representing an FBI agent suspended after raising concerns about the treatment of Jan. 6 suspects says the bureau is using its control of security clearances to silence and punish critics.


  5. OT

    Kevin “The Bumpkin From Bakersfield” McCarthy is not dissimilar to the flaming, duplicitous RINO, John Boehner.

    Kevin “The Bumpkin From Bakersfield” McCarthy will do precisely nothing conservative.

    Kevin “The Bumpkin From Bakersfield” McCarthy has got to go.

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