William Liao

September 6, 2021

Open conversations

In April, The Journal of Controversial Ideas released its first issue.

Like any academic journal, it undergoes rigorous peer review. Unlike other academic journals, it allows authors to publish under an alias. 

The creation of the journal is driven by two motivations: 

1) To protect academics who might otherwise be cancelled, demoted, or otherwise punished for engaging in discourse on subjects that are — as the journal’s title suggests — often found to be controversial. 

2) Ensuring that we achieving our best possible thinking (and the social & technological progress it potentiates) by creating a safe space to engage in discourse on the ideas we find interesting — however controversial. 

For teams and organizations who want to do innovative and impactful work, the prudent question to ask is: “are we in a position to freely discuss our ideas?” 

Surely there are many mechanisms could allow for this — hopefully none that require the adoption of an alias.