CounterCurrent: Week of 12/25
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, CounterCurrent readers! I hope that you’ve had a wonderful holiday season filled with friends, family, and plenty of food! These past few years have been a whirlwind, but what better way to end 2022 than by reflecting on the good that the year has brought us? For all of its challenges, 2022 has been a remarkable year for the National Association of Scholars, and our future is brighter than ever. We remain fiercely committed to fighting for the future of higher education, no matter what craziness 2023 brings, and our successes from this year will fuel our motivation going into the next.
So without further ado, here are five things that we are celebrating this year:
Groundbreaking research on higher education
Since its founding, NAS has been dedicated to exposing the degradation of American higher education and preserving the academic pursuit of truth. One of the main ways we accomplish this is by publishing in-depth research reports on the most important issues in higher education. In 2021, NAS published five research reports on topics ranging from the student debt crisis to the politicization of American history to environmental epidemiology. This year, our number of publications doubled—our most recent report, Ideological Intensification, was the tenth report published in a single year. If you’re looking for some holiday reading, you can find our full list of reports and case studies here.
More webinars than ever before
Like many organizations, NAS ventured out into the wide world of webinars during the COVID shutdowns of 2020. We quickly discovered that our members were eager for rich teaching and invigorating discussions on the topics that are no longer broached in most college classrooms. In 2021, we built on the momentum of our early webinar successes by launching Celebrating America, a webinar series exploring our nation’s history and character, and we held 37 webinars over the course of the year. This year, we launched four new webinar series (American Innovation, Right Ideas, Restoring the Sciences, and Race in Higher Education), and we held over sixty webinars. If you’d like to see what’s coming next, check out our Eventbrite page—or, for a blast from the not-so-distant past, you can watch the recordings of our previous webinars on our YouTube page.
Growing movement of state affiliates
Our mission to preserve liberal education is not only accomplished by NAS staff members—it is advanced by faithful advocates at individual colleges and universities across the country. NAS currently has nineteen active state affiliates, whose leaders work tirelessly to expose the corruption within their own institutions and to unite like-minded scholars within their states. By taking up the baton for intellectual freedom, they risk persecution from ideologues within their universities, and we are grateful for their commitment to fighting for the future of American education. If you are interested in hearing more about the work of our affiliates, or if you’d like to form an affiliate in your own state, you can contact NAS Public Affairs Director Glenn Ricketts at [email protected].
Renewed emphasis on the hard sciences
When discussing the ideological capture of academia, it is easy to zero in on the rotten fruit of the humanities and social sciences. But the rot has long since spread to the hard sciences, and it has been silently destroying the ethos of discovery that drives American innovation for years now. To combat this trend, NAS vastly expanded its work in the hard sciences in 2022. Dr. J. Scott Turner and Junior Researcher Mason Goad joined NAS’s staff early in the year to work full-time on exposing the spread of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the sciences. In addition to a full slate of webinars and articles on reforming science education, their work this year culminated in the publication of Ideological Intensification, which provides an in-depth quantitative analysis of the advance of DEI in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Building momentum in civics education reform
In 2021, NAS convened the Civics Alliance, a coalition of education reformers, policymakers, and citizens dedicated to promoting civics education in public K–12 schools. The Civics Alliance has been moving full steam ahead ever since, and 2022 saw both the launch of the Civics Alliance website and the publication of American Birthright, a set of model K–12 social studies standards designed to teach students about their birthright of liberty. The civics education movement has gained momentum nationwide thanks to the hard work of NAS Research Director David Randall and the many members of the Civics Alliance—and that’s just the beginning of what they have in store!
Needless to say, it’s been quite the year for NAS, and we are very grateful to all of you who came along for the ride. Our work wouldn’t be possible without your support, and we hope that you’ll continue fighting for the future of American education alongside us in 2023.
Until next week.
CounterCurrent is the National Association of Scholars’ weekly newsletter, written by Communications Associate Marina Ziemnick. To subscribe, update your email preferences here.