American academia is a complex tapestry, encompassing a diverse group of scholars and experts in their fields. Scholars’ unwavering dedication to comprehending and championing the principles of liberal democracies is crucial to the support of a flourishing society. One such luminary is Dr. Matthew P. Hitt, a distinguished alumnus of The Ohio State University, whose groundbreaking work explores the precarious state of freedom of speech in contemporary America in the era of social media and Big Tech. With support from the Institute for Humane Studies, Dr. Matthew Hitt has delved into the realm of illiberalism and its impact on society. His research, supported in part via an IHS expense support grant, scrutinizes the burgeoning culture of passive acceptance of authoritarian tendencies that seek to curtail a principle at the foundation of our republic—freedom of speech.
The Culture of Harassment
“In the broader culture, speakers with controversial or unfashionable views are often targeted by sustained campaigns of social media harassment, aimed at costing those exercising their freedom of speech their livelihoods and reputations.” Dr. Matthew Hitt
An associate Professor of Political Science at Colorado State University and researcher focused on judgment and decision-making in American politics, Dr. Hitt employs a multi-faceted approach to his research, which dissects the psychological correlates of the waning support for free expression that threatens the pillars of open inquiry and dialogue. His investigations span elite institutions, exploring how institutional and external factors influence the choices political actors make. Through observational, experimental, and archival techniques, he navigates the complex terrain of political decision-making.
Facilitating Rigorous Research
The data sets Hitt meticulously analyzes in research supported by IHS are integral to addressing the contemporary challenges surrounding free speech. This research is not confined to ivory towers; it’s designed to be accessible, offering a crucial resource for scholars across disciplines who grapple with the evolving landscape of free speech in the 21st century.
Hitt’s extensive contributions to political science, including his book “Inconsistency and Indecision in the United States Supreme Court,“ showcase the depth and breadth of his expertise. His teachings, ranging from judicial politics to quantitative methodology, underscore a commitment to fostering a nuanced understanding of the American political landscape.
Building Bridges through Knowledge
Dr. Hitt’s work reverberates beyond academic circles. His dedication to unraveling the complexities of freedom of speech positions him as a torchbearer, illuminating paths for scholars, policymakers, and concerned citizens to navigate the challenges posed by a changing cultural and political climate.
As we traverse the landscape of contemporary academia, Dr. Hitt emerges as a beacon of intellectual curiosity and resilience. His collaboration with the Institute for Humane Studies not only facilitates groundbreaking research but also exemplifies the communal spirit of IHS in empowering scholars to safeguard the principles that form the bedrock of a free and open society. In the realm of freedom of speech, Dr. Hitt’s work stands as a testament to the enduring pursuit of truth and open inquiry.
The Institute for Humane Studies continues to play a crucial role in supporting scholars like Dr. Hitt, fostering a community where intellectual exploration thrives. To learn more about IHS scholars, programs, and opportunities, visit TheIHS.org. Join us in shaping a future where the positive power of free expression and the open exchange of ideas can improve lives and communities.