In any society there are mechanisms to block ideas which deviate too far from the consensus. Yet such ideas are needed, when old models have been exhausted.

Many of the significant cultural advances of the past were made outside the established institutional framework.

In the contemporary world this tends to be forgotten. ‘Research’ is presumed to be something carried out only under the aegis of institutions.

Private funding, which once supported exceptional individuals, is now used to bolster large corporate entities. Smaller organisations typically only receive funding if they first obtain approval from the establishment.

The effect has been a bias in favour of fashionable points of view.

In many areas, work is now carried out only if it is compatible with the dominant outlook. This generates reinforcement for that outlook, but does not produce required leaps in understanding.

In the humanities, the presence of such bias is particularly obvious.

In psychology, economics, philosophy and sociology there is a need for fresh perspectives on key issues, going beyond mere variations on existing themes.

Oxford Forum exists to meet this need.

Oxford Forum is an association of independent academics founded in 1998 by Dr Celia Green. It opposes intellectual and ideological bias in mainstream academia. 

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