Who We Are

BRAD CRAN – Contributing Writer


Brad Cran

I’m an award-winning writer and editor who served as Poet Laureate for the City of Vancouver from 2009 to 2011. In response to the introduction of a mandatory muzzle clause imposed on all artists invited to appear at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I wrote an essay entitled Notes on a World Class City. The essay, which defended the city’s progressive history and dedication to free speech, went globally viral in the lead up to the games. My 2009 book, Hope in Shadows: Stories and Photographs of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, won the City of Vancouver Book Award and has raised over $60,000 for marginalized people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. I have been a consultant to numerous literary magazines in Canada and have served as editor at Geist Magazine for nearly two decades. I am a graduate of UBC’s Sauder School of Business and work as a digital marketing consultant. The Vancouver Sun says of my lastest book, “Cran is a master at getting us to see the transformative…Ink on Paper is a reassurance that there is a formidable thinker in our midst who has the courage and literary tools to help others comprehend.”

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Coleman Hughes

I am an undergraduate student at Columbia University majoring in Philosophy. I was born and raised in New Jersey. After high school I briefly attended the Juilliard School before dropping out with the intention of pursuing a career as an independent jazz/hip-hop artist. Shortly thereafter, I discovered a passion for philosophy and enrolled at Columbia. My interests include race, politics, ethics, economics, and the philosophy of mind. My writing has been featured in City Journal, The Spectator, and Heterodox Academy. I’ve also appeared on several podcasts, including The Rubin Report, Waking Up with Sam Harris, and The Glenn Show. My twitter handle is @coldxman.

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BO WINEGARD – Contributing Writer


Bo Winegard

I’m an assistant professor at Marietta College in Ohio. I was born in a small Midwestern town and owe my career to Jim Morrison, the late singer for The Doors. From the mercurial and mysterious singer, I learned of Nietzsche. I didn’t understand him at first, but admired his scintillating prose and insightful observations.

After many years of study, I decided upon a career in psychology, a discipline that allows for eclectic and synthetic thinking.

Intellectual diversity is crucial to obtaining the truth about human nature, about social policy, about society in general, because such topics are incredibly broad and difficult and because it is so easy to allow one’s desires to distort one’s thinking. People want human nature to be one way or another, so they find the science to confirm their preferred views. Without diversity, this understandable human propensity can create a cocoon of sacred errors, protected from criticism not by rational argument but by insults and accusations, snipes and slanders. We need to prevent our media and our academies from constructing a stronger cocoon than they already have. And that means we need to champion intellectual diversity and defend heretics. Even if the heretics are wrong, their criticisms can only strengthen our understanding of the world.

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JONATHAN ANOMALY – Contributing Writer


Jonathan Anomoly

I am a faculty fellow at the Institute for Practical Ethics at UCSD, a founding faculty member of the Philosophy, Politics, & Economics program at USD, and will be a visiting scholar at Oxford University in winter 2019. My current research focuses on the moral and legal dimensions of synthetic biology, including gene editing and the use of synthetic phage viruses to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. More generally, I write about the relative role of social norms and legal institutions in solving different kinds of collective action problems. I am co-author of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (Oxford University Press, 2015), and my publications can be found here. You can contact me at anomaly@ucsd.edu.

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ROSALIND ARDEN – Contributing Writer


Rosalind Arden

I am a Research Associate at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics. My Ph.D. is in Behavioural Genetics, focused on intelligence. Being brighter is associated with health benefits in humans. It may also be true in dogs; I am currently probing the feasibility and utility of the dog as a model of ageing and dementia. Follow me on Twitter @Rosalind_Arden_

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JOHN R. WOOD, Jr. – Contributing Writer


John R. Wood, Jr.

I’m a writer, community advocate and political figure from Los Angeles. My work has focused on creating dialogue and understanding between polarized communities. I now serve as director of media development at Better Angles. In 2014, as California’s youngest active nominee for congress, I challenged longstanding representative Maxine Waters. Subsequently, I was elected Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, a position I held from December 2014 to May of 2016. Tiring of the partisanship and cynicism of conventional party politics, I turned my attention to the cause of political depolarization.

As a writer and speaker, I focus on race, religion, public policy, social commentary, the intersection of politics and science and political and moral philosophy. My writings have been featured in Areo Magazine, Arc Digital, Better Angels Media, The Washington Times Communities, Reflections (a journal of the Yale School of Divinity), The Flash Report and Black Is Online. I am also the grandson of the late record industry pioneer Randy Wood, of Dot Records and Randy’s Record Shop fame. I live in Los Angeles with my wife and three children.

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Dr. Neema Parvini

I am a senior lecturer in English at the University of Surrey, and a proud member of the Heterodox Academy as well as The Evolution Institute. I have written five books, the latest of which is Shakespeare’s Moral Compass. At a political and cultural moment in which many of us are taking stock and looking for meaning, and in which moral outrage and polarisation seem endemic, this book radically reimagines how we might approach great works of literature to find some answers.

I am currently working on a new book for Palgrave Macmillan called The Defenders of Liberty: Human Nature, Individualism, and Property Rights, a study of 500 years of thinking about freedom in the West, from Machiavelli to Milton Friedman.

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Clay Routledge

I am a behavioural scientist, writer, consultant, and professor of psychology at North Dakota State University. I have published over 100 academic papers and co-edited two books. Much of my work focuses on the human need to find and maintain meaning. My writing has appeared in The New York Times, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, and Scientific American. I also frequently serve as a public speaker and guest on popular podcasts and on radio and television. You can find out more about me at clayroutledge.com or follow me on Twitter @clayroutledge.

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HELEN DALE – Contributing Writer


Helen Dale

I’m a British-Australian lawyer and policy wonk who moonlights as a novelist from time-to-time. My first novel, The Hand that Signed the Paper, won the Miles Franklin Award, Australia’s equivalent of the Booker Prize. It also generated a storm of controversy that provided the foundation for my political views. I’m a right-leaning classical liberal, unusual in the world of literature and arts.

I read law at Oxford (where I was at Brasenose) and Edinburgh and have practised in regional Queensland, England, Scotland, and New South Wales. England and Scotland have different legal systems and the latter’s use of Roman law gave me the background to write my next two novels, Books I and II of Kingdom of the Wicked, set in a Roman Empire that has undergone an industrial revolution.

I’ve done policy analyses with a focus on civil liberties and the rule of law for politicians, political parties, various private sector bodies, the Reason Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the Law Society of Scotland.

Apart from Quillette, I also write regularly for the SpectatorThe Australian, the Cato Institute, and The Daily Telegraph. Occasionally I branch out into PenthouseThe Guardian, and Reason.

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SUMANTRA MAITRA – Contributing Writer


Sumantra Maitra

I was born in Kolkata, India, where I completed a Master of Journalism and Mass Communication, with distinction. After working as a foreign affairs journalist and blogger for a few years, I was offered a Masters scholarship to pursue a Master of International Studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand, which I completed with distinctions in International Politics and Economics before being awarded a Vice Chancellor’s scholarship of research excellence, to pursue a PhD in International Relations at the University of Nottingham in the UK.

I am currently a doctoral researcher and teaching assistant at Nottingham, and a freelance columnist and book reviewer for various publications, including Quillette. My areas of interest and research are great power grand strategy, neorealism, and Naval strategy. I spend a lot of time being needlessly sarcastic about everything on Twitter—time which would be best committed in pursuit of knowledge. You can reach me at @MrMaitra.

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TOBY YOUNG – Associate Editor, Contributing Writer

Toby Young

I was the co-founder of the West London Free School, the first free school to sign a funding agreement with the British government. I am the author of four books, the best known of which, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2001), was made into a feature film. My play, Who’s The Daddy?, was named Best New Comedy at the 2006 Theatregoers’ Choice Awards. My teaching experience includes working as a teaching fellow at Harvard and a teaching assistant at Cambridge.

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JAMIE PALMER – Senior Editor, Contributing Writer


Jamie Palmer

I studied American Studies in Manchester and Knoxville, Tennessee, in the late 1990s. I subsequently took an MA in Film Theory and Practice at Dublin Institute of Technology and then a post-graduate diploma in Film Making at the London Film School, graduating as a writer-director. Having made an award-winning short film and a couple of music videos, I went on to co-produce, direct, and edit an independent music documentary which was broadcast as part of the BBC’s 2012 Punk Britannia season.

I originally began writing about extremism, free speech, culture, and politics as means of researching my next documentary project but got side-tracked into writing and editing full time. I’ve had a number of essays and articles published in Fathom JournalTablet, and the Tower.

Today I am a senior editor at Quillette and occasional essayist who likes liberal democracy, Paul Berman, Italian exploitation cinema, and the Oxford comma.

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JONATHAN KAY – Canadian Editor, Contributing Writer


Jonathan Kay

I’m the Canadian Editor for Quillette, and co-host of the Wrongspeak podcast. Formerly, I was managing editor for Canada’s National Post newspaper, and editor-in-chief of a Canadian literary magazine. My freelance work appears regularly in the National Post, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy. In 2014, I served as principal editorial assistant on Justin Trudeau’s memoir, Common Ground. My own books include Among The Truthers (HarperCollins, 2011) and Legacy: How French Canadians Shaped North America (Signal, 2016). Currently, I am working on three commissioned book projects—respectively focused on U.S. policy in regard to intellectual property, the history of the film industry, and the rise of modern board games.

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ANDY NGO – Sub-editor, Contributing Writer


Andy Ngo

I’m a graduate student in political science at Portland State University and a freelance writer who has been published in The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, and The American Spectator. Most recently, I joined the Quillette team as a sub-editor after being a contributing writer for about a year. My writing focuses on free expression, the culture wars and religion.

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DEBRA W. SOH – Contributing Writer


Debra W. Soh

I hold a PhD in sexual neuroscience research from York University. I write a weekly column for Playboy.com and a monthly column for The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper. My writing also has appeared in Harper’s, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Scientific American, among others. I have received media coverage in outlets including NPR, the BBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the BBC, National Review, and USA Today. I also co-host Wrongspeak, a political podcast with Jonathan Kay.

I think we need intellectual and viewpoint diversity in order to determine meaningful solutions to societal issues. Heterodoxy is necessary for us to uncover the truth, especially at a time when academics are being told that some questions are too dangerous to pursue.

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CAROL HORTON – Contributing Writer

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Carol Horton

I am an independent writer interested in the intersection of politics, culture, and spirituality. I have a varied professional background that includes work as a political science professor; research consultant to the nonprofit sector specializing in issues affecting low-income children and families; and yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer. I am the author of two books and the lead editor on three more. I hold a PhD in political science from the University of Chicago.

I have always valued heterodoxy and intellectual pluralism and believe they are more important than ever as we find ourselves increasingly divided into ideological camps perversely devoted to self-righteous sloganeering and vicious scapegoating. A first step in stopping this madness must be to reclaim public discourse for the public good.

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JEFFREY TAYLER – Contributing Writer

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Jeffrey Tayler

I’m a contributing editor at The Atlantic, the author of seven books (with an eighth forthcoming), and, since 1993, a resident of Moscow. I’m a U.S. citizen, though, and was born in Washington, D.C. To research my articles and books, I’ve traveled to dozens of countries in Europe, Africa, and Latin America.

If I have learned anything from all this travelling and talking to people of different nationalities, it is that exposure to varying opinions and lifestyles helps one arrive at the essence of what is true, just, and universally human. Heterodoxy of all sorts is essential. Yet over the past decase or two, in particular, the range of viewpoints that one may acceptably express in public has narrowed, the polarization the result, and the consequent rise of populist politicians able to capitalize on this. A sickening intellectual and moral cowardice—even bankrupt—has come to dominate much of the media.

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MATTHEW BLACKWELL – Contributing Writer


Matthew Blackwell

Over the past seven years I have split my time evenly between studying anthropology and economics part time at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and the outback (Alice Springs) conducting research into Central Australian Aboriginal cultures.

In 2015, I returned to New Guinea, where I investigated cannibalism and culture-bound syndromes. For the last two years I have been working on completing my first book about the drug legalization debate while I complete my degree.

The tower entrance to the University of Queensland’s Great Courtyard reads, “Great Is Truth and Mighty Above All Things.” This dictate has been lost on too many people around the world. Now more than ever, fashionable ideas are quashing serious intellectual debate. By its very definition, heterodoxy doesn’t seek to advance any particular point of view; it seeks a Popperian marketplace, an open society of ideas, in the hope that truth rises to the top.

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