Chris Martin is not your typical grad student. A Ph.D. student in Emory University’s sociology department, Martin is the cofounder of the Heterodox Academy, an advocacy group for “viewpoint diversity” in academic contexts. His current doctoral work focuses on the relationship of anxiety and affluence.
Martin was born in Mangalore, India, but spent the first ten years of his life in Saudi Arabia, where he attended a U.S. International school. He and his family then relocated to his father’s hometown in Pune, India, where Martin eventually completed high school.
Interested in pursuing a degree in psychology, Martin applied and was accepted to Davidson College in the U.S. He next decided to pursue an M.S. in human computer interaction (HCI) after being turned on to information science from his time working at the college library at Davidson. Martin’s graduate work in HCI brought him to work for ten years in the field of web usability in Atlanta, GA.
Still intent on a career in the social sciences, Martin completed an M.A. in experimental psychology at the College of William and Mary in 2012, and then applied and was accepted to the graduate program in sociology at Emory University, where he is currently a fifth-year doctoral student. His current research touches on the psychology of well-being and how it is helped and hindered by socio-economic background.
Martin has also researched and published on the concepts of viewpoint homogeneity and ideology. In an article titled “How Ideology as Hindered Sociological Insight” (American Sociologist, 2015, 47: 115-130), Martin argues that ideological identification tends to conceal theoretically inconvenient facts and make taboo alternative interpretive approaches, which is ultimately detrimental to progress in the social sciences.
Here’s where Martin really separates himself from the masses of doctoral students:
In an effort to address the problems he knew from life and confirmed in his research, Martin joined likeminded scholars to found The Heterodox Academy, a group of academic researchers and educators committed to fostering political viewpoint diversity in institutions of higher learning.
Heterodox Academy collaborators share the view that the suppression of dissenting political opinion in academic environments leads to groupthink, making it difficult to identify errors in reasoning and judgment.
Chris Martin has published six scholarly articles in his young career. He plays classical piano in his spare time and enjoys reading, attending lectures, and watching popular and independent films.