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Jonathan Haidt: why I changed my mind about the value of school tests

The leading moral psychologist tells us about what led him to rethink a fundamental issue in education.

The Depolarization Project
20 November 2018
Jonathan Haidt at TEDxMidAtlantic 2012

Jonathan Haidt at TEDxMidAtlantic 2012. Image: TEDx MidAtlantic/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0Changed My Mind, our new podcast, continues with Jonathan Haidt. In each episode we ask a leader what they have changed their mind on and why. Most people believe we are entrenching our divisions, getting worse not better. So we want to shine a light on what people experience when they do make a fundamental shift in position.

Jonathan Haidt is one of the world’s leading moral psychologists. Based at New York University’s Stern School of Business, his book The Coddling of the American Mind is out in the UK now. 

Hosting are mobilisation expert Ali Goldsworthy, behavioural scientist Alex Chesterfield and corporate affairs adviser Laura Osborne. Between them, they have 40 years’ experience of looking at what motivates people to take a stand, back a cause, become an advocate or change their behaviour.

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Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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