The American Institute for Economic Research’s Harwood Prize for Intellectual Courage is given to an intellectual leader in any field of study or profession who exercises unusual courage in standing up for what is true under difficult circumstances—risking even reputational and professional stability—in order to make a difference for the good of society.
Billion-dollar public relations campaigns and powerful media echo chambers make challenging conventional wisdom and mainstream orthodoxies both difficult and dangerous. A society needs leaders who think independently and who have the courage to speak the truth to power, especially in times of crisis like today.
The prize is named in homage to Edward C. Harwood (1900-1980) who founded AIER in 1933, another time of great crisis. Fighting false promises and false narratives, Harwood taught his friends and family that “for integrity, there is no substitute.” It is this commitment to integrity and courage—especially concerning ideas related to the wellbeing of society and markets—that informs the Harwood Prize.