Harvard's Michael Sandel to present Farwell lecture, 'The Lost Art of Democratic Argument,' Sept. 30

Sept. 8, 2010

Michael Sandel, professor of government at Harvard University, will deliver Luther College’s 2010 Farwell Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life main hall.

Sandel’s presentation, titled "The Lost Art of Democratic Argument: Can We Reason Together about Values without Rancor and Incivility?” is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Sandel is the author of "Justice: What's the Right Thing To Do?," a course that has enrolled over 14,000 students since Harvard began webstreaming and podcasting the class to alumni around the world in 2007. The course aims to help viewers become more critically minded thinkers about the moral decisions we face in our everyday lives.

In the 12-part series, Sandel challenges students and viewers with difficult moral dilemmas. The results are often surprising, revealing that important moral questions are never black and white.

Episodes of the course are available to watch at http://www.justiceharvard.org/

A member of the Harvard faculty since 1980, Sandel teaches courses titled "Ethics, Biotechnology, and the Future of Human Nature," "Markets, Morals and Law," and "Globalization and Its Critics."

He is the author of several publications, including "Liberalism and the Limits of Justice," "Democracy's Discontent: American in Search of a Public Philosophy," and "The Case against Perfection: Ethics in an Age of Genetic Engineering."

Sandel’s writing has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic and the New York Times, and has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Polish and Korean.

He has lectured to academic and general audiences throughout North America, Europe, Japan, China, India, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Sandel has also served as visiting professor at the Sorbonne (Paris), delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Oxford University, and in 2007 gave a series of eight lectures at universities throughout China.

The recipient of three honorary degrees, Sandel is a Phi Beta Kappa initiate and graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis University in 1975. He holds the doctoral degree from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

During his career, Sandel has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Harvard-Radcliffe Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize.  He was named a Harvard College Professor in 1999, and in 2008 was recognized by the American Political Science Association for a career of excellence in teaching.

From 2002-05, Sandel served on the President’s Council on Bioethics, a national body appointed to examine the ethical implications of new biomedical technologies.

Sandel is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations.