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Distinguished Lecture Series

The Institute for Advancing American Values sponsors and presents Boise State University’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Twice a year, the Series brings eminent speakers to Boise State from the realm of politics, academics, and humanitarian activism to promote the discussion of important issues.

Spring 2024 Speaker

“The Meltdown of the University and Ideas for Rebuilding it” A Discussion with Jonathan Haidt.

7 p.m., March 13, 2024. Morrison Center. Free and open to the public.

Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultural and political divisions. Haidt is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis (2006) and of the New York Times bestsellers The Righteous Mind (2012) and The Coddling of the American Mind (2018, with Greg Lukianoff). Since 2018 he has been studying the contributions of social media to the decline of teen mental health and the rise of political dysfunction.

Watch Jonathan Haidt Event Recording

Distinguished Lecture Series Debrief

3:00p.m., Wednesday, March 27, 2024. Bishop Barnwell, Student Union

The DLS Debrief is an opportunity for the campus community to discuss their reactions to and thoughts about Jonathan Haidt’s lecture “The Meltdown of the University and Ideas for Rebuilding it”.

Previous Speakers

  • Cornel West and Robert George

    Cornel West & Robert George

    October 23, 2023
  • Arthur Brooks

    Arthur C. Brooks

    Professor, Author and Columnist

  • Kwame Anthony Appiah

    Kwame Anthony Appiah

    Author and International Affairs Expert

  • Danielle Allen

    Danielle Allen

    James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University

  • Jason Riley

    Jason Riley

    Wall Street Journal Columnist

  • portrait of HR McMaster

    H.R. McMaster

    Former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Best-selling author, recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, and writer in residence at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

  • Nikole Hannah-Jones

    Nikole Hannah-Jones

    American investigative journalist known for her coverage of civil rights in the United States

  • Antony J. Blinken

    Antony J. Blinken

    Former Deputy Secretary of State

  • Werner Herzog

    Werner Herzog

    Award-winning screenwriter, film director, author, and actor

  • Azar Nafisi

    Azar Nafisi

    Iranian-American bestselling author

    September 25, 2017
  • Sarah Lewis

    Sarah Lewis

    Bestselling Author and Assistant Professor at Harvard University

    April 17, 2017
  • David Brooks

    David Brooks

    Political analyst and columnist for The New York Times

    September 27, 2016
  • Carl Wieman

    Carl Wieman

    Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist and Professor of the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University

    April 14, 2016
  • Julia Gillard

    Former Prime Minister of Australia, Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion, public speaker, and member of the United Nations Security Council

    October 5, 2015
  • Margaret Atwood

    Margaret Atwood

    Literary influence, Booker Prize winner, and distinguished author of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction

    April 8, 2015
  • Sir Salman Rushdie

    Sir Salman Rushdie

    Distinguished author, public intellectual, and free-speech proponent

    Nov. 20, 2014
  • Richard Heinz

    Richard Heinzl

    Founder of the first North American chapter of Doctors Without Borders

    April 8, 2014
  • Jonathan Spence

    The world’s foremost authority on Chinese civilization and the role of history in shaping modern China

    October 3, 2013
  • Louis Menand

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author and scholar of American studies

    April 18, 2013
  • Steven Pinker

    Cognitive scientist one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind and human nature

    October 4, 2012
  • Susan Solomon

    Climate scientist internationally recognized as a leader in atmospheric science, 2007 Nobel Laureate, and Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    March 6, 2012
  • Raj Patel

    Award-winning writer, food activist and academic

    October 6, 2011
  • Martha Nussbaum

    Philosopher and author of Fragility of Goodness and Cultivating Humanity: A Classic Defense of Reform in Liberal Education

    March 10, 2011
  • Jody Williams

    Humanitarian and Nobel Laureate

    December 1, 2010
  • Steve Fainaru

    Winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and author of Big Boy Rules: America’s Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq

    February 16, 2010
  • William McDonough

    Internationally renowned designer and one of the primary proponents and shapers of what he and his partners call “The Next Industrial Revolution”

    April 16, 2008
  • Louis Sullivan

    Former secretary of health and human services under President George H.W. Bush

    October 16, 2007
  • Hans Blix

    Former chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq and author of Disarming Iraq

    March 12, 2007
  • Jonathan Kozol

    Public education advocate, author and winner of the National Book Award for Death at an Early Age

    October 10, 2006
  • Joseph Stiglitz

    Winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics and bestselling author of Globalization and Its Discontents

    April 12, 2006
  • Seymour Hersh

    Investigative reporter who won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam. He is the author of Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib and other books

    February 13, 2006
  • Karen Armstrong

    Religion scholar and author who wrote A History of God, The Battle for God, the memoir The Spiral Staircase and a number of other well-received books

    October 4, 2005
  • Christopher Hogwood

    Internationally acclaimed conductor and musicologist

    March 15, 2005
  • E.O. Wilson

    World-renowned biologist and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize

    April 14, 2004
  • Mary Robinson

    President of Ireland from 1990-1997 and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002

    October 19, 2004
  • Michael Cunningham

    Author who won the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for The Hours

    October 9, 2003
  • Lech Walesa

    Former president of Poland and winner of the 1983 Nobel Prize for Peace

    October 2, 2002
  • Horst Stormer

    Winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics

    April 25, 2002
  • Jose Ramos-Horta

    Winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Peace for “his sustained efforts to hinder the oppression of a small people” in his homeland of East Timor

    October 9, 2001
  • Terry Waite

    Humanitarian and hostage negotiator

    April 10, 2001