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Watch Noam Chomsky lecture at Reading Town Hall

Naom Chomsky

World-renowned academic Professor Noam Chomsky gave a public lecture on the state of western democracy at Reading Town Hall on Wednesday evening.

Titled ‘Racing for the precipice: is the human experiment doomed?’, the event was streamed live on the internet. A recording of the lecture can be watched here.

Professor Chomsky is internationally recognised as one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today. In a career of more than 60 years in academia, Chomsky has influenced the fields of psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and politics.

His lecture will focus on the recent political movements as well as electoral outcomes such as the US presidential elections and Brexit and similar developments across Europe.  Chomsky will contextualise these events in relation to human behaviour and what seems to him to be their broader significance.

A noted critic of US President Donald Trump, Professor Chomsky will be sharing his analysis of the 45th US President’s first 100 days in the office. 

Professor Noam Chomsky is the latest high-profile speaker at the Albert Wolters Lecture, which has previously seen linguistic academics Professor Steven Pinker and Professor Ellen Bialystok address audiences and be awarded a Distinguished Visiting Professorship recognising their influential role in their field.

 Professor Laurie Butler, head of the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, said: “The Albert Wolters Annual Lecture has seen some of the finest minds in the field of linguistics visit the University of Reading to inspire future generations. With Professor Chomsky’s work in psychology and linguistics, it is a natural fit and a great honour to award him with a Distinguished Visiting Professorship from the University of Reading, with its leading role in psychology and clinical language sciences and our interdisciplinary approach to health research.”

Professor Jason Rothman, Professor of Literacy and Multilingualism, said: “Whether or not one agrees with any particular ideas, nobody would deny the influence of Professor Chomsky’s work on literally hundreds of those of scholars throughout the world over the past six decades of his career. Without Professor Chomsky the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, psychology and political science would be very different from what we know them to be today. As far as academics go, he is the closest thing to a bona fide celebrity that we have.”

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