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Noam Chomsky live – a public lecture about the state of Western Democracy – University of Reading

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Noam Chomsky live – a public lecture about the state of Western Democracy

Release Date 10 May 2017

Noam Chomsky

World-renowned academic Professor Noam Chomsky will be delivering a lecture about the state of western democracy which will be livestreamed on Facebook this evening.

Professor Chomsky, who will be awarded the Albert Wolters Distinguished Visiting Professorship by the University of Reading, 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.

Noted critic of President-elect Trump, Professor Chomsky will be giving a public lecture at 8pm BST today (Wednesday 10th May) on ‘Racing for the Precipice: Is the Human Experiment Doomed?’, following the first 100 days of the 45th US President’s first term, the announcement of a UK General Election, and recent elections in the Netherlands and France. 

“It is beyond an honour to host Professor Chomsky here at the University of Reading. His work in linguistics has been the gold standard for nearly 60 years, having completely changed the way in which we understand and investigate language as well as the human mind more generally.

Professor Jason Rothman, Professor of Literacy and Multilingualism

“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.”

Public Lecture

In his lecture, Professor Chomsky will discuss recent political movements as well as electoral outcomes such as the US presidential elections and Brexit and similar developments across Europe.  He will contextualise them in relation to human behaviour and what seems to him to be their broader – in fact, far broader – significance.

Chomsky will be the latest high-profile speaker at the Albert Wolters Lecture, which has previously seen high profile 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 fields of psychology and 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. As a leading university at the forefront of research in areas including psychology, linguistics and neuroscience, we are tremendously excited to be welcoming arguably the world’s best known linguist.”


Full details of the public lecture:
Wednesday 10 May, 8-9pm - Reading town hall – “Racing for the precipice: is the human experiment doomed?”

Other events taking place which will be livestreamed:
Thursday 11 May, 3:30pm -Academic workshop and panel discussion on linguistics, cognitive science, and psychology

Friday 12 May, 12-1pm - Student Q&A in RUSU

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