2017 Lovett C. Peters Lecture in Public Policy to Focus on Politics and Polarization on American Campuses

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Social Psychologist & National Commentator Jonathan Haidt to Deliver Keynote Address at Pioneer Institute Annual Dinner

BOSTON – Dr. Jonathan Haidt, the leading national commentator on controversial speech at colleges and universities, will deliver Pioneer Institute’s 2017 Lovett C. Peters Lecture on Tuesday, November 7th, in Boston.

“With the escalating battle over free speech on campuses across America, Dr. Haidt’s work to promote civil dialogue on political issues is vitally important,” said Jim Stergios, Pioneer Institute Executive Director. “We look forward to hearing Dr. Haidt’s thoughts on how future generations can move beyond the current impasse created by ideological extremism, intolerance, ignorance, and censorship.”

Dr. Haidt is an American social psychologist and Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is the author of two books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006) and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012), which became a New York Times bestseller. He was named one of the “top global thinkers” by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of the “top world thinkers” by Prospect magazine. His four TED talks have been viewed more than five million times.

Dr. Haidt’s current research applies moral psychology to business ethics. In 2013, he co-founded Ethical Systems, a non-profit collaboration dedicated to making academic research on ethics widely available to businesses. His next book, on capitalism, will be published in 2019. In addition to Ethical Systems, he is a co-founder of Heterodox Academy as well as YourMorals.org and CivilPolitics.org. Dr. Haidt earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, and a doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

The annual Lovett C. Peters Lecture, named for Pioneer Institute’s founder and long-time chairman Lovett C. Peters, is one of Pioneer’s signature events. It honors individuals distinguished for the significance of their accomplishments and contributions to society, and serves as an expression of gratitude to our core supporters for their commitment to our mission of improving the quality of life in Massachusetts.  Past Peters lecture speakers include Khan Academy founder Sal Kahn, UCSF Gladstone Institute director Dr. Deepak Srivastava, then-Mayor and current U.S. Senator Cory Booker, former Governor Jeb Bush, X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis, former U.S. Senator and later college president Bob Kerrey, best-selling author and Harvard history professor Niall Ferguson, Success Academy Charter School founder Eva Moskowitz, Infinera co-founder and education reformer David Welch, and Fletcher School Dean Rear Admiral James Stavridis, among others. The event is open to Pioneer members.


Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.