Jonathan Haidt to present lectures Feb. 21, 22

January 23, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. —  Jonathan Haidt, New York Times bestseller and the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business, will present a lecture on “The Three Terrible Ideas Weakening Gen Z and Damaging Universities and Democracies” Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. in 100 Thomas, the first event in the McCourtney Institute for Democracy’s spring 2019 speaker series.

He will also give a talk on “What Capitalism Does to Us, and For Us” Feb. 22 at 11:10 a.m. in the Struthers Auditorium of the Business Building.

Jonathan Haidt will present lectures at University Park February 21 and 22.

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt will present lectures at University Park Feb. 21 and 22 in a visit co-sponsored by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy and the Smeal College of Business.

IMAGE: Jayne Riew

Haidt's research examines how morality varies across cultures — including the cultures of American conservatives, progressives and libertarians. In his best-selling book “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure," Haidt argues that changes on college campuses in recent years prevent the free exchange of ideas fundamental to any university. His previous book, “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion,” was also a New York Times bestseller.

He is the co-founder of the Heterodox Academy, a group of more than 2000 professors who are committed to increasing viewpoint diversity and freedom of inquiry on college campuses. He is respected across the political spectrum and has appeared in national media outlets including Slate and Naitonal Review.

Michael Berkman, professor of political science and director of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy said Haidt's work is provides valuable lessons on how to build and sustain a healthy democracy.

"Haidt's work points to an important challenge in our highly polarized times," Berkman said. "We must talk and listen to each other to restore American democracy."

Haidt’s visit to campus is sponsored by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy and the Smeal College of Business. The Feb. 21 and 22 events are free and open to the public. For more information about “The Coddling of the American Mind,” visit


Last Updated January 29, 2019