New York Times columnist and author David Brooks will deliver a lecture entitled "Social Animal and Higher Education" in Pickard Theater on this coming Wednesday, February 23.
Brooks is the most prominent conservative on The Times' relatively liberal rotation of columnists, and his humorous columns—often touching on political theory, neuroscience and sociology—have gained him a reputation for being a conservative that some liberals can stomach some of the time. During his visit to campus, Brooks will also hold two discussion sessions with students, one focused on journalism and the other on government.
The subject of the lecture appears to be derived from Brooks' upcoming book, "The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement," set to be published by Random House in March.
Brooks has written about higher education on two recent occasions.
In an essay entitled "The Social Animal," which ran in The New Yorker last month, Brooks wrote that within elite American society, "the things that didn't lead to happiness and flourishing had been emphasized at the expense of the things that did." He suggested that American colleges were complicit in this phenomenon, and that students might often find that their "official education was mostly forgotten or useless."
Additionally, when Brooks wrote a column three weeks ago describing the work of college presidents in less than admiring words, President Barry Mills responded to Brooks' piece in the Bowdoin Daily Sun, the official blog of the College. Mills said that he was not aware that the College had already booked Brooks while writing his response and that the timing was coincidental.
The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets for the presentation have already been sold out.