Earlier this week, contributor Neal Meyer pointed out (elsewhere) that noted social scientist Charles Murray will be giving a public presentation at the University of Houston on Thursday. Here is a snippet from the UH Honors College press release:
The University of Houston Hobby Center for Public Policy and The Honors College Phronesis Program in Politics and Ethics host author Charles Murray for a discussion on his New York Times bestselling book, “Coming Apart.”
The event is planned from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, April 10 in the [Rockwell Pavilion, 2nd floor of the M.D. Anderson Library]. It is free and open to the public. An RSVP is requested and can be submitted here.
Murray is the W. H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. In his book, Murray discusses a divergence of American classes by focusing on changes in White, American upper and lower classes. He argues these changes have resulted in a segregated upper class, and a lower class that is losing sight of what he calls traditional American values.
Murray also is the controversial author of the 1994 book “The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.”
“Charles Murray has been an important voice in bringing to public attention the growing inequality in America and the emergence of a new underclass in society,” said Jeffrey Church, associate professor of political science. “Over the past few years, the Phronesis Program and Hobby Center have partnered to invite speakers from across the ideological spectrum. Our hope is to deepen public discussion about the big political issues of our day. Murray is an excellent fit for our speaker series.”
When the Bell Curve came out, the shrill reaction from so many critics who apparently did not bother to read it was startling. If Murray’s visit to Rice University earlier this week is any indication, that odd circumstance has only gotten worse. Incidentally, Houston Chronicle headline writer, Murray calls himself libertarian; perhaps that ought to be reflected in your headline.
UH grad and top Texas talker Michael Berry interviewed Murray on his morning radio program earlier (skip to about the 19:30 mark):
This should be an interesting talk. Perhaps we will see some blogHOUSTON readers there.
Thanks to the University of Houston Honors College for sponsoring this “controversial” speaker. These are the sorts of speakers and ideas that students ought to be engaging at universities. And, for what it’s worth, both Socrates and Jesus were regarded by some as “controversial” speakers.
We’re sure some people feel otherwise, of course, and they can often be loud in their efforts to repress intellectual diversity. If you’re so inclined, it might be worthwhile to drop Honors College Dean William Monroe a quick note and let him know that you support UH’s efforts to bring in varied, accomplished speakers like Charles Murray (and, earlier this year, Paul Cantor).