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Thursday, September 29, 2016
5:00 pm

HSS 50th Anniversary Lecture: John Sutherland

George Ellery Hale's Vision of the Humane Scientist: Has it Survived?

John Sutherland, Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature, University College London

John Sutherland is a British academic, newspaper columnist, and author of 18 books who has taught in universities worldwide, including Caltech (HSS faculty, 1983-1992). He is one of the world's leading authorities on British Victorian fiction and a well-known literary reviewer. His research and publishing interests are in the history of publishing and twentieth-century fiction. He is also known for his highly successful nonacademic books on literary history and the pleasures of reading.

If Caltech has a founding father it is astronomer George Ellery Hale. If there was a moving spirit behind the Henry E. Huntington Library, Hale can claim a large part of that distinction as well. The remarkable openness of Hale's mind and vision has left monuments throughout southern California and, in the undergraduate curriculum of Caltech, an educational legacy: something that could be called the ideal of the humane scientist. Hale believed in the undivided intellect. The image which best expresses that belief is the round lunch table at the Athenaeum at which colleagues from all divisions sit and talk across their specialisms. At the classroom level, Caltech turns out more rocket scientists capable of discussing Jane Austen or Shakespeare than any of its rival institutions. How, this lecture will ask, has the Hale vision prospered over the decades and where, in 2016, is it now?

This lecture is part of a series honoring the 50th anniversary of Caltech's Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS).

Contact Sini Elvington elvington@caltech.edu at 626-395-1724

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