29 June 2011

This Year's Templeton Prize

A hearty and resounding congratulations to Ryan Patrick Hanley, whose book Adam Smith and the Character of Virtue was just announced as the winner of the 2010 Templeton Enterprise Award. This award is given to the best book in "humane economics" whose author was under the age of forty at the time of publication. First place, which Professor Hanley's book won, carries with it a $50,000 cash prize--more than what comes with a Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award!

I have read Ryan's book, and I can attest that it is one of the best books on Smith that has been written in the last decade. It is thus a well-deserved honor.

Congratulations, Ryan!

27 June 2011

Otteson on EconTalk

Russ Roberts, a professor of economics at George Mason University, has for some time been conducting fascinating weekly interviews with authors, researchers, and notable intellectuals on their books, research, and ideas. His EconTalk has now grown into one of the most listened-to and highest profile "economics podcasts for daily life," as he puts it. A look at the roster of his recent guests will explain why his program has become so successful.

It was thus a great honor and privilege to have been the subject of his most recent interview and podcast. You can read the brief introduction to, and then listen to or download, the podcast of my conversation with Professor Roberts, here.

17 June 2011

Religion, Liberty, America's Founders, and Adam Smith

Yesterday I gave a lecture on what we can learn from Adam Smith today at the Acton University, a terrific event hosted by the terrific Acton Institute. There are over 600 students here from dozens of countries, as well as some 40 faculty from around the country. The Acton Institute is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and is dedicated to "the study of religion and liberty." The Acton University program is meant to offer a wide-ranging and ecumenical study, from introductory to more advanced levels, of political, economic, moral, and scholarly issues connected with liberty and virtue, and their relation to religion. Here is its description:
Acton University is a unique, four-day exploration of the intellectual foundations of a free society. Guided by a distinguished, international faculty, Acton University is an opportunity to deepen your knowledge and integrate rigorous philosophy, Christian theology and sound economics
What an event. You can follow its live blog feed here.

My own short time at AU takes place during the month-long course I am teaching on "The Ethics and Values of Philanthropy," sponsored by The Fund for American Studies and accredited by the Government Department at Georgetown University. The course itself takes place on Georgetown's campus. TFAS is the premiere organization in Washington, DC for students seeking both a prestigious internship and outstanding coursework with college accreditation. TFAS's motto: "Live. Learn. Intern."

In July, I will be the teaching faculty member at a conference sponsored by the Foundation for Teaching Economics, an organization dedicated to teaching sound principles of economics to high school students and high school teachers. FTE puts on many such conferences every summer around the country. Rising junior and senior high school students should look into them. The conference where I will be, at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, July 15-18, will focus on the economic principles of America's founders, and the economic history of America since then.

Finally, as part of its Learn Liberty project, the Institute for Humane Studies is publishing short, introductory videos featuring professors discussing various aspects of liberty. I gave them several interviews. The first two of mine, "Liberty and Community" and "Liberty and Equality," have just been released. Please have a look and let me know what you think. Have a look also the other Learn Liberty videos, which are excellent.

Whoops--one more. Russ Roberts, of EconTalk fame, interviewed me for one of his weekly podcasts. Everything you wanted to know about Adam Smith in one place! It should be available in a couple weeks.