PPE Speaker Series

The PPE Speaker Series provides an opportunity for students to apply concepts from the classroom to the real world. Not only do these guest speakers allow students to practice argumentation, abstract thinking, and applying classroom topics to other situations; more importantly they push students to expand their thoughts and step outside of their intellectual comfort zone. PPE student


The PPE Program offers a public speaker series that is integral to its degree programs. Each academic year, several guest speakers are invited to present their most recent work to PPE students and faculty at Virginia Tech as well as to the general public. PPE students have the opportunity to go for lunch or dinner with the guest speakers and thereby develop their academic and professional skills as well as have opportunities to network. Please see here for past PPE speakers.

The PPE Speaker Series is a stand out element of the PPE Program. After studying the original content, to then have speakers come in and present on topics with which we could grapple and ask questions about was something that I found highly stimulating and a great experience. PPE student

The PPE Speaker Series was very fun, educational, and interactive. The talks were very well-presented and interesting, and the speakers demonstrated even further knowledge of their expertise and the way it connects with other ideas in the Q&A sessions. PPE student

PPE Speaker Series: Erik Kimbrough

Erik Kimbrough from Chapman University will give a talk on the topic “How Norms Shape Ideology.” The talk will take place on February 5, 2020, from 4-5:30pm in 223 Engel Hall. The talk is tailored to appeal to both students and faculty, with plenty of time for discussion and interaction with the guest speaker. You…

PPE Speaker Series: J.P. Messina

J.P. Messina from the University of New Orleans will give a talk on the topic “The Ethics and Politics of Private Censorship.” The talk will take place on December 4, 2019, from 4-5:30pm in Brush Mountain A (Squires Student Center). The talk is tailored to appeal to both students and faculty, with plenty of time…

PPE Speaker Series: Rosa Terlazzo

Rosa Terlazzo from the University of Rochester will give a talk on the topic “Paternalism and Adaptive Preference Interventions.” The talk will take place on November 13, 2019, from 4-5:30pm in Brush Mountain A (Squires Student Center). The talk is tailored to appeal to both students and faculty, with plenty of time for discussion and…

PPE Speaker Series: Charmaine Chua

Charmaine Chua from the University of California, Santa Barbara, will give a talk on the topic “Fast Circulation, Slow Life: The Racial Fix of Logistics.” The talk will take place on October 2, 2019, from 4-5:30pm in Brush Mountain A (Squires Student Center). The talk is tailored to appeal to both students and faculty, with…

PPE Speaker Series: Michael Douma

PPE Speaker Series: Douglas Noonan

PPE Distinguished Public Lecture

The PPE Program offers an annual public lecture that is presented by a distinguished scholar of international reputation whose research carries significant social relevance and cuts across the disciplinary boundaries of philosophy, political science, and economics. The goal of the Distinguished Public Lecture is to foster dialogue among faculty, students, and the general public about important social problems. Please see here for past PPE Distinguished Public Lectures.

Esther Duflo

Upcoming 2020

Esther Duflo is Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Co-Founder and Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. Her book (co-authored with Abhijit Banerjee), Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, was Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. Her new co-authored book, Good Economics for Hard Times, addresses some of the thorniest social and political problems of our time. Professor Duflo was honored as MacArthur Fellow in 2009, received the John Bates Clark Medal as the best economist under 40 in 2010, and won jointly the Nobel Prize in Economics for her work on global poverty alleviation in 2019.

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Dan Ariely


Professor Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and founder of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. He is also associated with Qapital (a personal finance mobile app) and Lemonade Insurance Company in the capacity of Chief Behavioral Economist and Chief Behavioral Officer, respectively. Professor Ariely is author of Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty, Irrationally Yours, Payoff, and Dollars and Sense. Professor Ariely is a New York Times bestselling author and his TED talks have been viewed over 10 million times.

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Amartya Sen


Professor Sen is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. He is also Senior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and was Professor of Economics at Jadavpur University Calcutta, the Delhi School of Economics, and the London School of Economics, and Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford University. In 1998, Professor Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions to welfare economics and social choice theory.

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Martha C Nussbaum

Martha C. Nussbaum


Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. She holds nearly 60 honorary degrees from universities on five continents and won the 2016 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy, which is often considered the most prestigious award offered in fields not eligible for a Nobel Prize. From 1986 to 1993, Professor Nussbaum served as research advisor to the World Institute for Development Economics Research, a part of the United Nations University, in Helsinki.

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