The Jack Miller Center convened its 17th Summer Institute on June 30. It was ten plus days of intellectual spark and good company. The JMC community grew as old friends met new ones, and everyone enjoyed great seminars led by renowned historians and political scientists.
This institute’s theme was “Science, Enterprise, and Law in the Making of the Modern Commercial Republic.” Speakers and participants discussed the central ideas of commerce, law, science, and enterprise as understood by the American founders and the thinkers who influenced them. The institute was made possible by the generous support of the John Templeton Foundation.
It was a lively and diverse bunch, a real tribute to JMC’s non-partisan approach to restoring American political thought and history to their place in higher education. One participant echoed others in saying that the Summer Institute was a “fantastic learning and networking experience. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was one of the most rewarding and well-run academic events I’ve attended in my career.”
In addition to the engaging seminars, participants heard from officials at the Huntington Library, one among JMC’s partners in offering independent Library Fellowships. JMC Fellows were able to leaf through some of the Huntington’s rare holdings, including Isaac Newton’s own copy of his Principia, and they listened to talks on the value of undertaking manuscript research at such outstanding libraries of last resort. Participants heard, too, from editors at Oxford University and University of Chicago presses. These were invaluable sessions that clarified the daunting task of getting a first book published–a key to academic survival.
For the final few days, we were joined by Jack Miller and Goldie Wolfe Miller. They participated in our discussions, met and mingled with JMC fellows, and delivered moving remarks reflecting their enthusiasm for our project.
By all accounts, JMC’s 17th Summer Institute was a terrific success. We thank our wonderful participants, faculty, workshop leaders, and donors for making it all possible.
Here’s to many more Summer Institutes!