Middlebury College: When Should We Trust the Experts?

A Reading of Voltaire, Anicet Charles Gabriel Lemonnier

Alexander Hamilton Forum: “When Should We Trust the Experts?”


On November 10, 2020, the Alexander Hamilton Forum, a JMC partner program, is hosting Tom Nichols (U.S. Naval War College) and JMC faculty partner Patrick Deneen (University of Notre Dame) for a virtual counter-point discussion on political power and the role of expertise in public policy. Counterpoint-style events feature two speakers who present contrasting views and then field questions from the audience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised afresh perennial questions about the relationship between scientific knowledge and political power. What role should technical experts play in a democratic regime? Is scientific expertise a sufficient guide for public policy decisions? How should we understand the problems posed by anti-intellectualism on one hand and technocracy on the other?

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 • 4:45 PM EST
A virtual discussion through Zoom

Click here to learn more and to attend >>



Thomas NicholsTom Nichols is a U.S. Naval War College University Professor, and an adjunct at the U.S. Air Force School of Strategic Force Studies and the Harvard Extension School. He is a specialist on Russian affairs, nuclear strategy, NATO issues, and a nationally-known commentator on U.S. politics and national security. He was a staff member in the United States Senate, a fellow at CSIS and the Harvard Kennedy School, and previously taught at Dartmouth, La Salle, and Georgetown. He is also a five-time undefeated ‘Jeopardy!’ champion, and was noted in the ‘Jeopardy!’ Hall of Fame after his 1994 appearances as one of the all-time best players of the game.

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Patrick DeneenPatrick Deneen is the David A. Potenziani Memorial College Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. His teaching and writing interests include the history of political thought, American political thought, religion and politics, and literature and politics. His most current work focuses on the growing conflict between, and potential new alignments arising out of, a globalist meritocratic elite and populist nationalists. Professor Deneen was awarded the American Political Science Association’s Leo Strauss Award for Best Dissertation in Political Theory in 1995, and was an honorable mention for APSA’s Best First Book Award in 2000. He is the author and editor of several books and numerous articles, including Why Liberalism Failed (Yale University Press, 2018) and Conserving America? Thoughts on Present Discontents (St. Augustine Press, 2016).

Professor Deneen is a JMC faculty partner.

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The Alexander Hamilton Forum at Middlebury College aims to foster thoughtful engagement with the ideas that have informed the creation and development of the American polity. The Forum promotes the study of the American political thought and founding principles; their relationship to American institutions, statesmanship, public law, political economy, and grand strategy; and their place in the history of western political philosophy. It seeks to offer students an opportunity to think critically about the relevance of political and constitutional theory to a range of contemporary debates in American public life.

Click here to learn more about the Alexander Hamilton Forum >>



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