Indiana University Bloomington

IU Bloomington Patten Lecture Series names speakers for 2014-15

  • May 8, 2014


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Philosopher John Searle, historian of science Naomi Oreskes and novelist Amitav Ghosh will present Patten Lectures at Indiana University Bloomington during the 2014-15 academic year.

The William T. Patten Foundation, which presents the lectures under the auspices of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, announced the schedule this week. The series brings scholars of national and international distinction in the sciences, humanities and arts to the IU Bloomington campus for lectures and other activities.

John Searle, the Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, will lecture during the week of Sept. 8 to 12, 2014.

Searle is a leading philosopher of the mind, language and society. He is considered one of the pioneers of speech act theory and a major contributor to the philosophy of mind and action, especially the theory of intentionality and consciousness. In recent decades, his study of language has led him in the direction of social philosophy -- the theory of collective action and intention, and the nature and structure of social reality.

Naomi Oreskes, professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University, will lecture during the week of March 9 to 12, 2015.

Oreskes is one of the world’s foremost historians of science, known for her work on the formation of scientific consensus and the role played by dissent in the formation of scientific concepts. She has also done substantial work on the history of plate tectonics, Cold War-era oceanography and current debates on climate science. She is working on a new book on the process of translating scientific findings into public policy.

Amitav Ghosh, novelist and author, will lecture during the week of April 6 to 9, 2015.

Ghosh is an internationally renowned South Asian novelist and writer. He has received wide acclaim for his books "The Shadow Lines" and "The Circle of Reason," and more recently for "Sea of Poppies" and "River of Smoke," part of "The Ibis Trilogy." His works of fiction and nonfiction are transnational in scope and have engaged with historical and postcolonial themes. He is a novelist, social anthropologist, historian, travel writer and chronicler of ancient and lived histories.

Public lectures by Searle will be given from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, Sept. 9 and 11; by Oreskes from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, March 9 and 11, 2015; and by Ghosh from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, April 7 and 9, 2015.

The William T. Patten Foundation

The William T. Patten Foundation, endowed by a student of the Indiana University class of 1893, provides generous funds to bring to the Bloomington campus for a week lecturers of extraordinary national and international distinction. Past lecturers have included Oscar Arias, Jorge Luis Borges, Noam Chomsky, Natalie Zemon Davis, Umberto Eco, Werner Herzog, Sarah Hrdy, Julian S. Huxley, Toni Morrison, Martha Nussbaum, Amos Oz, Helmuth Rilling, Edward Said, Amartya Sen, Wole Soyinka, Rene Thom, Thomas Schelling, Strobe Talbott and Lester Thurow.

Inquires about the Patten Foundation, the Patten Lecture Series and future nominations may be directed to

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