Since 1904, hundreds of lecturers — from world-renowned theoretical physicists to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists to respected philosophers and celebrated Nobel laureates — have visited Berkeley to share their research and thoughts. These lectures are free and open to the public.

Jefferson Memorial Lecture

Gary Younge
Gary Younge

Weaponizing Narratives: Why America Wants Gun Control But Doesn’t Have It

Gary Younge, Professor of Sociology, Manchester University

March 4, 2020, 4:10 pm, International House, Chevron Auditorium

“If having a gun really made you safer, then America would be one of the safest countries in the world. It’s not. Yet while Americans consistently favor more gun control, gun laws have generally become more lax. That is partly due to the material resources of the gun lobby. But it is also about the central role of the gun, what it represents in the American narrative, and the inability of gun control advocates to develop; a counter-narrative.” Speaker Gary Younge will begin as Professor of Sociology at Manchester University this spring. He was until recently the editor-at-large of The Guardian.

This lecture is part of UC Berkeley’s commemorative events spotlighting African American history after the passage of the 400 Years of African American History Commission Act.

Charles M. & Martha Hitchcock Lectures

John P. Holdren
John P. Holdren

John P. Holdren, Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

March 17 and 18, 2020, 4:10 pm, International House, Chevron Auditorium

Dr. Holdren is the Teresa and John Heinz Professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. He was co-founder and co-leader of UC Berkeley’s interdisciplinary Energy and Resources Group from 1973 to 1996, and from 2009 until 2017 he was President Obama’s Science Advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, becoming the longest-serving incumbent in the history of those positions.

Barbara Weinstock Lectures on the Morals of Trade

Adam Tooze
Adam Tooze

CANCELLED – From the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 to the Climate Impasse: An Opportunity Missed?

Adam Tooze, Director of the European Institute, Columbia University

April 7, 2020, 4:10 pm, Alumni House, Toll Room

Adam Tooze also serves as the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of History and as a member of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia. His research, writing, and teaching deal with the history of power in the modern age. The question that fascinates him is how economic and military power are articulated by politics, ideology and expert knowledge, in the struggle to bring order and shape to the modern world.

Howison Lectures in Philosophy 

Stephen Yablo
Stephen Yablo

The Demarcation Problem for Philosophy

Stephen Yablo, David W. Skinner Professor of Philosophy, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

April 22, 2020, 4:10 pm, Alumni House, Toll Room

Stephen Yablo’s interests are wide-ranging, from metaphysics, philosophical logic, and epistemology, to the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mathematics. Yablo has served in the linguistics and philosophy department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1998, acting as linguistics and philosophy chair from 2005-2008. 

Upcoming Tanner Lectures

Caroline Hoxby
Caroline Hoxby

CANCELLED – The Fork in the Road: The Imperative of Investing in Adolescent Education

Tuesday – Thursday, April 14, 15, and 16, 2020, 4:10 pm

In mid-April, Caroline Hoxby, Scott and Donya Bommer Professor of Economics at Stanford Universitywill present the Tanner Lectures on Human Values, which advance and reflect upon the scholarly and scientific learning related to human values.

Commentators will include: Jan-Werner Müeller, Professor, Department of Politics at Princeton University; Erik Hurst, V. Duane Rath Professor of Economics at the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago; and Laurence Steinberg, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at Temple University

The Tanner Lectures were founded by American scholar, industrialist, and philanthropist Obert Clark Tanner in 1978. The lectures advance and reflect upon the scholarly and scientific understanding of issues related to human values.

Can’t attend but still want to hear a lecture? Watch and listen online!

Paul Butler
Paul Butler

Last fall, Paul Butler, Albert Brick Professor in Law at Georgetown University Law Center, spoke about incarceration and how, by virtually any measure, prisons have not worked. Abolition of prisons could be the ultimate reform and his lecture suggested what would replace prisons, how people who cause harm could be dealt with in the absence of incarceration, and why abolition would make everyone safer and our society more just. You can watch the video of Butler’s talk “Prison Abolition, and a Mule” online.

The Berkeley Graduate Lectures Series video- and audio-records all lectures and makes them available online. Lectures are also available for viewing or listening at the Berkeley Language Center, located in B-40 Dwinelle Hall. The Berkeley Graduate Lectures and Tanner Lectures are open to the public and admission is free. No tickets are required.

For more information, and to sign up for lecture announcements, visit Berkeley Graduate Lectures – or join the conversation online at Facebook.