Fall Presidential Lecture Series featuring champions in climate science and democracy

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion and founder of the Renew Democracy Initiative, and climatologist Steven E. Koonin will cover the front page of Purdue Presidential Lecture Series events this fall.

“Does freedom have a future? A conversation with the great chess master and champion of democracy of Soviet origin Garry Kasparov “

Kasparov will join Purdue Chairman Mitch Daniels at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday (September 14) at the Loeb Playhouse at the Stewart Center for a one-hour discussion on democracy in the 21st century. The event is free and open to the public and will be broadcast live simultaneously on Purdue YouTube Channel.

Before joining the forefront of the Russian pro-democracy movement in 2005, Kasparov, of Soviet descent, spent 20 years as the world’s highest-rated chess player, finding international fame at the age of 22 years old when he became the youngest world chess champion in history in 1985. Previously, he won the titles of USSR Under-18 chess champion at age 12 and champion of the world from under 20 to 17.

Kasparov was one of the first prominent Soviets to call for democratic and market reforms. In 2012, he was appointed president of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, succeeding Václav Havel. Facing impending arrest during Vladimir Putin’s crackdown, Kasparov left Moscow for New York in 2013, having already escaped violence in his native Azerbaijan in 1990.

In 2017, Kasparov founded the Renew Democracy initiative, dedicated to promoting the principles of the free world. Bringing together personalities from the center-left and center-right, the non-partisan RDI has launched programs to support civic education, integrity in the public service and the vital importance of a citizenship engaged in a democracy.

“Disturbing: a conversation about climate and energy”

Koonin will join Daniels at 6:30 p.m. on October 19 in Fowler Hall at the Stewart Center for a one-hour conversation on the current state of climate science. A book signing for Koonin’s latest post, “Unsettled: what climate science tells us, what it doesn’t and why it mattersWill take place in the lobby of the Stewart Center outside the Fowler Hall prior to the event. The conversation and book signing are both free and open to the public, with a live simulcast of the conversation on Purdue YouTube Channel from 6.30 p.m.

Koonin is a professor at New York University, where he founded NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, which focuses research and teaching on the acquisition, integration and analysis of big data for large cities. He was Under Secretary of Science in the US Department of Energy under President Barack Obama from 2009-2011, and in 2011 he was the lead author of the US Department of Energy and Energy’s Strategic Plan. Ministry of Energy’s first quadrennial technology review. Prior to that, he was Chief Scientist at BP and Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and JASON, an independent group of scientists who advise the United States government on matters of science and technology.

Attendees of these events should know and follow all posted guidelines on Protect Purdue COVID-19, including current face mask requirements.

Launched in 2014, the presidential lecture series exposes Purdue students and the wider community to inspiring ideas, courageous leadership, and models of civic engagement and civil discourse.

Receive information on these and future Presidential Lecture Series events in online registration.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a leading public research institution that develops practical solutions to today’s most difficult challenges. Ranked # 5 most innovative universities in the United States by US News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and extraordinary discoveries. Engaged in hands-on, online learning in the real world, Purdue provides transformative education for everyone. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-2013 levels, allowing more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap to https://purdue.edu/.

Media contact: Matthew Oates, 765-586-7496 (mobile), [email protected], @mo_oates


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