Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics

Janus Forum Lecture Series

The Janus Forum Lecture Series, which brings together two prominent speakers with different viewpoints, is the PPE Center's signature public event.

Janus, the Roman god with two faces

Drawing from its namesake, the Roman god with two faces, the Janus Forum Lecture Series provides two established researchers with alternative perspectives the opportunity to present their research in direct dialogue with one another.

While classroom experiences often provide students with a relatively singular narrative trajectory, the Janus Forum is designed to provide an opportunity to engage contrasting perspectives simultaneously.

When choosing speakers and topics, we create pairings of two intellectual leaders who see the world in substantially different ways. We create a space in which students can consider these divergent viewpoints and perhaps develop new viewpoints of their own. 

Janus events emphasize the importance of student interaction with the speakers. Hence, at Janus events equal time is always given to presentations by the speakers and a Q&A with the audience. 

Past Janus

The Janus Forum Lecture Series has been a mainstay of Brown University for several years and many events have proven extremely popular on Brown’s campus. Some examples of our past events include:

  • "Is Social Media a Threat to Our Democracy" with Ezra Klein and Jeff Orlowski-Yang
  • "Can Woman Achieve Equity at Home and the Workplace?" with Claudia Goldin and Caitlyn Collins
  • "Is Humanity Progressing?" with Paul Krugman and Steven Pinker
  • "Injustice and Innovation: The Path to Economic History"  with Joel Mokyr and Sven Beckert


Video Archive

More videos from past lectures are available on our Youtube playlist.