Jacobson Headshot

When: November 15, 2023, 4 - 5 pm
Where: ATLAS Institute Room 202 (ATLS 202)
Student Only. Space is limited, register today.
Food and Drinks will be provided.

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About the event

Join Benson Center Director Daniel Jacobson at 4 pm in the ATLAS Institute Room 202 (ATLS 202) for a preview of the Scott Atlas lecture. During the pandemic, Dr. Scott Atlas was a dissenting voice on president Trump's COVID advisory task force, famously led by Drs Fauci and Birx. He argued against school closures, shutdowns of “non-essential’ services, and mask and vaccine mandates. His favored approach was to focus protection on the most vulnerable populations, and to remain aware of the costs of lockdowns — not just in economic terms but in terms of human lives. In his view, the public health officials who determined policy failed to follow the best evidence on all these issues, and the results were predictably bad. Retrospectively his approach seems to have been broadly vindicated, especially by data on excess mortality. Yet critics such as the current Surgeon General still say that Atlas advocated for letting the disease spread uncontrollably so as to reach herd immunity as quickly as possible. What, if anything, have we learned from the mistakes of pandemic policy, and from what we got right? And how can the public health establishment regain the trust it lost by pursuing failed policies and misinforming the public?

About the speaker

Benson Center Director Daniel Jacobson works on a range of topics in ethics, moral psychology, aesthetics, and the moral and political philosophy of J. S. Mill. He has published extensively on issues concerning sentimentalism, the philosophy of emotion, and freedom of speech. Jacobson has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, and the Princeton University Center for Human Values. He founded and headed the Freedom and Flourishing Project, which is dedicated to exploring and developing the classical liberal tradition, defending freedom of speech, and increasing political diversity in academia.