Free Market Speaker Series

Each semester we invite speakers from the business and academic world who address the underlying principles of a market economy. Students, faculty, alumni, and the Charleston business community are invited to attend our events.

Fall 2020

Dr. Deirdre McCloskey: "Bettering Humanomics: A New, and Old, Approach to Economic Science"
September 22, 2020; 5:30pm
Zoom Event, Registration Required:

About the talk

Economics ignores persuasion in the economy. The economics of asymmetric “information” or common “knowledge” over the past 40 years speaks of costs and benefits but bypasses persuasion, “sweet talk.” Sweet talk accounts for a quarter of national income, and so is not mere “cheap talk.” Research should direct economics and the numerous other social sciences influenced by economics back towards human meaning in speechmeaning which has even in the most rigorously behaviorist experiments been shown to matter greatly to the outcome. Sweet talk is deeply unpredictable, which connects it to the troubled economics of entrepreneurship, of discovery, and of innovation. The massive innovation leading to the Great Fact of modern economic growth since 1800 is a leading case in point. Economic historians are beginning to find that material causes of the Great Fact do not work, and that changes in rhetoric do work, such as the Enlightenment and the Bourgeois Revaluation and above all Adam Smith “liberal plan of liberty and justice.It is not, however, the new institutional economics, which is Samuelsonian economics redux. A new economic history emerges, using all the evidence for the scientific task: books as much as bonds, entrepreneurial courage and hope as much as managerial prudence and temperance.

About the speaker

Deirdre Nansen McCloskey is Distinguished Professor Emerita of Economics and of History, and Professor Emerita of English and of Communication, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Trained at Harvard in the 1960s as an economist, she has written twenty books and some four hundred academic articles on economic theory, economic history, philosophy, rhetoric, statistical theory, feminism, ethics, and law.

Deirdre McCloskey

Matt Ridley: "Innovation & Freedom"
November 5, 2020; 4:30pm
Virtual Event, Registration Required:

About the talk
Best-selling author Matt Ridley will discuss his latest book How Innovation Works and Why it Flourishes in Freedom

About the speaker

Matt Ridley's books have been shortlisted for six literary awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (for Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters). His most recent book, The Agile Gene: How Nature Turns on Nurture, won the award for the best science book published in 2003 from the National Academies of Science. He has been a scientist, a journalist, and a national newspaper columnist, and is the chairman of the International Centre for Life, in Newcastle, England. Matt Ridley is also a visiting professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.

Matt Ridley

Check our calendar for the full list of events.