Today we dwell in an ever-more complex, globally engaged, and technology-dependent society. And yet we are governed under an eighteenth-century document written for a very different America. In this lecture, Dr. Wilfred McClay asks: Is it time to bid the Constitution goodbye, and embrace a more technocratic ideal?
Should we submit to rule by disinterested experts who would govern by scientific principles rather than democratic majorities? Or does the Constitution have virtues that endure even in a dramatically different world? Are there limits to the value of expert knowledge?
McClay will discuss these topics in the 5th Anniversary University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Constitution Day Lecture, “Says Who? The Role of Expertise in a Democracy.” This event will be held on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm in the UC Auditorium. It is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served.
Wilfred M. McClay is the G. T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, and the Director of the Center for the History of Liberty. His book The Masterless: Self and Society in Modern America won the Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American intellectual history. Among his other books are The Student’s Guide to U.S. History, Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America, Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past, and Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Public Life in Modern America.
McClay is a graduate of St. John’s College (Annapolis) and received his Ph.D. in History from the Johns Hopkins University. He taught at the University of Dallas, Tulane University, the University of Rome, Pepperdine University, Georgetown University, and was Sun Trust Chair of the Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He has received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Academy of Education.
The Constitution Day Lecture is sponsored by the UTC Center for Reflective Citizenship with support from the Jack C. Miller Center, The Apgar Foundation, and The College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies.