About the Janus Forum

The initial idea for the Janus Forum was born from a group of undergraduates committed to the principle that students’ views should be the result of well-reasoned and well-rounded critical thinking, rather than merely expressions of intellectual fashion. In order to arrive at these forceful opinions, students need to examine as many different perspectives and ideologies as possible. As a result, our name comes from the Roman God with two faces, Janus, as we believe that there are at least two sides to explore on all critical issues.

Originally, the Janus Forum was comprised of a small group of students that organized a handful of events. Today, the organization has grown substantial and we put on a broad range of events, averaging almost one per week: we host student-debates through the Janus Political Union, we hold Janus Conversations which are small lectures with Brown Professors, we also host Lunch Seminars at the faculty club where Brown students enjoy a free meal while discussing a predefined topic, and we host the very popular Janus Lecture Series.

Through all our events, we present students with the opportunity to explore opposing views and to test different theories. Our initiative is based on the firm belief that Brown Students have character. Having character doesn’t simply mean having enough courage to stand up for your convictions. Rather, having character means having so much courage that you are willing to question your beliefs as well.  

The Janus Forum provides a place for people with opposing views to come together and discuss freely and passionately.  We provide a place where students can explore the multitude of views that exist, and then arrive at their own opinion, knowing not only what they believe, but why they believe it.