Janus Forum Lecture Series

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 comparison to one another. Whereas a conventional classroom experience provides students with a relatively singular narrative trajectory through a subject field, the Janus Forum is designed to provide a unique opportunity to engage contrasting perspectives simultaneously.

When considering speakers and topical themes, we strive to find two leading researchers who have both made tangible contributions regarding a topic of pressing social concern, but whom also harbor substantial disagreement in their methods, theoretical approaches, empirical findings, policy inferences or ideological backgrounds.

Janus also places a high value on providing a platform for students and audience members to directly engage with speakers through a substantial question and answer session. Hence, Janus lectures proceed as brief presentations from each visiting researcher followed by an equal period of inquiry and discussion from the audience.  

The Janus Forum Lecture Series has been a mainstay of the PTP’s programming for several years and many events have proven extremely popular on Brown’s campus. Some examples of our past events include: "Thinking Strategically: Should America Support Israel?" with Noam Chomsky and ambassador Dennis Ross; "A Race to the Bottom? Globalization and the Economic Future" with Douglas Irwin and Dani Rodrik; and "WEALTH: Why are some countries so rich and others so poor?" with Jeff Sachs and Daron Acemoglu.

Videos from our past events can be viewed on our Youtube playlist here.

The Janus Forum Lecture Series hosts a single lecture event each semester, open to the entire Brown community and the general public, please join us and bring others. All are welcome.

We welcome feedback from our audiences and fellow members of the Brown community. If you have a recommendation or idea for a future topic for the Janus Forum Lecture Series or a set of potential invited speakers please contact us via email at ptp@brown.edu .