Investing in Science and Education: An Act of Faith

February 20, 2018

Field Museum
1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL, USA


Watch the event here!

Join us for an evening with John Rowe.

Mr. Rowe will address the rewards and challenges of investing in science and education, including the speculative nature of investing in much scientific work, the almost faith-based activity of investing in liberal arts education, and the successes and failures of investing in urban education. Whether one looks at these investments as high impact, low probability matters, a statistical art, or whether one looks at them as almost faith based — which Mr. Rowe finds more useful — these investments always have a high element of uncertainty. One is left with deeply challenging questions of how much to give to whom, and for what? Mr. Rowe’s remarks will be informed by his work with universities, largely the University of Wisconsin and Illinois Tech, museums, including the Field, the Chicago History Museum, the Holocaust Museum, and the Oriental Institute, and elementary and secondary schools. Mr. Rowe will also address his deep concerns that the higher education establishment disdains technical and career-driven education to the great detriment of the urban poor, and his increasing frustration with the nearly unanimous Left-wing direction of the education and scientific establishments. Put more personally, how many socialists is he willing to finance when they disdain the markets in which he earned the money to give them? Lenin once said that capitalists would sell the rope the revolution would use to hang them. Today’s education establishment wishes capitalists to donate the rope that will be used for the same purpose. Mr. Rowe recognizes that his views on the latter question would be of little interest were they not shared by many other donors.