ACHRC Public Lecture : What Price the Humanities?
With Mark Ledbury
‘You can’t put a price on human life’ is a truism that has been countered by economists, politicians and policy makers who do precisely set that price, for many social and economic purposes. What if we asked the same question of the humanities? What are the costs and benefits of the humanities? What kind of price, what kind of value, should we set on the intellectual and cultural constellation of humanistic research and scholarship, and how might we begin doing so? And why carry out such an instrumental and perhaps absurd exercise? Professor Mark Ledbury will argue that ‘running the numbers’, is both an effective and a necessary method to demonstrate why all societies should prize and preserve the humanities research and education.
Professor Mark Ledbury has degrees from the University of Cambridge and the University of Sussex, and his first academic post was as lecturer in Cultural History at the University of Portsmouth. He then moved to the University of Manchester where he was lecturer in Art History, until he joined the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts, in 2003. As Associate Director of the Research and Academic Program at the Clark, he oversaw the expansion of the research program’s ambition and reach. He devised, planned and ran workshops, conferences and partnerships and worked to develop and oversee a lively residential scholars’ program. As Director of the Power Institute, Professor Ledbury ensures that the Power furthers its research and public engagement mission through talks, conferences and the support of research and publications.
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