Re: How do you contribute?

Amy Gutmann :Well if it has a little impact on the world, I’ll be very pleased. I guess I’d have to start with Penn because my work is multiplied a thousand times because of the students who go out from Penn and do great work; and the faculty who are great scholars and teachers; and the faculty who are doctors who are saving people’s lives; the faculty who are nurses who are at the forefront of nursing. And as I think, you know, there is a great, great shortage of nurses in this world. So the biggest impact I’ve had is in three years as Penn’s president. And I hope that will just continue.

Prior to that, I think it was because of my scholarship and teaching on social justice, and in particular I helped to revive the tradition of showing how important education is to democracy when I wrote “Democratic Education”. And I was particularly delighted when it was reviewed as the best book perhaps since John Dewey’s “Democracy and Education”. And that’s a book that is taught in introductory courses in both democratic theory and education. And then I went on to write and to teach a lot about how important deliberation is in democracy. And I think I’ve had an impact there as an antidote to what we called “sound bite democracy”, an antidote to end civility in democratic societies. And what’s the antidote? The antidote is to have more opportunities, more institutions that bring diverse people together to deliberate about hard problems; and to be able to live with their disagreements in a civil way. So that’s another small . . .

 

To be a citizen in the 21st century, Gutmann says, you can't be a dilettante.

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