On Friday, April 10th, The University of Miami’s School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) hosted their annual Community Well-Being Forum entitled: The New Public Intellectual. Speakers included CCF’s Executive Director and The University of Miami’s SEHD Associate Dean for Research, Dr. Etiony Aldarondo; CCF’s Director of Research, Stephanie Coontz; CCF’s Board of Directors Member and University of Maryland’s Professor of Sociology, Dr. Philip N. Cohen; and The University of Miami’s SEHD Dean, Dr. Isaac Prilleltensky.
What does it mean to be a public intellectual at a time when a large proportion of the population is in the information business? Are public intellectuals servants of special interests or do they have a larger responsibility? The intentional participation of intellectuals as cultural and social critics, curators and brokers of scientific knowledge, and agents of social change raises fundamental questions not only about the social function of academics, but also about the connection between higher education and public life, between academic work and the well-being of our society.