Sociologist & Author Tony Jack Visited the Society of Skeptics

Sociologist and author Anthony (Tony) Jack joined the Society of Skeptics on April 13 to discuss his debut novel, The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students. The event, moderated by history department chair and Society of Skeptics director Jason Beck, began at 7 p.m.

Mr. Jack is a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and an assistant professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He holds the Shutzer Assistant Professorship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and earned his doctorate from Harvard in 2016.

Based in Massachusetts, his research documents the overlooked diversity among lower-income undergraduates. His writing has appeared in the Common Reader, Du Bois Review, Sociological Forum and Sociology of Education, and has earned awards from the American Educational Studies Association, American Sociological Association, Association for the Study of Higher Education, Eastern Sociological Society and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. He also held fellowships at the Ford Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and was a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow.

Mr. Jack has been featured in The New York Times, Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The HuffPost, The Nation, American Conservative Magazine, The National Review, Commentary Magazine, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Times Higher Education, Vice, Vox and NPR for his research.

His first book explores both how and why disadvantaged students struggle at elite colleges and explains what schools can do differently to help these students thrive. During his talk, Mr. Jack explained his experience as a first-generation college student and how Blair students can use this knowledge for years to come.

History of Skeptics

The Society of Skeptics was established as a forum for students and faculty to discuss and debate important global issues; it has grown to become one of the premier high school lecture series in the United States. Each week, speakers from the political, social, scientific, economic and literary arenas share their unique perspectives with students, who are encouraged to engage with presenters, asking questions and debating points of view.

The program, which is funded in part by The Class of 1968 Society of Skeptics Endowment Fund, was an outgrowth of the Blair International Society, begun in 1937. Forty years later, former history department chair Elliott Trommald, PhD, Hon. ’65, established the modern Skeptics program as a regular forum for student discussion and debate; history teacher Martin Miller, PhD, took over in the mid-1980s and molded the program into a weekly lecture series, one that has since continued without interruption. Under the tutelage of Dr. Miller and his successor, history department chair Jason Beck, Skeptics has featured a wide variety of speakers who are engaging, accomplished in their respective fields and often controversial. For a listing of upcoming Skeptics programs, please click here.



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