Dr. Karen Vaughn, Professor Emerita of Economics at George Mason University, credits her career interest in Austrian economics to her participation in the IHS conference in South Royalton, Vermont in 1974. There, Dr. Vaughn was able to interact with key figures in Austrian economics, which helped her solidify the direction in which she wanted to take her career.
I remember, precisely, where I was on November 9, 1989, the night that the Berlin Wall came tumbling down. I was at George Mason University, in a temporary classroom building erected to alleviate the university’s growing pains. My friends and I had just returned from the 15-minute break that split up our three-hour graduate course in comparative economic systems. Somebody had (if you can believe it) a transistor radio. In stunned silence, we gathered around as the drama unfolded. Our professor, the late Don Lavoie huddled with us.
A little over 30 years ago, Professor Bruce Caldwell discovered his passion for Austrian economics and the history of Nobel Prize winner Friedrich Hayek. Much like the start of any true passion project, Caldwell just needed the right introduction.
“We true liberals are failing to save the soul of classical liberalism,” wrote James M. Buchanan, the Nobel-prize-winning economist, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published on New Year’s Day in 2000. He urged his fellow scholars—”we, those who teach liberalism”—to focus less on pragmatic arguments for liberalism and more on reminding the world of the liberal ideal: a society free of coercion “in which all participants are free to choose.”
Bryan Caplan, George Mason University economics professor and bestselling author of the graphic novel Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration, has a long history with the Institute for Humane Studies. He attended IHS seminars and colloquia dating back to the early 1990s, and met Tyler Cowen through an IHS summer fellows program directed by philosopher Roderick Long.
When Dr. F. A. “Baldy” Harper founded the Institute for Humane Studies in 1961, his vision was to create an institute devoted to the research and exploration of human affairs that would foster freedom, peace, prosperity, and social harmony.
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