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Keynote: Dr. Robert Putnam


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American political scientist and educator Dr. Robert Putnam returns to Lakeside for a keynote lecture in Hoover Auditorium Tuesday, June 20 at 8 p.m. He will be discussing and signing his most recent book, The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again. 

In advance of his keynote, join us for a special showing of documentary “Join or Die” on Tuesday, June 20 at 3:30 p.m. at Orchestra Hall. Based on Putnam’s research, the film is about why you should join a club — and why the fate of America may depend on it.

On Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., Putnam and his daughter, Lara, who is a UCIS Research Professor at the University of Pittsburgh, will be hosting a workshop at the Wellness Center Drackett Hall. The workshop will explore steps each of us can take within our own communities to rebuild social ties and civic life.

What concrete actions can grow the “social capital” that is so essential for personal well-being for our democracy’s health? In this workshop, Putnam and Lara lead a discussion to identify practical strategies that can have real-world impact in participants’ own lives and communities.

Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, having retired from active teaching in May 2018.

Raised in Port Clinton, he was educated at Swarthmore, Oxford and Yale. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the British Academy and past president of the American Political Science Association. 

In 2006, Putnam received the Skytte Prize, the world’s highest accolade for a political scientist.  

In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for contributions to the humanities for “deepening our understanding of community in America,” and in 2018, the International Political Science Association awarded him the Karl Deutsch Award for cross-disciplinary research. 

Putnam has written 15 books, including the best-selling Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community and Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.

In his most recent book, The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again, released in October 2020, Putnam analyzes a remarkable confluence of trends that brought us from an “I” society to a “We” society and then back again. 

At Harvard he has served as Dean of the Kennedy School, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and Sciences and Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.  

Putnam co-founded the Saguaro Seminar, bringing together leading thinkers and practitioners to develop actionable ideas for civic renewal.

At Harvard, he also taught international relations, comparative politics and American politics, including for more than two decades a small seminar “Community in America” whose alumni have gone on to distinguished careers in local and national politics, civil society and public life.  


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Jun 20, 2023


8:00 pm


Hoover Auditorium
Hoover Auditorium
115 West 3rd Street, Lakeside, Lakeside Marblehead, OH, USA


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