Humility and vulnerability are no longer values that are rewarded in the political arena, and it’s up to individuals, and their relationships, to begin a sea change that could “trickle up” into political leadership.
That was the message Tuesday evening as prominent political figures, journalists, educators, academics and nonprofit leaders came together for a public forum, titled “Humility in Politics,” in Washington, D.C.
The event, sponsored by UConn’s Humanities Institute and a $5.75 million investment in UConn by the John Templeton Foundation, kicked off a three-year research initiative, aptly named The Humility and Conviction in Public Life project.
The project aims to investigate how intellectual humility – through being aware of our own innate biases and responses to new evidence – can overcome current political divisiveness.
“This is an unprecedented attempt to apply humanities and social science research to solve problems in the political sphere,” said Michael Lynch, professor of philosophy and director of the Humanities Institute, in his opening remarks.