Brilliant minds eager to share their wisdom with future thought leaders in philosophy, politics, and economics have journeyed to Virginia Tech.

A Nobel Prize winner in economics. A recipient of the Kyoto Award. A leading scientist in psychology and behavioral economics.

These scholars delivered public lectures on campus in recent years as part of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) Distinguished Public Lecture Series.

This year, another award-winning researcher will serve as distinguished speaker.

Renowned economic historian Adam Tooze will offer insight into the economic uncertainty facing nations around the world in “Shutdown: How COVID Shook the World Economy.” The virtual presentation is set for April 21 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and includes an opportunity for participants to interact with the speaker.

The Distinguished Public Lecture Series is organized by the Kellogg Center for Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.

“Adam Tooze is a leading figure in the fields of economic history and political economy,” said Michael Moehler, founding director of the center. “During this critical time for the global economy, we’re thrilled he will deliver the 2021 PPE Distinguished Public Lecture and provide our students and community with his unique perspective on recent events.”

Tooze is the Shelby Cullom Davis Chair of History and director of the European Institute at Columbia University. He has broad research interests in the fields of 20th-century and contemporary history, including themes in political, intellectual, and military history.

In 2019, Foreign Policy Magazine named Tooze as one of the top Global Thinkers of the decade.

His most recent book, “Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World,” centers on the 2008 economic crisis, which sent shockwaves across the world, and its 10-year aftermath.

His book’s reinterpretation of the crisis earned Tooze the Lionel Gelber Prize, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year nod, and the New York Times Critics’ Top Book honor. The Economist named it one of its Books of the Year.

“Our distinguished speaker’s research illustrates the importance of conducting rigorous social scientific data analysis and interpreting its relevance in the context of the complexities of human cooperation,” said Moehler, who also serves as an associate professor of philosophy, politics, and economics in the Department of Political Science. “The Kellogg Center conducts foundational research in the humanities and social sciences, research that is necessary to solve complex interdisciplinary decision-making problems in a globally interconnected world.”

For Moehler, helping students engage with cerebral scholars connected to their own research interests serves as the driving force for the lecture series.

While a student at the London School of Economics, Moehler gained inspiration for his own career by participating in lectures with high-profile speakers and state leaders from around the world. He said he hopes to be able to provide the same opportunity for Virginia Tech students — especially in the time of COVID-19, when engagement opportunities are challenging.

Tooze’s talk is the fourth in the PPE Distinguished Public Lecture Series. Previous speakers include Amartya Sen, the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor at Harvard University and the 1998 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics; Martha C. Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago and a Kyoto Prize winner; and Dan Ariely, the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University.

Esther Duflo, the youngest winner in the history of the Nobel Prize in economics, was slated to serve as distinguished speaker a year ago. But the COVID-19 pandemic forced a postponement of the event.

Moehler said he looks forward to Tooze’s presentation and the opportunity to attract more prominent speakers to the lecture series in the near future.

As director of the Kellogg Center, Moehler has helped nurture the growth of the interdisciplinary field of philosophy, politics, and economics at Virginia Tech. The center launched in 2020, after starting as a program five years earlier. Housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the center operates in close collaboration with the College of Science.

The mission of the center is to produce cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and research-centered teaching in the humanities and social sciences, collaborating with disciplines across the university that engage with social, ethical, political, or economic dimensions. Through a transdisciplinary approach, the center strives to connect students and faculty throughout the university in support of Virginia Tech’s Beyond Boundaries vision.

Laura Belmonte, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will offer welcoming remarks before Tooze’s presentation.

In addition to “Crashed,” Tooze’s books include “Statistics and the German State, 1900-1945: The Making of Modern Economic Knowledge,” “The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy,” and “The Deluge: The Great War and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931.”

All Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students — as well as members of the general public — are invited to attend Tooze’s presentation virtually. Advance registration is required for this event through this link.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, email the Virginia Tech production team at least 10 business days before the event.

Visit the Kellogg Center website to learn more about the center’s research, teaching, and outreach.

Written by Andrew Adkins