The 2020 TB Davie Memorial Lecture

17 July 2020 | From Kgethi

Dear colleagues and students

While the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on economies across the globe, there has been a focus on persisting disparities in our communities. Higher education is not immune to this. This year’s TB Davie Memorial Lecture, to be presented by Professor Ravi Kanbur, will explore the implications of rising economic inequality for academic freedom, a topic that is both timely and necessary given the current context.

Professor Kanbur researches and teaches in development economics, public economics and economic theory at Cornell University in the United States. He has served as chief economist for Africa at the World Bank and is well-known for his role in policy analysis and engagement in international development. His research has been published in leading economics journals, including Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Economic Theory and The Economic Journal.

He is currently co-chair of the Food System Economics Commission, a global non-profit organisation dedicated to transforming the global food system into one that is fair and sustainable. He is also the co-chair of the Scientific Council of the International Panel on Social Progress – a group aimed at developing research-based, multi-disciplinary, non-partisan, action-driven solutions to the most pressing challenges of our time.

Some of Professor Kanbur’s previous positions include chair of the Board of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research, president of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality and member of the Core Group of the World Bank Commission on Global Poverty.

The TB Davie Memorial Lecture was established 54 years ago by UCT students in honour of the work of TB Davie, who was the university’s vice-chancellor from 1948 to 1955 and a defender of the principles of academic freedom.

The annual lecture, organised by the Academic Freedom Committee (AFC), is a space that recognises the expression of different points of view. The AFC invites distinguished speakers to address a theme related to academic and human freedom.

Academic freedom is about more than just hearing new ideas. We have a responsibility to interrogate those ideas and, where possible, turn them into tangible outcomes to create a more socially just world.

Please join the AFC for the 54th TB Davie Memorial Lecture with Professor Kanbur.

When: Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Time: 18:00 SAST

Platform: Microsoft Teams

Please register online to attend the lecture.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

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