This year, Dorothy E. Roberts ’80, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a leading scholar on legal and biosocial theory, is presenting this year’s Tanner Lectures at Harvard on November 2 and 3. Her two-part talk examines a profound shift in biosocial science, and its effects on theories of race and social inequality. Part two of the series will take place today at 4 p.m. in the Lowell Lecture Hall.

Founded in 1978, the Tanner Lectures on Human Values have served as a platform for premier scholars to advance and reflect upon the scholarly and scientific learning relating to human values. This intention embraces the entire range of values pertinent to the human condition, interest, behavior, and aspiration. One of the earliest lecturers was constitutional scholar Charles Fried, Beneficial professor of law at HLS. In 1981, he delivered talks questioning whether or not liberty is in fact – practically and philosophically – possible. Fried was followed in 1986 by Laurence Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor, whose lectures were published as the essay “On Reading the Constitution;” in 1994 by Cass Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, who focused on “Political Discussion and Legal Agreement;” and in 2004 by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Steven Breyer, whose two-day lectureship explored “Active Liberty: Interpreting our Democratic Constitution.”

Roberts was introduced at her first lecture, “The Old Biosocial and The Legacy of Unethical Science,” by Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust and HLS Dean Martha Minow, with whom Roberts co-authored Frug’s Women and the Law casebook series. The series integrates cases with theoretical readings by feminists, social scientists, historians, and legal scholars. Organized around three central topics of work, family, and body, the book reflects a multiplicity of feminist stances and critiques.

Read the full story on the Harvard Gazette

For more on the lectures visit the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard