April 02, 2009

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Gardner - Photo - Copyright Rodrigo Sepulveda EL TIEMPO 2008
By Tom Evelyn

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Howard Gardner, a renowned Harvard University scholar who pioneered the multiple intelligences theory and has published a series of books on individual and institutional leadership, will speak at Bucknell University on Oct. 21 as part of the ongoing Bucknell Forum national speakers series.

In a talk titled "Leadership that is Ethical: Promises and Pitfalls," Gardner will describe the results and applications of a 15-year project on "Good Work" – how ethics, engagement and excellence can be combined in work and citizenship.

The talk, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Trout Auditorium, will focus on "the kinds of leadership that we need to encourage good work and good citizenship, as well as the challenges that will confront such leaders," said Gardner, who is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Foremost scholars
"Dr. Gardner is not only among the most foremost scholars in America today, but even more impressively he takes his work to another level," said William Gruver, Distinguished Clinical Professor of Management and Executive-in-Residence at Bucknell and a member of the Bucknell Forum Task Force. "Other scholars study, analyze and try to explain leadership. He does these, but also goes further, by practicing leadership in his GoodWork Project."

Among his many scholarly achievements and contributions, Gardner is the author of more than 25 books, a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the recipient of a MacArthur Prize Fellowship.

More than 25 years ago, Gardner introduced his multiple intelligences theory, which puts forward the idea that humans possess numerous autonomous intelligences as opposed to a single intelligence that can be measured with tools such as the IQ test. Gardner's theory has impacted teaching and research in education and psychology and been the subject of several of his books.

GoodWork Project
More than a decade ago, Gardner started the GoodWork Project in collaboration with psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and William Damon to study work that is "excellent in quality, socially responsible and personally meaningful."

Through this project, Gardner and his collaborators have focused their studies on outstanding leaders of institutions and organizations in a number of professions, including journalism, law, medicine, philanthropy, science and theater. Their insights have been applied to research in the concepts of trust and trustworthiness in young people and the ethical issues associated with digital media.

Gardner is the author or co-author of Leading Minds, Changing Minds, Extraordinary Minds, Five Minds for the Future, Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet, Making Good: How Young People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work and Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons, among other books.

This past year, The Wall Street Journal named him one of the top five "influential business thinkers," saying, "Dr. Gardner's popularity beyond academia reflects managers' desire to understand what makes workers, peers and bosses tick. Many companies, for example, are trying to boost employees' 'engagement,' or emotional commitment to their jobs. Dr. Gardner says managers often ask him how to change minds 'since that is something that they have to do a lot.'"

More details on the time and location of Gardner's talk will be shared at a later date. Check The Bucknell Forum for updates on this talk and other fall speakers in the series.

The Bucknell Forum
The new Bucknell Forum series, "Global Leadership: Questions for the 21st Century," which runs through spring 2010, began in February with a talk by former South Africa President F.W. de Klerk, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela in 1993 for bringing an end to apartheid. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the author of Infidel, spoke in March about women's rights and Islam in a talk titled "Ladies First."

On April 15, Matthew Bogdanos, the author of Thieves of Baghdad, a medaled veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a Bucknell graduate discussed "The End of the Citizen-Soldier? Questions of Leadership in a Time of War."

For more information, visit The Bucknell Forum.

Contact: Division of Communications