Who Needs Truth?

Monday, February 5, 2018, 7:30 - 9pm

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Who Needs Truth tout

A free, public event of readings, music and performance as part of a week-long examination of TRUTH. Reservations are required. Note: this event is now "sold out" but there will be a stand-by line

If news can be fake and facts have alternatives, how are we to know what’s true anymore? Does a post-truth politics tilt toward tyranny? Join the Aspen Institute, The Cooper Union, and the Public Theater’s Public Forum for an evening featuring Harvard University Professor Michael Sandel leading a public debate on the multi-faceted concept of truth in our society.

Sandel will be joined by poet Elizabeth Alexander; actors Bill Irwin (The Iceman Cometh); Brandon Victor Dixon (Hamilton); John Lithgow (The Crown); dancer, actor and recent Kennedy Center Honoree Carmen de Lavallade; immigration activist and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, and others, who will set the stage with thought-provoking readings and performances.

The event is free and open to the public. The general public should reserve a space. Please note seating is on a first come basis; an RSVP does not guarantee admission as we generally overbook to ensure a full house. The house will open at 6:45 p.m; at 7:20 p.m., those on standby will be allowed to claim any remaining seats, so please plan a timely arrival.

Presented by The Cooper Union and the Aspen Institute in association with the Public Theater.

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.