Harry T. Wilks Distinguished Lecture Series

Collage of Wilks Lecture speakers: Michio Kaku, 2011, Byron Pitts, 2016, Eleanor Clift, 2010, and Mario Cuomo 1998.

About the Harry T. Wilks Distinguished Lecture Series

The Harry T. Wilks Distinguished Lecture Series on Social Issues and Current Events was endowed by the late Harry T. Wilks, a prominent Hamilton lawyer, businessman, and philanthropist. Learn more about the history of The Harry T. Wilks Distinguished Lecture Series.

Since its inaugural lecture in 1998, the series has brought many people of national and global significance to Miami University's Hamilton campus, including presidential candidates, political commentators, Pulitzer Prize-Winning journalists, celebrated scientists, and more. See a list of past speakers.

Jeff Orlowski, "The Social Dilemma"

Wednesday, November 2, 2022 7 p.m.
Parrish Auditorium, Hamilton Campus
1601 University Blvd., Hamilton, OH 45011

Jeff Orlowski electrified viewers with the award-winning Netflix documentary, “The Social Dilemma,” a chilling portrayal of social media companies and the outsize influence they hold over our sociopolitical landscape. Orlowski reframes our understanding of the function of these tech giants — from their stated goal of “bringing people together” to their true nature as ruthlessly efficient advertising platforms that need to keep audiences as deeply engaged as they can in the interests of profit.

Orlowski illustrates how, by serving audiences the kind of content that is most likely to keep them engaged and emotionally invested — misinformation, conspiracy theories, stories that stoke outrage — these companies have dealt a huge blow to democracy at home and abroad by sowing discord in different communities and nations around the world, all while negatively impacting the mental health of their users.

Reception to follow on stage at Parrish.