The Humanitas Visiting Professorship in Rhetoric and the Art of Public Persuasion in honour of Philip Gould is hosted by St Peter’s College.

The Visiting Professorship in Rhetoric and the Art of Public Persuasion is hosted by St Peter’s College, Oxford. It has been made possible by the generous support of Freud Communications.

Mark Thompson 2012-2013

Mark Thompson is the former Director-General of the BBC and the current President and CEO of the New York Times Company.

Mark Thompson’s series, ‘The Cloud of Unknowing’, explores the relationship between politics and public language.

In his first lecture, ‘Is Plato Winning the Argument?’, Thompson asks whether the language of politics is changing in ways which threaten public understanding of and engagement with the most important issues of the day. In his second lecture, ‘Consign it to the Flames’, Thompson focusses on the case of science to look at what’s happened to the ‘argument from authority’ in modern rhetoric. Thompson’s final lecture, ‘Not in My Name’, draws on the U.K.’s recent military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan to advocate for a clearer and more informed approach to public discourse.

Mark Thompson’s series was concluded by a symposium chaired by Andrew Marr, with Polly Toynbee, David Willetts MP, and Lord O’Donnell.

  • Share :