The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) hosted the 25th Anniversary Distinguished Speakers Series today, featuring Prof Niall Ferguson, Laurence A Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing.The event was well received by students, faculty members and guests from HKUST.
In his talk “Six Lessons from History for the Next President of the United States”, Prof Ferguson, whose new biography of former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger — Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist—was published last year, offered some historical lessons for the next American president. An outspoken critic of the foreign policies of former U.S. President George W Bush and current U.S. President Barack Obama, Prof Ferguson is best known for his book The Ascent of Money and Civilization: The West and the Rest.
Prof Ferguson is an accomplished biographer and the author of 14 books. His first, Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation 1897-1927, was short-listed for the History Today Book of the Year award, while the collection of essays he edited, Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals, was a UK bestseller. In 1998, he published two international critical acclaim The Pity of War: Explaining World War One and The World’s Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild, the latter won the Wadsworth Prize for Business History. Prof Ferguson is also the author of High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg (2010).
Prof Ferguson was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2004. He is also an award-making filmmaker, having won an international Emmy Award for Best Documentary in 2009 for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. His many other prizes include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013).
Distinguished speakers including Nobel Prize winners, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and key financial policy shapers were invited to speak at the HKUST 25th Anniversary Distinguished Speakers Series. Prof Steven Chu, Nobel Laureate in Physics in 1997 and former US Secretary of Energy, was invited as the inaugural speaker of the series. Other speakers include Mr Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schneider Electric; Mr Wang Shi, Founder and Chairman of China Vanke; Prof Dan Shechtman, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 2011; Prof Zhong Lin Wang, Hightower Chair in Materials Science and Engineering and Regents’ Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology; Dr Raghuram G Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India; Mr Pinky Lai, Founder and Design Director of Brainchild Design Group and Brainchild Design Consultants; Dr Qi Lu, Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Applications and Services Group; Prof Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, Turing Prize winner; Prof Alan J Heeger, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2000, Dr Eric Betzig, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2014 and Prof Emmanuelle Charpentier, inventor of a transformative genome engineering technology CRISPR-Cas9. More talks are also being lined up.
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