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2024 Charles Hill Moffat Lecture: “Ten Years Past Galileo’s Middle Finger”

The 2024 Charles Hill Moffat Lecture promises an engaging evening with Dr. Alice Dreger, esteemed historian, journalist, and author. Dreger will deliver her thought-provoking lecture titled “Ten Years Past Galileo’s Middle Finger: What Have We Learned from a Decade of Campus Conflicts?” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in the Shawkey Dining Room of the Memorial Student Center.

“We are especially excited to have such a renowned and relevant scholar as this year’s Moffatt Lecturer,” said Greta Rensenbrink, chair of the Department of History.

In Dreger’s work, Galileo’s Middle Finger, she delved into the early history of what we now recognize as “cancel culture” within the fields of anthropology, psychology, and gender medicine.

“Alice Dreger’s book, Galileo’s Middle Finger, shows us the moral and scholarly reasons why we have to follow the evidence, wherever it leads us, even if it offends,” said Chris White, a professor in the Department of History.

Dreger is a Guggenheim Fellow, and author of “Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and One Scholar’s Search for Justice”, published by Penguin Press. The book was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her work championing free speech and open inquiry in academia led to her receiving the Heterodox Academy’s inaugural Courage Award, and she now serves on that organization’s Advisory Council. Learn more at her website,

The lecture is free and open to the public.

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