Standing For Reason

Hosted by the London School of Economics and Political Science

LSE campus, venue TBC to ticketholders


Professor John Sexton

Professor John Sexton

Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown



Minouche Shafik

Minouche Shafik

John Sexton argues that a secular dogmatism has come to dominate political discourse, and the enterprise of thought is in danger. He then argues that our universities, the stewards of thought, are the last best hope to stem this tide of dogmatism, and that they can effect reform in the society around them by inculcating the values of secular ecumenism in their citizens and by sending those citizens forth, one generation after another, to carry those values into society.  

John Sexton served as fifteenth President of New York University from 2002 through 2015. He is NYU’s Benjamin F. Butler Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus of the Law School.

A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, President Emeritus Sexton also serves on the board of the Institute of International Education and is past Chair of the American Council on Education. In 2015, he received the TIAA-CREF Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence, recognizing outstanding university presidents, and the Institute of International Education’s Duggan Award for Mutual Understanding. In Spring 2016 he held the Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance at the Library of Congress. He is the recipient of twenty-one honorary degrees.

Before coming to NYU, President Emeritus Sexton clerked at the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals. From 1966-1975, he was a Professor of Religion at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn.

President Sexton received a Bachelor’s degree in history, a Master’s degree in comparative religion, and a PhD in the history of American religion, all from Fordham University.  He received a law degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

His latest book is Standing for Reason: The University in a Dogmatic Age, the introduction for which was written by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

To pre-order a copy of Standing for Reason: The University in a Dogmatic Age, which can be collected from independent bookshop Pages of Hackney at the event, please go to Standing for Reason: The University in a Dogmatic Age.

Gordon Brown (@OfficeGSBrown) is the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2010. Previously, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007, making him the longest-serving Chancellor in modern history. Gordon served as the Labour Member of Parliament for Dunfermline East (1983- 2005), and for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (2005-2015) in his home area of Fife in Scotland. He was elected as Leader of the Labour Party serving from 2007-2010.

Minouche Shafik is Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to this she was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.

The twitter hashtag for this event is #LSEReason


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This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email


If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, as well as on accessibility and special requirements, please refer to LSE Events FAQ.  LSE aims to ensure that people have equal access to these public events, but please contact the events organiser as far as possible in advance if you have any access requirements so that arrangements, where possible, can be made. If the event is ticketed, please ensure you get in touch in advance of the ticket release date. Access Guides to all our venues can be viewed online.

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From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.
How can I attend? Add to calendar

This event is free and open to all, but a ticket is required.

Friday 14 February, 12 noon: All tickets for this event have now been allocated.

For those unable to request a ticket, please note the following:

Returns Queue

There will be a returns queue in operation at this event, the location of which will be announced on this weblisting on Wednesday 19 February.

Any seats left empty by ticketholders will be filled by those in the returns queue shortly before the start of the event.  Entry via the returns queue is not guaranteed.

Please note all those in the returns queue will require photographic ID.  Guests in the returns queue will not be permitted to bring bags into the venue so should ensure they arrive with no bags.  There will not be a cloakroom in operation.

Ticket holders should note that:

- due to security checks, guests should arrive at the venue in plenty of time.  Doors will open around 5:30pm.  Guests will need to be seated in the venue by no later than 6:20pm.  Those arriving after that time may not be allowed in for security reason.

- guests will need their ticket and photographic ID (such as a LSE ID card) in order to get into the event.

- no bags will be allowed in the venue, so guests should not bring bags to the event as they will not be allowed to enter the theatre. There will be no cloakroom in operation. Small handbags will be allowed in at the discretion of LSE Security.

For any queries see LSE Events FAQ or contact us at or by calling 0207 955 6043.

This event will be webcast live on the LSE website on LSE LIVE


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