On September 7, ISET hosted the president and executive chairman of the Ayn Rand Institute, Dr. Yaron Brook, for a presentation. The topic of the presentation was Free Speech and The Battle for Western Culture. During the presentation, Dr. Brook explained why and in what ways free speech is under attack and why it is important to defend this fundamental right.

At the beginning of the presentation, Dr. Brook highlighted that free speech is a core value of civilization, and is what Western civilization stands for. One of the most important events in the history of civilization was the adoption of the Declaration of Human Rights, the first political document that recognizes human rights. However, he claimed that there has been years is an obvious restriction of free speech in recent years: Newspapers cannot publish cartoons relevant to the news, just because they fear violent reprisals; Dr. Brook also claimed there were even greater restrictions of free speech at universities, which cannot invite speakers if the guests do not hold common political views.

ISET-PI researcher Laura Manukyan of the Social Policy Research Center is excited to share her experience gained through professional development programs over the summer. She participated in two international summer schools, entitled “Inequality of Educational Opportunities” and “BRICS Global Business and Innovations”, organized by the Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow and St. Petersburg respectively. Both included lectures, practical sessions, as well as group projects.

The “Inequality of Educational Opportunities” summer school took place on July 2-7 in Moscow, and was focused on research into education inequality. Education specialists Barbara Schneider (from Michigan State University) and Ernesto Treviño Villarreal (from Pontifical Catholic University of Chile) thoroughly examined topics of inequality in individual learning achievement, variations in educational access across different income groups and communities, and ways to better address issues of social and educational inequality.

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