Joel Best to Deliver Hartwick College 2019 Hardy Chair Lecture

Dr. Joel Best, professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware, will deliver the 2019 Hardy Chair Lecture, sponsored by the Hartwick College Department of Sociology. His presentation, titled Facts, Fake, and Other F-Words: Critical Thinking in Contentious Times, will be held Thursday, April 4 at 6 p.m. in Anderson Center for the Arts Theatre on the College campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Best researches social problems, deviance, award culture, fads, and social policy. His writing focuses on understanding how and why we become concerned with particular controversial issues at particular times, and he has written on such topics as road rage, bad statistics, and the mistaken belief that poisoned Halloween candy poses a serious threat to today’s children. He is the author of 16 books and dozens of articles.

“Joel Best is a pioneer in the study of social problems, an expert on an ever-expanding range of subjects, and a dynamic speaker to boot,” said Assistant Professor of Sociology Dr. Ryan Ceresola. “Having him as this year’s Hardy Chair Lecturer is an honor for the department and a great opportunity for the greater Hartwick and Oneonta communities to learn more about why we care about what we care about.”

The Hardy Chair Lecture Series was originally endowed by Dr. H. Claude Hardy and has hosted such speakers as Dr. Jamie Fader in 2015, Dr. Gary LaFree in 2017, and Dr. Amy Fitzgerald in 2018. Hardy’s endowment provides the College with a fund that brings speakers to campus who connect their academic studies with information of interest to the contemporary community.

As part of this year’s series, Best will also lead a controversial social issues course for Hartwick students the following day, as well as join students and faculty for a luncheon, providing a unique one-on-one experience for Hartwick students to engage with leading sociologists.

For more information on Best, visit his webpage.

For more information on the Hardy Chair Lecture, contact Ceresola at 607-431-4272 or

Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,200 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact:     David Lubell
Phone:        607-431-4031

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