Chapman University this week established the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy, a center dedicated to the exchange of ideas in economics and the humanities.
The Smith Institute was named in honor of two gifted economists: Adam Smith, the 18th-century Scot who authored The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and Chapman’s own Professor Vernon L. Smith, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
The institute will build on a first-year seminar course that was started in 2010 to explore three questions: What makes a rich nation rich? What makes a good person good? And what do these questions have to do with one another? Eleven new faculty members, in addition to four Chapman faculty members already associated with the institute, will encourage interdisciplinary research and teaching and will offer a new undergraduate minor in “humanomics” to further explore these questions.
The institute “will help promote an intellectual community at the University, wherein ideas can be exchanged freely and useful knowledge will benefit society,” said Daniele Struppa, president of Chapman University.