Program Idea: Steve Jobs Biographer Walter Isaacson to Deliver Free NEH Lecture

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will present its 43rd Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 12. The talk will feature Walter Isaacson, best-selling author, acclaimed journalist, and president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization.

NEH is offering a high-definition video of the lecture online -- both during the presentation and for one year afterward -- for use in community programs across the country.

In "The Intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences,” Isaacson will touch on the careers of Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, Ada Lovelace, Walker Percy, Edwin Land and others who fused humanistic thought with scientific discovery.

“Walter Isaacson’s masterful biographies of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin, among others, capture the connection between research and imagination,” said Carole Watson, deputy chairman of NEH. “His ideas on these fundamental issues are among the enduring themes that have made the Jefferson Lecture an important Washington event for the last 42 years.”

The lecture will be held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. In-person tickets are free of charge and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Requests may be submitted beginning April 22 through an online form on the NEH website.

The lecture will be live-streamed online and will be archived at the NEH website, where it may facilitate reading and discussion of the Humanities and STEM — science, technology, engineering and math. Check for further details.

Groups around the country are sponsoring gatherings and film discussion groups to consider “The Intersection of the Humanities and the Sciences” within their schools, communities and states. Go to to let the NEH know of your plans, and share your thoughts and comments with viewers across the country by using the Twitter hashtag #JeffLec2014.

The Jefferson Lecture is the most prestigious honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.

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