History of Conferences

Liberty Fund’s conference program began with a series of conferences directed by the founder, Pierre Goodrich, during the 1960s and early 1970s. These conferences set a direction for the institution, keeping central themes at the core and expanding into diverse but related areas.

One of Liberty Fund’s early successful conference series was a bicentennial program of conferences concerned with the American Founding and its implications for today. Around the same time, Liberty Fund was instrumental in pioneering the field of law and economics by sponsoring conferences that brought to the table scholars from those disciplines. In the more recent past, Liberty Fund has done a series in Austrian economics, annual week-long conferences that consider the entire corpus of Adam Smith, and two separate series of conferences on the topic of education in a free society.

The essence of Liberty Fund’s conference program throughout its first half-century has been discrete conferences organized in coordination with hundreds of different scholars on a wide array of topics in law, religion, history, literature, science, political theory, the arts, journalism, and the key thinkers of Western civilization. During this period, Liberty Fund’s program expanded beyond North America to virtually all parts of the globe but especially the United Kingdom, Europe, and Latin America. Liberty Fund has a long and rich association with the academic community, as well as business leaders, medical professionals, lawyers, and others outside the academy. In 2004, Liberty Fund expanded the scope and format of its conference activities with a new program that coordinates with co-sponsoring institutions.

Liberty Fund moves into its second half-century continuing to look for new avenues to explore issues of liberty and responsibility while maintaining the perennial programs and values for which Liberty Fund was established.