The Polytechnic would like to take the opportunity to show our appreciation to the administration for bringing high profile speakers to Rensselaer. Last fall, former CIA Director John O. Brennan came to discuss relevant topics such as global warming, terrorism, and technological changes to the modern world. Just yesterday, Chief Justice John Roberts took the stage at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center for a conversation about the details of working on the Supreme Court of the United States.
We believe that these high profile figures speaking at RPI serve two important purposes. The first is exposure to areas outside of science and engineering that play an integral role in our society. As students at a technical school, we don’t often get the chance to discuss and analyze topics outside of our specific domains. While having knowledge in a focused discipline is important, being knowledgeable in other areas is equally important. These conversations are a good way for students, faculty, and administrators to explore relatively untouched topics at RPI.
The other benefit of hosting these speakers is the publicity Rensselaer receives. Although we like to compare ourselves to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, RPI is far less known outside the science and engineering fields. Having the director of the CIA and the chief justice of the United States speak at Rensselaer is surely a boost to the Institute’s publicity. Between the benefits and exciting opportunities for both parties involved in the guest talks, we can’t wait to see what renowned figure visits next.