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Rice University
News Release
Friday, November 10, 2017

Rice lecture to focus on ‘new political reality’ in US

HOUSTON – The “new political reality” of the United States will be the focus of the third Scientia lecture Nov. 14 at Rice University at 4 p.m. in Duncan Hall’s McMurtry Auditorium.

Rice political scientist Rick Wilson, the Herbert S. Autrey Professor of Political Science and professor of statistics and of psychology and director of the Scientia Institute, will examine this new reality, in which alternative facts are a meaningful part of political dialogue. He will also discuss the power of political conspiracies. Looking at former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate controversy and former President Richard Nixon’s Apollo 11 landing, Wilson will detail the underlying psychological principles driving believers and point to the rhetorical advantages gained by politicians for promoting conspiracies.

Who:              Rice political scientist Rick Wilson.

What:             Scientia 2017 Fall Lecture Series.

When:            4 p.m. Nov. 14.

Where:           Duncan Hall’s McMurtry Auditorium on the Rice University campus, located at 6100 Main Street in Houston.

Scientia is an institute of Rice University faculty founded in 1981 by the mathematician and historian of science Salomon Bochner. The lecture series provides an opportunity for scholarly discussion across disciplinary boundaries; its members and fellows come from a wide range of academic disciplines. For more on Scientia and upcoming events, visit

Media are invited to attend the lecture, which is free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or

For a map of Rice University's campus, go to

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