CANCELED Economist and Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to Give 2020 UMass Amherst Gamble Memorial Lecture

Yanis Varoufakis
Yanis Varoufakis

Please note - This event has been canceled, and will not be rescheduled.

AMHERST, Mass. – Economist Yanis Varoufakis, former minister of finance of Greece and author of the 2017 book “Adults in the Room,” will deliver the annual Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Thursday, April 2, at 6 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Days after being elected to the Greek parliament in January 2015, Varoufakis was appointed by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to serve as the nation’s finance minister. He assumed the position at the peak of the Greek government-debt crisis and served in this role until July 2015, resigning his position following the referendum vote opposing the acceptance of terms for a third bailout from the European Commission, the International Monetary fund and the European Central Bank. While Varoufakis was one of the leaders of the movement to reject the terms of the bailout, he resigned after Tsipras indicated that he would allow the terms to be accepted, which they ultimately were with a vote in parliament the following month.

Adults in the Room,” Varoufakis’ in-depth description of these months of negotiating Greece’s economic future, was a Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller. The book has been praised by The Guardian as “one of the greatest political memoirs of all time,” and in September 2019 was named one of their “100 Best Books of the 21st Century.”

In his 2020 Gamble Lecture, Varoufakis will ask “Do We Need a Pluralist Economics?” “Physics is not pluralist,” he says, “even if physicists are pluralist in their appreciation of the limits of their science. Indeed, no one is calling for more pluralism is physics. But in economics, the calls for more pluralism are plentiful and increasingly powerful. Are they misplaced? Or is there a deeper reason why pluralism should be an essential part of theoretical and applied economics?”

In this lecture, he will argue that “pluralism is necessary due to the irrepressible indeterminacy afflicting all economic models, once time and money are introduced. In this sense, pluralism in economics and democracy in politics are essential because of the limits of economic theory.”

Sponsored by the UMass Amherst department of economics, the Philip Gamble Memorial Lectureship Endowment was established by alumnus Israel Rogosa and other family and friends in memory of Philip Gamble, a member of the economics faculty from 1935-71 and chair of the department from 1942-65. The fund supports an annual lecture series featuring a prominent economist, and since its inauguration in 1995 Gamble lecturers have included Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and former U.S. Ambassador to India and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient John Kenneth Galbraith. In total, 10 recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economics have presented the Gamble Lecture.

More information on the UMass Amherst department of economics and the 2020 Gamble Lecture by Yanis Varoufakis, as well as a complete list of previous Gamble lecturers with video of all speeches since 2008, can be found onthe economics department website. More info about Varoufakis, including an archive of his research, writings and columns can be found on his website.