Gáspár Miklos Tamás graduated from Babes-Bolyai University in 1972. He originally studied philosophy and classics. After a stint as an assistant editor of a literary weekly in his native Transylvania, he got into political difficulties with the authorities of the time and emigrated to Hungary where he taught at the University of Budapest (ELTE). Sacked for political reasons again, he became known as a dissident intellectual and published only in the underground or abroad. In the late 1980s he supported and was a founding member of the Liberal Party in Hungary, and was elected to parliament as a liberal member of the Hungarian Parliament in 1989. He quit professional politics in 1994.
He was the head of the Institute of Philosophy of the Hungarian Academy and has taught at Columbia, Oxford, Chicago, Georgetown, Yale and other universities and was a visiting research fellow in Paris, Vienna, Washington DC and Berlin and is a visiting professor at the Central European University (CEU ) He has published books on political philosophy and social theory and his works have been translated into 12 languages. He has been granted the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Soros Foundation Hungary and the Commander’s Cross Republican Order of Merit for “Outstanding scientific and educational work, journalism and public life in recognition of its activities “. Since May 2010 he was President of Green Left. Gáspár spoke at the 2011 Venice Biennale and also spoke at the PEN Club International’s international literature festival, alongside Salman Rushdie, Kwame Anthony Appiah and Toni Morrison.
The energy challenge: can we keep the lights on?
"The Battle of Ideas was a great success; it enabled large numbers of people to hear and interact with well-known speakers who have thought about and contributed significantly to the discussions of many important issues."
Richard Swinburne, emeritus professor, philosophy of religion, University of Oxford; author, 'The Existence of God and The Evolution of the Soul'