Virtue alone is sufficient to make a Man Great, Glorious and Happy
- Benjamin Franklin -
Benjamin Franklin House and the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce (RSA) are requesting prospectuses for papers to be presented 30 November 2000 at a half-day conference at the RSA on the theme:
Franklin Values in the New Millennium.
The dawn of a new millennium warrants consideration of the values and ethics appropriate to a new age. It also calls for reflection on the ideas of earlier generations in order to discern their current relevance. Benjamin Franklin was a critical figure in the 18th century Age of Enlightenment that celebrated reason, respect for humanity, and the ideals of political and economic liberalism, freedom, and democracy.
In his Autobiography Franklin outlined thirteen virtues he sought to attain in his youth: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. Are these and his proposed methods for attaining them merely quaint remnants of a long-past epoch or do they have resonance for the 21st century? What today is the weight of global values Franklin espoused in relation to industry, trade, politics, religion, and science, among other areas?
Six papers will be presented at the symposium and it is hoped that a conference volume will be published from the proceedings. We encourage wide-ranging interpretation of the topic, and request those interested to submit a prospectus of their paper (500-750 words) for consideration by 30 June 2000. Prospectuses should be sent by mail to: 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NG or by email to: BenjaminFranklinHouse@msn.com
Benjamin Franklin House, at 36 Craven Street, London, is the world’s only remaining Franklin home. A dedicated group under the auspices of the Friends of Benjamin Franklin House are working to turn the House, where Franklin lived for nearly sixteen years between 1757 and 1775, into a dynamic museum and educational facility. It will be the preeminent centre for Franklin scholarship in Europe.
The RSA set up a Forum for Ethics in the Workplace in 1997 in collaboration with the Comino Foundation. Its primary objective is to provide a setting in which people from a wide variety of professions and occupations can discuss ethics in the context of work. The ultimate aim of the Forum is to promote action that encourages a more ethical and equitable workplace. Business ethics are a primary concern as well as ethical practice in politics and local government, education, healthcare, the media, the police, the judiciary, and non-government and not-for-profit organisations.
The tie between Benjamin Franklin and the RSA is longstanding. Franklin was an early member of the Society founded in 1754. From 1757, Franklin regularly attended meetings and in 1760 was elected one of two Chairman of the Committee of Colonies and Trade. Each year the RSA awards the Franklin Medal to a citizen of the US or the UK (in alternate years) who has furthered the relationship between the two nations. Last year’s recipient was George Mitchell, architect of the Good Friday agreement, which provides a framework for peace in Northern Ireland.
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