Skip to main content

Acton Institute, October 30, 2002:  Grand Rapids, MI – Dr. Barry Smith —professor of philosophy and NCGIA research scientist at the University at Buffalo, author of some 300 publications, including 54 refereed articles and 15 authored or edited books—has chosen Grand Rapids as the venue for two lectures, each presenting a different aspect of his book manuscript on the meaning of life. Professor Smith specializes in metaphysics, the philosophical tradition of Franz Brentano in the Austro-Hungarian empire, and applied ontology. One of his current research interests in applied ontology is information science, in which he is occupied with the examination of the common ground shared by philosophical ontologists and ontologists working in the fields of computer science and information systems.

In 2002, Professor Smith was awarded the Wolfgang Paul Prize for his research project in biomedical ontology for information systems applications. This, $2 million research grant, is the largest ever given to a philosopher.

On November 11, Professor Smith will participate in Calvin College's Philosophy Department Lecture Series with a lecture titled Morality, Happiness and the Meaning of Life . This lecture is open to students, faculty, staff, and the public at large, and it will take place at 3:30 p.m. at Hiemenga Hall 337. Calvin College is located at 3201 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI. The telephone number of the philosophy department is: (616) 957-6488. The campus map can be accessed at:

On November 12, Professor Smith will present a lecture titled What is it to be Done? On Human Achievement and the Social Web of Meaning as part of a philosophy colloquium organized by the Acton Institute's academic research center. Professor Smith's presentation will be at 2:30 p.m. in the Institute's Main Conference room. The Acton Institute is located at 161 Ottawa Avenue NW, Suite 301, Grand Rapids, MI.

About the Acton Institute

With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles."

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at