The Presidential Lecture series provides an opportunity for distinguished faculty members to present significant aspects of their work to the greater university community and general public.

The university established the annual series to encourage intellectual communication among the many disciplines that constitute the UI, as well as to provide a public forum for scholarship, research, and creative achievement. The series is made possible by the generosity of donors of unrestricted gifts to the UI Center for Advancement.

Read About the 2024 Presidential Lecture in Iowa Now:


41st Annual Presidential Lecture, Pathways to Discovery: Clinical and Legal Trials, Academic Rigor, and Public Perceptions


University of Iowa faculty members Christopher Coffey and Cristina Tilley will deliver the 41st Annual Presidential Lecture, "Pathways to Discovery: Clinical and Legal Trials, Academic Rigor, and Public Perceptions," at 4 p.m., Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in the Concert Hall of the Voxman Music Building. A public reception will follow.

The ultimate goal of academic research is to discover truth. Yet all discipline have their own principles of academic rigor, their own research processes, and even their own criteria for what constitutes "truth" in their areas of expertise. As well, "truth" always evolves with more information, data, and understanding. Academic pursuits become even more complicated when researchers and institutions communicate their discoveries to the public, who have their own perceptions of what constitutes the truth. Professors Tilley and Coffey will explore the academically rigorous processes of their respective disciplines—law and public health—in pursuing truth and the challenges of bringing discoveries to the general public.

2023: Rivers of Discovery- UI Research, Iowa, and the World

Included speakers:

Witold Krajewski - Director of the Iowa Flood Center

Kristy Nabhan-Warren - Associate Vice President for Research



2022: The University of Iowa at 175

Included speakers:

Craig Kletzing - Professor of Physics

Christopher Merrill -Director of International Writing Program

Patricia Winokur - Professor of Internal Medicine-Infectious Diseases


It's Not a Dream, It's a Memory

Ted Abel 

Director, Iowa Neuroscience Institute
Professor, Chair and Department Executive Officer of Neuroscience and Pharmacology 
Roy J. Carver Chair in Neuroscience

2020 : Violence, Syndemics, and the Biology of Trauma

Corinne Peek-Asa

Associate dean for research for the University of Iowa College of Public Health and professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health

2019: Violence Against Women: The Hidden Figures

Karen Heimer

Professor of sociology and Collegiate Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Courtesy appointment in the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies; Affiliate of the UI Public Policy Center

2018: Diabetes and Cardiovascular Complications

E. Dale Abel

Francois M. Abboud Chair in Internal Medicine; John B. Stokes III Chair in Diabetes Research; Chair and Department Executive Officer, Department of Internal Medicine; Director, Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center

2017: Global Reach of Air Pollution

Gregory Carmichael

Professor, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering; Director, University of Iowa Informatics Initiative; Co-director, Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research

2016: A Principled Defense of Freedom

Richard Fumerton

F. Wendell Miller Professor of Philosophy

2015: Food, Culture, and Community

Linda Snetselaar

Professor of Epidemiology

More lectures

Browse an archive of previous presidential lectures.