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Ethics Columnist Randy Cohen to Present Carleton Convocation

May 10, 2013
By Jacob Cohn '13

Randy Cohen, a writer best known as the author of a long-running New York Times Magazine column on ethics, will deliver Carleton College’s convocation address on Friday, May 17. Cohen’s presentation, entitled “How To Be Good,” explores what he considers to be the means of creating more virtuous communities. Convocation is held from 10:50-11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel, and it is free and open to the public. Convocations are also streamed live and can be viewed online at

Randy Cohen was the author of “The Ethicist,” a column in the New York Times Magazine, from 1999 until 2011. The column explored ethical questions and the meaning of an ethical life. His latest book, “Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything” (Chronicle Books, 2012), tackles everyday ethical issues in a question-and-answer format. Cohen is also the author of “The Good, The Bad and the Difference” (Three Rivers Press, 2003), a compilation of the best of his Ethicist columns. 

Cohen notably had no background in ethics before coming to the New York Times Magazine and has said that he never intended to become an ethicist. Before beginning his column Cohen was the first head writer for The Rosie O’Donnell Show and previously worked as a writer for Late Night with David Letterman. Cohen has also written for Slate, The Washington Post and The New Yorker, among other publications. He is also a former contributor to All Things Considered, National Public Radio’s flagship news program. 

For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Office of College Relations at (507) 222-4308. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street between College and Winona Streets in Northfield.

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