Who knew lectures could be so much fun?

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Dr. David Gray Adler is the anti-echo chamber.

Thursday night’s lecturer at the Coeur d’Alene Library Community Room has been rousingly applauded — and sometimes vilified — during his seven previous visits here. Some of the criticism has come from folks who disagree with his conclusions, which of course is fair game. But if you’re going to try to refute his research, you’d better come prepared.

Consider this your personal invitation. You’re warmly welcomed to join the fun at Thursday evening’s lecture. Doors open at 6 and the lecture begins at 7 sharp. There’s usually a full house, so don’t be late.

The lecture is sponsored by The Press, Friends of the Library, and CDA TV. The event wouldn’t happen without generous support from the Idaho Humanities Council.

Adler isn’t just a gifted speaker who uses no notes, he’s an internationally respected researcher and writer. Unlike citizens who thrive in echo chambers — those who seek confirmation of what they already believe and ignore or try to invalidate evidence to the contrary — Adler carries a big shovel and an open mind on his deep data digs. You know: Like actual researchers do. When he forms an opinion and decides to share it with his audience, his view is his own, but the foundation for the idea is at least based on strong research.

When you attend a David Adler lecture, you do much more than learn history behind today’s historical decisions and events. You experience an exercise in civil discourse. During the question and answer period following his lecture, Dr. Adler is always respectful, even when the occasional questioner might cross that line a bit. You’ll find that his verbal arsenal also contains a fully loaded sense of humor, which is both disarming and engaging.

On today’s op-ed page, Dr. Adler offers something of an appetizer for tomorrow night’s lecture. Nibble away and feel free to start conjuring up tough questions for the good doctor. He’s always been up to the challenge. We’re confident he will be again.

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