The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland

TASIS Speaker Series

Statement of Purpose

The TASIS Speaker Series (TSS) draws from some of the best elements of the TASIS identity—truth, goodness, beauty, international understanding, and humanitarian action—to provide TASIS students with a signature educational experience. Although the TSS focuses on students near the end of their TASIS careers, the program aspires to serve as an educative instrument for the entire division, creating opportunities for all High School students to interact with people and ideas of significance that are concerned with the world beyond our campus. Students enhance their intellectual experience through discussions, lectures, class visits, and film screenings focusing on these five elements. This program conveys a clear message to students about what the School hopes for and expects from them after they leave TASIS.


The TASIS Speaker Series, which was known as the Senior Humanities Program (SHP) until the fall of 2018, was initially made possible by a CHF 100,000 donation from TASIS parents Michael and Jane Grindfors to The M. Crist Fleming Endowment for International Understanding and Leadership in 2008. It remains an integral part of a TASIS education thanks to support from the TASIS Board of Directors and the work done by a dedicated group of teachers and students who created and continue this special program.

Speaker selection Criteria

The TASIS Speaker Series Committee seeks to select speakers that embody the five pillars of the program: truth, goodness, beauty, international understanding, and humanitarian action. In selecting the group of speakers, priority should be given to speakers who fulfill those five virtues in some capacity while not sacrificing their overall quality. In any given year there ought to be a variety of voices, backgrounds, and professions represented in the group of selected speakers. Ultimately, however, speakers should be selected on the basis of their ability to enhance the intellectual and moral experience of the outgoing seniors and the community as a whole.

Upcoming Speakers


Marcelo Gleiser | October 18

Dr. Marcelo Gleiser is the Appleton Professor of Natural Philosophy and a professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College. He obtained his Ph.D. from King’s College London, received the 1994 Presidential Faculty Fellows Award from the White House, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He is also the 2019 Templeton Prize Laureate, an honor he shares with Mother Teresa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and scientists Freeman Dyson and Martin Rees.

Dr. Gleiser’s books have been published in 15 languages and include The Island of Knowledge: The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning, A Tear at the Edge of Creation, and The Simple Beauty of the Unexpected. A world-renowned theoretical physicist interested in cosmology and astrobiology, he has published hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and more than a thousand essays and op-eds and frequently participates in TV documentaries and radio shows in the U.S. and abroad. He is the co-founder of the NPR blog on science and culture, 13.7: Cosmos & Culture. He currently directs the Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth College and writes weekly for Orbiter Magazine.


TASIS Speaker Series News