[Salon] Where transparency meets ignorance with Linsey McGoey

  • 28/11/2019
  • 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • WIELS, Avenue Van Volxem 354, 1190 Forest


  • Reduced rate for students, interns, unwaged. Please provide proof of status at the check-in.
  • Free: salon tickets included in annual membership fee

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Linsey McGoey 

Where Transparency Meets Ignorance

Evening Salon at WIELS / Thurs 28 Nov / 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Linsey McGoey, sociologist and proponent of ignorance studies, talks about her publication The Unknowers and explores relations between power and willful ignorance. Why do so many figures at the top still get away with it when disasters on their watch damage so many people's lives? Linsey offers an intriguing investigation into how elite ignorance rules the world, shattering the common notion that knowledge is power. 

On this occasion, Full Circle goes to WIELS! The event will take place within the context of the group exhibition Open Skies which questions the current regime of transparency and the desire to be all-seeing and all-knowing. (Participants will have access to the exhibition before the talk.)

Our partner, WIELS is the leading centre for contemporary art in Brussels. It presents innovative content in order to spark debate and reflection about the relations between art and society. 


  • 6:00 Doors open, visit to the exhibition Open Skies (30min)
  • 7:10 Talk by Linsey McGoey
  • 7:40 Table discussion
  • 8:10 Floor Discussion
  • 9:00 Event ends


Linsey McGoey is a social theorist and an economic sociologist. She is recognized internationally for playing a pioneering role in the establishment of 'ignorance studies,' an interdisciplinary field focused on exploring how strategic ignorance and the will to ignore have underpinned economic exchange and political domination throughout history. McGoey's personal and collaborative research is centered on developing new conceptual frameworks for understanding the political value of ignorance and the unknown. Most recently, her research has been path-breaking in exploring the politics of large-scale philanthropy, with particular attention to the rise and social implications of the new 'philanthrocapitalism'.  She hold advisory roles on several strategic boards of organisations addressing economic, financial and societal contemporary issues. She has held various visiting fellowships and her research has received widespread coverage in international media.


The Unknowers: How Strategic Ignorance Rules the World (2019)

No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy (2015)

An introduction to the sociology of ignorance: essays on the limits of knowing (2014)


Linsey McGoey at the University of Essex

Thoughts on philantrocapitalism

The Guardian, articles

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