Professor of Economics Glenn Loury was one of 20 professors named to the Playboy Honor Roll in the October edition of Playboy Magazine.
“These professors have been honored because of their uncanny ability to start conversations about difficult subjects, expand the boundaries of knowledge within their fields and tackle the problems and issues that we face as a society today, head-on,” Playboy publicist Steve Mazeika wrote in an e-mail to The Herald.
“I’m very happy to be included,” said Loury, who said he does not read the magazine. “Playboy magazine doesn’t have the best reputation, but it can have interesting articles that attract attention.”
The magazine called Loury a “Public Provocateur” and praised him as “a freethinker by nature” who “defies categorization.” Loury said he thought the description was accurate.
“If I can surprise (students) and argue all sides of whatever the question might be, then that makes me a better teacher,” he said.
Loury said he has “no idea” how he was selected for the honor, but suggested, “I have this profile as a public intellectual — someone who doesn’t exactly follow the script.”
Loury was one of the 200 professors nominated for the Honor Roll by “esteemed writers, academics, and contributors to the Playboy forum,” wrote Playboy Senior Editor Josh Schollmeyer in an e-mail to The Herald. Playboy editors chose 20 finalists based on their contributions to policy, society, the classroom and their field of study, he wrote.
Loury was chosen because “he’s not afraid to rethink and refine his positions as he continues to research them,” wrote Schollmeyer. “Professor Loury’s take on the issues he studies — namely race — is very refreshing.”
Loury said he wished that the article also included more of his current work on incarceration and the increasing reliance on prison as a way of dealing with social problems.
Other professors on the Honor Roll include Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Tod Machover, whose research resulted in Guitar Hero; University of California, Berkeley professor Dan Kammen, who serves as an adviser in the Obama administration; and Northwestern University professor Jennifer Richeson, who investigates the brain’s work behind political correctness.
Loury said he thought his fellow Honor Roll professors’ work was “innovative.”
At Brown, Loury most recently taught the course ECON 1370: “Race and Inequality in the U.S.” He is currently on sabbatical leave, spending the year in New York City as a visiting professor at Columbia.
Loury said he received notification by e-mail and telephone in July and was interviewed over the phone in August. The Honor Roll is part of Playboy’s annual college issue, which also features the Girls of the Pacific-10 Conference pictorial.
“There is no such thing as bad publicity,” Loury said.