ISI’s Gala for Western Civilization

On September 19, 2019, ISI honored the great conservative thinker Sir Roger Scruton with the Defender of Western Civilization award. Guests were also treated to remarks by journalist John O’Sullivan and philanthropist Rebekah Mercer.

Sir Roger Scruton honored with the Defender of Western Civilization award

“Our greatest living conservative thinker.” —Daniel Hannan, author, journalist, and politician

“One of the most eminent philosophers in the world.” —Robert P. George, Princeton University

“The world’s greatest conservative thinker.” —Institute for Public Affairs

“The greatest living conservative philosopher.” —The Spectator

“A virtuoso in so many genres that it is almost impossible for any ordinary person to assess his accomplishments.” —Daniel Cullen, Rhodes College

That is just a sampling of the praise for Sir Roger Scruton.

At ISI’s fourteenth annual Gala for Western Civilization in Philadelphia on Thursday, September 19, 2019, ISI presented Scruton with the Defender of Western Civilization Award. It was a fitting honor for the man widely regarded as the most important conservative thinker of our time.

You can watch his acceptance remarks here:



About Sir Roger Scruton

Sir Roger ScrutonSir Roger Scruton (1944–2020) was one of the world’s leading conservative thinkers. In his nearly fifty books, he explored the philosophical depths of human nature, politics, and culture. His many works include How to Be a ConservativeThe West and the RestBeautyFools, Frauds, and Firebrands; and Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition. Reviewing the last book in the Wall Street Journal, historian Richard Aldous called it “one of the most eloquent and even moving evocations of the conservative tradition in Western politics, philosophy and culture I have ever read.”

Scruton founded the Salisbury Review and later served as a visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a fellow of the British Academy. In 2016 Queen Elizabeth II knighted Scruton for his services to “philosophy, teaching, and public education.”

In addition to all his contributions as an intellectual, Scruton dedicated himself to the practical cause of freedom. Most notably, he actively supported dissidents behind the Iron Curtain and helped establish underground education networks there. For many around the globe who have risked their lives to challenge totalist ideologies and regimes, Scruton is both philosopher and hero.