In this chapter the author briefly explores the challenges and the state of the public intellectual within the academy and the wider society, asking: Who will in our times ‘bestir the quiet voice of ethically engaged reason?’ The work of the public intellectual is situated within the charge of building the various publics that form and extend what Michael Oakeshott described as the ‘human conversation’. The unique opportunities found within education as an area of concern and moral practice that cuts across that conversation sets the stage for considering the place of senior academic figures, like Ivor Goodson, who live within the academy but reach beyond institutional academic silos to offer thoughtful warnings to help us to think more clearly about what we are doing and why we do it.