Scholars’ Circle – Cryptocurrency, Insight from Scholars – April 15, 2018

We spend the hour understanding crypto-currency. Will cryptocurrency profoundly alter the monetary system? What is the future of it? What are the pros and cons? And what do they mean for economics, for power and for society? [ dur: 58 mins. ]

  • David Golumbia, is Associate Professor in the Department of English; Media, Art, & Text Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of The Cultural Logic of Computation and The Politics of Bitcoin: Software as Right-Wing Extremism . His blog is uncomputing.org.
  • Gina C. Pieters is Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Trinity University, and an honorary Research Fellow at the University College London Centre for Blockchain Technologies. She is the author of the research papers Does Bitcoin reveal new information about exchange rates and financial integration?, The Potential Impact of Decentralized Virtual Currency on Monetary Policy and Cross-Country Distribution of Power and Exposure in the Crypto-Market.
  • Lee W McKnight is Associate Professor in the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. He is the co-author of The Gordian Knot:Political Gridlock on the Information Highway, Cloud to Edgeware: Wireless Grid Applications, Architecture and Security for the “Internet of Things”, Knowledge Networks, the Internet, and Development , and co-editor of Creative Destruction: Business Survival Strategies in the Global Internet Economy and Internet Economics.
  • Emin Gun Sirer is Associate Professor at Cornell University and Co-Director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts. He is the co-author of Majority is not Enough: Bitcoin Mining is Vulnerable, Managing the Network with Merlin. and On the Feasibility of Completely Wireless Datacenters. He developed the precursor to Bitcoin. His blog is HackingDisturbed.com

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Corporations in USA Gain Civil Rights -/- Known, Unknown and Forgotten legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – April 8, 2018

First, how did corporations get civil rights? The two-hundred-year battle to give corporations personhood and constitutional protections. [ dur: 34 mins. ]

  • Adam Winkler is Professor of Law at UCLA Law School. He is the author of Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms and We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights.

Then, while much of the country remembers Martin Luther King, Jr. as primarily a leader of civil rights and desegregation and a great orator, our next guests say he stood for so much more. Many aspects of his life, legacy & philosophy remain either unknown or conveniently forgotten. [ dur: 24 mins. ]

  • David Garrow is Professor of History and Law at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr: From “Solo” to Memphis.
  • Joshua Inwood is Professor of Geography and Africana Studies in the Geography Department at the University of Tennessee. His publications include, Nonkilling Geography, Searching for the Promised Land: Examining Dr. Martin Luther King’s Concept of the Beloved Community, and Street naming and the politics of belonging: spatial injustices in the toponymic commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Thomas Jackson is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He is the author of, From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Struggle for Economic Justice.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Stephen Hawkin’s Universe -/- 1980 Assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero – April 1, 2018

First, the legacy of Stephen Hawking and what he has meant towards the understanding of this universe.[ dur: 25 mins. ]

  • Peter L. Galison is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Director of the Collection of the Historical Scientific Instruments at Harvard University. He is the author of How Experiments End, Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps, and Image and Logic. He is also the co-editor of Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture, Science in Culture and The Architecture of Science. He is the co-director of the documentaries Ultimate Weapon: The H-bomb Dilemma and Containment.
  • Priyamvada Natarajan is Professor in the Departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University. Her publications include Rapid growth of seed black holes in the early universe by supra-exponential accretion and New observational Constraints on the Growth of the First Supermassive Black Holes.

Then, last week was the anniversary of the 1980 assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador. We’ll explore the case to bring his killers to justice. [ dur: 33 mins. ]

  • Matt Eisenbrandt is a former Legal Director for the Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA) and a member of the trial team that brought Archbishop Óscar Romero’s assassination to court. He is now the Special Advisor at the Canadian Centre for International Justice (CCIJ), where he helps survivors of torture, war crimes and other atrocities seek justice. He is the author of The Assassination of a Saint: The Plot to Murder Oscar Romero and the Quest to Bring His Killers to Justice.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – South Sudan -/- Political Knowledge informs Democratic Institutions – March 25, 2018

South Sudan is in crisis with tens of millions of people at risk of starvation over the next six months, according to the World Food Program. The conflict there has taken thousands of lives and forced millions to flee their homes. What is the scope of the problem? And what can be done to help the young country and its citizens. [ dur: 29mins. ]

Then, why do people seem to know so little about politics? And what does that mean for democracy? We speak with Arthur Lupia author of Uninformed: Why People Know So Little About Politics and What We Can Do About It. [ dur; 29mins. ]

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Insight into Water Crisis: reasons, effect on population and policy issues. – March 18, 2018

The world is facing a water crisis. In a new report the World Bank and the United Nations have reported that some 40 percent of the world’s population is effected by water scarcity, two billion people rely on unsafe water, and some 700 million people are at risk of being displaced by water scarcity. We spend the hour with four experts on water and water governance. [ dur: 58 mins. ]

  • Robert Glennon is a Regents’ Professor and Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy in the Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. He is the author of the books Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It, Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America’s Fresh Waters. and the report Shopping for Water: How the Market Can Mitigate Water Shortages in the American West.
  • Thomas A Perreault is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Geography at Syracuse University. He is the editor of Water Justice and The Handbook of Political Ecology, and many book chapters and journal articles on mining, development and ecological issues in Latin America).
  • Aimee Craft is Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba, Canada. She is the author of Breathing Life Into the Stone Fort Treaty. She directs the Anishinaabe water law. project.
  • Madison Condon is Legal Fellow at Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law. Her publications include The Integration of Environmental Law into International Investment Treaties and Trade Agreements: Negotiation Process and the Legalization of Commitments, Mixing and Transport in the Stockton Deep Water Ship Channel, and Pesticide Risk Indicators: Unidentified Inert Ingredients Compromise Their Integrity and Utility.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Public Corruption and Democratic Institutions – March 11, 2018

We continue our exploration of public corruption. We’ll examine the specific allegations related to U.S. President Donald Trump, his family and associates, and what their effects might be on governance and society. [ dur: 58mins. ]

  • Matthew Stephenson is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. His publications include Legislation and Regulation and the book chapter Corruption and Democratic Institutions: A Review and Synthesis. He is Editor In Chief of the Global Anticorruption Blog which tracks corruption in the Trump Administration. https://globalanticorruptionblog.com/
  • Richard Gordon is Professor of Law at Case Western University. He is also Director of the Financial Integrity Institute and Associate Director of the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center. He is the author of A Model Regulation on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and Public Corruption And Money Laundering.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Syrian Crisis – March 4, 2018

The United Nation’s Secretary General has called Syria hell on earth. How did it get this bad? What are the geopolitics? What about the rest of the Middle East? WE spend the hour answering these questions. [ dur: 58mins. ]

  • Laurie A. Brand is Professor of International Relations and Middle East Studies at the University of Southern California. She was the past president of Middle East Studies Association of North America. Her publications include Palestinians in the Arab World: Institution Building and the Search for State, Women, the State and Political Liberalization, Citizens Abroad: States and Migration in the Middle East and North Africa and Official Stories: Politics and National Narratives in Egypt and Algeria.
  • Fred H. Lawson is a Professor of Government at Mills College and Visiting Professor National Security Affairs at the Naval PostGraduate School in Monterey. His publications include Bahrain: The Modernization of Autocracy , Constructing International Relations in the Arab World, Why Syria Goes to War: Thirty Years of Confrontation, and Global Security Watch Syria.
  • Hamoud Salhi is Professor of Political Science and Middle East, and Associate Dean of the College of Social and Natural Sciences at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
  • William Harris is a Professor of Politics at Otago University and an award winning author. His books include Lebanon: A History 600-2011, The Levant: A Fractured Mosaic, and his latest Quicksilver War: Syria, Iraq and the Spiral of Conflict.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Interpreting 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America – February 24, 2018

With the latest lethal shooting in America, we spend the hour analyzing how the second amendment came to be interpreted as a individuals’ right to bear arms, and how this change contrasts with other changes in constitutional interpretation, including the right for marriage equality and human rights protection. We speak with David Cole. His latest book is Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law. [ dur: 58 mins. ]

  • David D. Cole is the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. He is author of many books including Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Birmingham, Alabama -/- Cost Benefit of Homeland Security -/- Eisenhower-Nixon Relationship – February 18, 2018

First, we’ll revisit the 1920 founding of Black History Month and the pivotal civil rights campaign in Birmingham. [ dur: 12 mins. ]

  • V.P. Franklin is the Distinguished Professor of History at University of California, Riverside. He is the author of Living Our Stories, Telling Our Truths: Autobiography and the Making of the African-American Intellectual Tradition as well as the editor of Journal of African American History.

Next, our guests suggest the government may be overreacting. We are joined by John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart, authors of, Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security. [ dur: 16 mins. ]

  • John Mueller is a Research Scientist and Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University and author of Retreat from Doomsday and War, Presidents and Public Opinion.
  • Mark Stewart is a Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Center for Infrastructure, Performance and Reliability at the University of Newcastle in Australia.

Finally, for President’s Day, we’ll take a peek inside the strange political marriage of Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon and how their terms shaped U.S. politics and policy. [ dur: 30 mins. ]

  • Jeffery Frank is a journalist and the author of Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Global Arms Trade -/- Poverty, Inequality and Social Mobility – February 11, 2018

First, a look into the murky world of the global arms trade and its cost to society, democracy and security. Andrew Feinstein ( link to his wiki page ) is author of The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade and Corruption Watch [ dur: 28 mins. ]

Then on the Scholars’ Circle, we look at poverty, inequality, and social mobility – both here in the U.S. and worldwide. [ dur: 30 mins. ]

  • Lane Kenworthy ( wiki page ) is a Professor of Sociology & Political Science at University of Arizona. He is the author of Progress For the Poor.
  • David A. Smith is a Professor of Sociology at UC Irvine. He is the author of Third World City.
  • Gregory Clark is Professor & Chair, Department of Economics, UC Davis. He is the author of Farewell To Alms.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

By Maria Armoudian