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The Scholars’ Circle is hosted by Maria Armoudian. Listen & search our archive of interviews.

 

 

   

Below are our 10 most recent recordings.

                    



Scholars’ Circle-Review-of-Green-Economy-/-Police-Culture-June 28th, 2015
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First, are some green solutions unhelpful for the environment or worse, do they actually harm it? Over the last few years more green solutions have emerged to address environmental crises. But our guest says some of these amount to lazy environmentalism and may have a dark side effect of camouflaging a larger problem. Heather Rogers argues that our current socio-economic system depends on pollution to maintain its own well being, if so what are the real solutions? Heather Rogers join us, she is the author of Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution. [dur: 13 mins. ]

  • Heather Rogers is a journalist and author. Her book Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution received the Editor’s Choice distinction from the New York Times Book Review, and Non-Fiction Choice from the Guardian (UK).

Then, police in the United States have shot and killed more than 500 people in the first half of 2015, according to a count by the Guardian. In fact, the police in the U.S. have killed more individuals in a matter of days than other countries do in years. Most victims are African American. Three experts join us, discussing race relations, police culture and society. [ dur: 45 mins. ]

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Scholars’ Circle-Resistance-to-Evil-/-Forgotten-Genocides-June 21st, 2015
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First, we continue our conversation with preeminent psychology scholar Ervin Staub. Last week we discussed how to build peaceful societies, particularly when some groups have been traumatized by violence, war or genocide. Erwin Staub’s latest book is The Roots of Goodness and Resistance to Evil. This is part two of our discussion. You can hear part one, here: http://www.armoudian.com/log/scholars-circle/scholars-circle-resistance-to-evil-the-systems-view-of-life-june-14th-2015/ [ dur: 27 mins. ]

  • Ervin Staub is a Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Founding Director of its Ph.D. concentration in the Psychology of Peace and Violence. He is the author of The roots of goodness and resistance to evil: Inclusive caring, moral courage, altruism born of suffering, active bystandership and heroism​, Overcoming evil: Genocide, violent conflict and terrorism and The psychology of good and evil: Why children, adults and groups help and harm others.

Then, our next guests participated in a standing room only, live forum that explored the roots of violence and genocide, identifying what they had in common and what it takes to prevent and heal in their aftermath. Our panel discussed how small scale violence against a targeted group can become genocidal and what we can learn from the three forgotten genocides. [ dur: 31 mins. ]

  • Dr Tracey McIntosh is a professor of sociology at the University of Auckland. She is the co-editor of Pacific Identities and Well-being: Cross-cultural Perspectives.
  • Dr. Panayiotis Diamadis is a professor of genocide studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. He is the author of Precious and Honoured Guests of the Ottoman Government.
  • Dr. Chris Wilson is a professor of political studies and international relations at the University of Auckland. He is the author of Ethno-religious violence in Indonesia: From soil to God.

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Scholars’ Circle-Resistance-to-Evil-/-The-Systems-View-of-Life-June 14th, 2015
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First, we speak with Erwin Staub about his latest book, The ​R​oots of ​G​ood​nes​s​ and ​R​e​s​ist​ance to ​Evil: Inclusive ​C​aring, ​M​oral ​C​ou​r​age, ​Altruism ​B​o​r​n of ​S​uffering, ​A​c​t​I’ve ​B​ystandership and ​H​e​r​oism. [ dur: 25 mins. ]

  • Ervin Staub is a Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Founding Director of its ​Ph.D. concentration in the Psychology of Peace and Violence.

Then, we speak with Fritjof Capra about his book The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision. He is also the author of, The Tao of Physics, The Turning Point, The Web of Life, The Hidden Connections, The Science of Leonardo, and Learning from Leonardo. This is part two of a two part interview. [ dur: 33 mins. ]

  • Fritjof Capra, physicist, system theorist, and science writer, founding director of Center of Eco-literacy in Berkley California. http://www.fritjofcapra.net – Blog

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Scholars’ Circle-Water-/-Communication-Technology-Affects-State-Power-May 24th, 2015
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First, how water has shaped our past and how new water challenges are shaping the future. We talk with Charles Fishman author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water. [ dur: 28 mins. ]

  • Charles Fishman, journalist and author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water

Later, on the scholars’ panel. New global developments are changing the structures and holders of power. With new technology and greater interconnectedness, states are losing power and non-state actors are gaining power. But what exactly does it mean to have power? And where exactly does power come from? [ dur: 30 mins. ]

  • Giulio M. Gallarotti, Professor of Government Studies, Wesleyan University; Author of The Power Curse: Influence and Illusion in World Politics
  • Joseph S. Nye Jr., Professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Author of The Future of Power
  • Erica Chenoweth, Professor of Government, Wesleyan University. Co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare)

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Scholars’ Circle-Living-off-Grid-/-Sixth-Extinction-/-Terrorism-a-Political-Violence-May 17th, 2015
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First, Living Off the Grid? A look inside the movement to live with total freedom and independence. Who is doing it? How and why? We speak with Nick Rosen.[ dur: 15 mins. ]

  • Nick Rosen. author of, Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America.

Then, planet earth is facing a sixth extinction. Can humanity rescue the planet that it has imperiled? [ dur: 25mins. ]

  • Annalee Newitz is journalist and author of Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction. She is the founding editor of the science and science fiction website i09.com.
  • Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff member at The New Yorker. She is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change, and her latest book The Sixth Extinction.

Finally, What exactly is terrorism? Where should it fall on the continuum of political violence? Prof. Dekmejian is the foremost expert of terrorism and genocide. He is the author of Spectrum of Terror. [ dur: 18mins. ]

  • Richard Dekmejian, is professor of Political Science, University of Southern California. He is author of Multicultural Societies in Conflict and Coexistence, Spectrum of Terror

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Scholars’ Circle-Unethical-Foreign-Policy-/-Celebrity-Industrial-Complex-May 10th, 2015
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What drives destructive or unethical foreign policies? Some point to pathological beliefs and pursuits of exceptionalism, honor and glory. Others point to systemic flaws. What are the consequences?
​ [ Time 14:00 ]​

  • Christopher Fettweis​ is a Professor of ​ Political Science​ at​ Tulane University​. He is the author of The Pathologies of Power: Fear, Honor, Glory and Hubris in U.S. Foreign Policy​​,​ Dangerous Times? The International Politics of Great Power Peace​ and Losing Hurts Twice as Bad: The Four Stages to Moving Beyond Iraq​​.​

Then, on The Scholars’ Circle panel, what is the celebrity industrial complex? How does it impact our democracy, our culture and our society?​ [Time 43:00 ]​

  • Joshua Gamson​ ​is a Professor of ​ ​Sociology​ ​at​ the​ University​ of​ San Francisco. He is the author of The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, The Music, The Seventies in San Francisco​,​ Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity​ ​and Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America.​
  • David Gilles is a Professor in Media Psychology at the University of Winchester. He is the author of Psychology of the media​, Media psychology​ and Illusions of immortality: A psychology of fame and celebrity​​​​.​
  • David Marshall is a Professor and Chair in New Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Deakin University, Australia. He is the au​th​​or of Celebrity and Power: Fame in Contemporary Culture, New Media Cultures and ​T​he Celebrity Culture Reader​.​

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Scholars’ Circle-Effects-of-Human-Rights-Law-/-Mysteries-of-the-Mind-May 3rd, 2015
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First, how is international law changing human rights and for war? Our guest Ruti G. Teitel, a professor of comparative law, says we are moving from protecting state security to increasingly protecting individual security. These shifts are influenced by the human rights frame and reshaping the scope of what she calls humanities law. [ dur: 15 mins. ]

  • Ruti Teitel is a Professor of Comparative Law, Chair: Global Law and Justice Colloquium and Founding Co-Director of the Institute for Global Law, Justice and Policy at New York Law School and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. She is the author of Humanity’s Law and Transitional Justice.

​Next, science is now taking us inside the mysteries of the mind. Can the brain now interface with computers to move matter? Will scientists be able to download our memories and then reload them? [ dur: 41 mins. ]

  • Dr. Michio Kaku is​ ​a Professor of Physics at​ ​City College of New York (CUNY)​ ​and​ ​the co-creator of string field theory, a branch of string theory.​ ​He is the author o​f ​Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100​,​ Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Explorations into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation and Time Travel​ ​and The Future of the Mind:​ ​The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind​.​

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Scholars’ Circle-Rwanda-Genocide-Anniversary-/-How-to-Stop-Cruelty-of-Armed-Conflict-April 19th, 2015
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First, in remembrance of the 21st Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, we revisit the tragedy with retired Lieutenant-General and Senator​ ​Roméo Dallaire who witnessed the atrocities first-hand.

  • Roméo Dallaire is a retired lieutenant-general and senator. In 1993, LGen Dallaire was appointed Force Commander for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), where he witnessed the country descend into chaos and genocide, leading to the deaths of more than 800,000 Rwandans.

Since his retirement, he has become an outspoken advocate for human rights, genocide prevention, mental health and war-affected children. He founded The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, an organization committed to ending the use of child soldiers worldwide. He is the author of Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda and They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers.

Next, war and armed conflict are declining on the global level, however atrocities, cruelty and lethal violence continue in many parts of the world. What justifies human cruelty? What is driving people to commit lethal violence and what can bystanders and others do to prevent their continuation?

  • Ervin Staub is a Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Founding Director of its ​Ph.D. concentration in the Psychology of Peace and Violence. He i​​s the author of The ​R​oots of ​E​vil: The ​O​rigins of ​G​enocide and ​O​ther ​G​roup ​Violence, The ​Psychology of ​G​ood and ​E​vil: Why ​Children, ​Adu​​lts and ​G​r​​oups ​H​el​p​ and ​H​arm ​O​ther​s and his recently published book The ​R​oots of ​G​ood​nes​s​ and ​R​e​s​ist​ance to ​Evil: Inclusive ​C​aring, ​M​oral ​C​ou​r​age, ​Altruism ​B​o​r​n of ​S​uffering, ​A​c​t​ive ​B​ystandership and ​H​e​r​oism.
  • David Livingstone Smith is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England. He is the author of Less Than Human: Why we Demean, Enslave and Exterminate Others.
  • John Kaag is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is the author of Neoconservative Images of the United Nations: American Domestic Politics and International Cooperation.

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Scholars’ Circle-The-Presidents-Club-/-Truth-about-Lying-April 12th, 2015
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First, we speak with Nancy Gibbs about one of the worlds most exclusive and influential clubs. Nancy Gibbs is Time magazine’s managing editor, and co-author of The Presidents Club: Inside the Worlds Most Exclusive Fraternity.[ dur: 29 mins. ]

  • Nancy Gibbs is the managing editor of TIME. She is the co-author of The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity.

Next, on The Scholars’ Circle we look at deception and lying. Some scholars say that deception is ubiquitous and normal in all human interactions, that lying is useful and possibly even biological. Others suggest that there is a cost to lying even for white lies. What is the truth about lying? [ dur: 29 mins. ]

  • Sissela Bok is a Sr. Fellow at Harvard University and formerly a Professor of Philosophy at Brandeis University. She is the author of Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life.
  • David Livingstone Smith is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of New England. He is the author of Why We Lie: The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind.
  • Charles V. Ford is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology in the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the author of Lies! Lies!! Lies!!!: The Psychology of Deceit.

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Scholars’ Circle-Rapid-Climate-Change-in-effect-/-Mass-Ocean-Life-Extinction-in-progress-April 5th, 2015
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First, scientists say the earth is changing more rapidly than we have expected. Ecosystems are shifting and some species are dying out. What does this mean for humanity? Joining us is Larry Schweiger, he is the author of Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth. [ dur: 23 mins. ]

  • Larry Schweiger is a former president and CEO of National Wildlife Federation.​ ​He is the author of​ Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth​.​

Next, on The Scholars’ Circle panel, scientists warn of a possible mass extinction in our oceans with far reaching consequences for human life, as well. But, they add that it is not too late to address it. What exactly is happening to life in the oceans and what can be done to avert a mass die off? [ dur: 35 mins. ]

  • Stephen R. Palumbi is a Professor of Marine Sciences and Director at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station. He is the author of The Evolution Explosion: How Humans Cause Rapid Evolutionary Change​,​ The Extreme Life of the Sea​ and​ co-author of the groundbreaking study Marine Defaunation: Animal loss in the global ocean​.​
  • Robert Warner is a Professor of Marine Biology at the University of California​,​ Santa Barbara. He is the co-author​ of the ​ ground-breaking study Marine Defaunation: Animal loss in the global ocean​.​
  • Mary A Sewell is a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland.

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