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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-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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Scholars’ Circle-US-Senate-/-US-Consitution-Mar. 29th, 2015
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Is the U.S. Senate simply too weak to govern? Our next guest suggests it is. Peter Hanson joins us, he is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Denver. His book is Too Weak to Govern: Majority Party Power and Appropriations in the U.S. Senate. [ dur: 28 mins. ]

  • Peter Hanson is a Professor i​n the ​Political Science Department at the University of Denver. He is the author of Too Weak to Govern: Majority Party Power and Appropriations in the U.S. Senate.

Later on the scholars’ panel we examine the politics of the U.S. Constitution. For decades the U.S. Constitution has been treated as a sacred document that should not be criticized, but some scholars say that many of the provisions within the constitution are at the root of the problems in the U.S.: in governance, in policy making and in political discourse. What are the problematic provisions and how can they be addressed? ​ [ dur: 30 mins. ]

  • Sanford Levinson is a Professor of Political Science and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Framed: America’s 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance, Our Undemocratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It) and Constitutional Faith.
  • Louis Michael Seidman is a Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law School. He is the author of Silence and Freedom, On Constitutional Disobedience and Our Unsettled Constitution: A New Defense of Constitutionalism and Judicial Review.
  • David S. Law is a Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis and the Martin & Kathleen Crane Fellow in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He is the co-author of The Declining Influence of the United States Constitution New York University Law Review.

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Scholars’ Circle-Danny Schechter-/-Children-of-Uganda-/-Bullies-Victims-Trauma-Mar. 22nd, 2015
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First, the world has lost another strong voice for ethical journalism. Last week Danny Schechter, often called “the News Dissector,” lost his battle to pancreatic cancer.

Danny Schechter is an award winning investigative journalist, documentarian, author and activist. He has produced a long list of important works with wide ranging topics, from Apartheid to economic scandals. In honor of Danny Schechter’s life we are re-airing an interview that we did with him, here on the Scholars’ Circle in 2010. We discussed the state of the media, media culture and its role, response and impact on the financial crisis, war and WikiLeaks. Danny Schechter’s kind heart, dedication and commitment to human rights and dignity can be heard in his voice, truly an honor to air this segment. Our hearts go out to Danny Schechter’s Family, Loved Ones and Friends.

  • Danny Schechter is an award winning investigative journalist, documentarian, author and activist. He is the author of When South Africa Called, We Answered: How the Media and International Solidarity Helped Topple Apartheid, Madiba A to Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela, and The Crime Of Our Time: Why Wall Street is Not Too Big To Jail.

Later, what becomes of the children who are abducted and forced into sex slavery and child soldiering? Our guest Jane Ekayu, a child trauma therapist, is helping children heal and rebuild their lives.

  • Jane Ekayu is a child trauma therapist and Founder and Executive Director of Children of Peace Uganda

Finally, on the scholars’ panel we take a close look at bullying. Bullies and victims of bullies are much more likely to develop psychological disorders such as agoraphobia, panic disorder, suicidal thoughts and aggressive behavior, as adults. In both adult and adolescent settings bullying cultures can emerge when bystanders and others disengage and allow the behavior to continue, ultimately creating abusive organizations. What is the long term effect on individuals and by extension on societies at large, resulting from bulling behaviors?

  • Joyce T. Heames is Chair and Professor of Management and Industrial Relations in the College of Business & Economics at West Virginia University. She is the author of A bully as an archetypal destructive leader.: An article from: Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies [HTML] [Digital], Bullying: From the Playground to the Boardroom.
  • Catherine Bradshaw is a Professor in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and has a joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins School of Education. She is the Deputy Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence and the Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Prevention and Early Intervention. Catherine Bradshaw is the co-author of Bullies, gangs, drugs, and school: Understanding the overlap and the role of ethnicity and urbanity.
  • Jaana Juvonen is Professor of Developmental Psychology in the Department of Psychology at UCLA. She co-authored Peer harassment in school: The plight of the vulnerable and victimized and Focus on the wonder years: Challenges facing the American middle school.

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Scholars’ Circle-Trans-Pacific-Trade-Partnership-Status-Mar. 15th, 2015
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We spend the hour exploring what could become the world’s largest trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). What could it mean for the countries that are considering signing onto it? Can it be democratic, humanitarian and transparent?

  • Raj Bhala is the Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law and Rice Distinguished Professor at The University of Kansas School of Law. He is the author of International Trade Law: Interdisciplinary Theory and Practice Documents Supplement and Trade, Development, and Social Justice.
  • Meredith Kolsky Lewis is a Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and at Victoria University of Wellington Law School. She is the co-editor of Trade Agreements At The Crossroads and co-author of International Business Law.

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Scholars’ Circle-Children-caught-in-Justice-System-/-XY-chromosones-/-21st-century-revolutions-/–Mar. 8th, 2015
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First, we discuss a disturbing trend of increasing numbers of school children being conditioned for the criminal justice system. We look at what one organization is dong to address this situation. [ dur: 8 mins. ]

Then, scientific discoveries about x and y chromosomes are challenging what we know about what makes us male or female. [ dur: 16 mins. ]

  • Jeremy Nathans is professor of molecular biology and genetics, neuroscience and ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His discoveries have changed our understanding of how humans see the world.
  • Melissa Wilson Sayres is professor in the School of Life Sciences and The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. Her research interests are in sex chromosome evolution, sex-biased processes, population genetics, and comparative genomics.

Finally, revolutions are not what they used to be. How have they changed? We’ll explore revolutions in the 20th and 21st Century. [ dur: 35 mins. ]

  • Leandro Vergara-Camus is professor at the Department of Development Studies at SOAS University of London. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Land and Freedom, The MST, the Zapatistas and Peasant Alternatives to Neoliberalism.
  • John Foran is professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of, Revolution in the Making of the Modern World: Social Identities, Globalization and Modernity, The Future of Revolutions: Re-thinking Radical Change in an Age of Globalization, and Taking Power: On the Origins of Revolutions in the Third World.
  • Jack A. Goldstone is professor of public policy at George Mason University. He is the author of Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World, REVOLUTIONS: A Very Short Introduction, and the co-editor of POLITICAL DEMOGRAPHY: How Population Changes are Reshaping International Security and National Politics. Editor of blog on the global economy and world politics at http://newpopulationbomb.com

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Scholars’ Circle-Climate-Change-Coastal-Effects-/-Myths-about-Addiction-Mar. 1st, 2015
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First, climate change, receding glaciers and melting ice sheets are causing the oceans to rise dramatically. What does that mean for the world’s coastal cities? [ dur: 15mins. ]

  • Andrea Dutton is a Professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Florida. She is the co-author of Tropical Tales of Polar Ice:Evidence of Last Interglacial Polar Ice Sheet Retreat Recorded by Fossil Reefs of the Granitic Seychelles Island published in Quaternary Science Reviews.
  • Brian Fagan is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is the author of The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels, Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind and The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

Then, on The Scholars’ Circle panel, science contradicts long held societal myths about addiction. What are the most effective means of addressing addiction? [ dur: 43mins. ]

  • Dr. Lance Dodes is a former Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of The Heart of Addiction: A New Approach to Understanding and Managing Alcoholism and Other Addictive Behaviors, Breaking Addiction: A 7-Step Handbook for Ending Any Addiction and The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Foote is the Co-founder and Clinical Director of the Center For Motivation and Change. Previously, he was the Deputy Director of the Division of Alcohol Treatment and Research at Mt. Sinai Medical Center and a Senior Research Associate at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. He is the co-author of Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change.
  • Dr. Adi Jaffe is a lecturer at UCLA and the Co-Founder and Executive Director at Alternatives Addiction Treatment.

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Scholars’ Circle-Climate-affect-on-Ecosystems-/-Wildlife-trafficking-Feb. 22nd, 2015
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First, scientists are saying the earth is changing more rapidly than we expected. Ecosystems are shifting and some species are dying out. What exactly is occurring and where are we headed? We speak with Larry Scheweiger, author of, Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth. [ dur: 27 mins. ]

  • Larry J. Schweiger is a former president and CEO of National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest conservation organization. Author of Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth

Then, on the Scholars’ Circle panel, wildlife trafficking is putting some species to the brink of extinction. Can a recent international agreement stop this multibillion dollar industry? [ dur: 30 mins. ]

  • David S. Wilkie PhD is a wildlife ecologist specializing in human behavioral ecology and anthropology. He is the Director of Conservation Support at the Wildlife Conservation Society and Adjunct Associate Professor at Boston College, and formerly co-chair of the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force. He has numerous scholarly publications and is a contributor to Huffington Post and LiveScience.
  • Tanya Wyatt PhD is lecturer of wildlife criminology at the University of Northumbria in the UK. She is the author of Green criminology & wildlife trafficking: the illegal fur and falcon trades in Russia Far East, and the book Wildlife Trafficking: A Deconstruction of the Crime, the Victims, and the Offenders (Critical Criminological Perspectives).
  • Marc Bekoff ( blog ), is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. His books include The Emotional Lives of Animals, Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed: The Fascinating Science of Animal Intelligence, Emotions, Friendship, and Conservation, and has co-authored, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals

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Scholars’ Circle-The-Great-Convergence-/-Humans-and-Other-Species-Feb. 15th, 2015
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First, in most parts of the world inequality is shrinking and the middle class is growing, it is what some call the great convergence. We will speak with Kishore Mahbubani author of, The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World. [ dur: 29 mins. ]

  • Kishore Mahbubani is Professor in the Practice of Public Policy and Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore

Then, on The Scholars’ Circle panel, scientists are increasingly finding similarities between humans and other animals. Other animals cooperate, communicate, spread culture and experience a wide spectrum of emotions including empathy, joy and jealousy. Their also similarly affected by disorders like addiction, depression, food disorders and self-harm which were once thought to be found only in humans. Just how similar are we to other animals and what might these findings teach us about the human condition and our relationship to other species? [ dur: 29 mins. ]

  • Marc Bekoff ( blog ), is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and co-founder with Jane Goodall of Ethologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. His books include The Emotional Lives of Animals, Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed: The Fascinating Science of Animal Intelligence, Emotions, Friendship, and Conservation, and has co-authored, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals,
  • Barbara Natterson-Horowitz is a cardiologist, the Director of Imaging at the UCLA Cardiac Arrhythmia Center and a cardiac consultant for the Los Angeles Zoo. She is the co-author of Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health.
  • Stan Kuczaj is director of The Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Laboratory at University of Southern Mississippi . He is coauthor/editor of Emotions of Animals and Humans: Comparative Perspectives (The Science of the Mind)

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