Welcome to The Scholars’ Circle

Producers: Maria Armoudian, Ankine Aghassian & Melissa Chiprin
contact us : host (at) scholarscircle.org

The Scholars’ Circle is a weekly production. Our library contains interviews from 2011 to present.

Below are our 10 most recent recordings.



Scholars’ Circle – Measuring Environmental impact of the US Military – April 5, 2020

We spend the hour looking at the environmental impact of the US military. How much does the US military pollute the environment? What is their role in climate change causing green house emissions? The military has taken some measures to reduce its impact on the environment and green gas emissions, but our guests say these measures do little to assuage the military’s bigger effects on climate change. What are these effects and what can be done about them?[ dur: 58mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – What do we lose when we lose control of privacy? – March 29, 2020

Is the age of privacy over? We spend the hour on technology, spying and privacy, exploring how privacy, and the lack of it, affects security, democracy and society. What exactly is at stake when we lose our privacy? [ dur: 58 mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Human rights and war shaping international law -/- An Urgent effort to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons – March 15, 2020

First, how is international law changing for human rights and for war? Our guest says we are moving from protecting state security to increasingly protecting individual security. The shifts are influenced by the human rights frame and are reshaping what she calls “humanity’s law.” [dur: 15mins. ]

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

Then, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is the most broad sweeping attempt to ban nuclear weapons. Guest host Doug Becker looks at the motivations behind the treaty, its relative importance on nuclear states decisions, and its prospect for eventual adoption.[ dur: 42mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

  • Ira Helfand, MD is co-chair of the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)’s Nuclear Abolition Committee. He is also a member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)’s International Steering Committee. He has co-authored PSR’s “Nuclear Famine: 2 billion at Risk?
  • Wayne Glass is Professor Emeritus in the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California. He is the former Senior Defense Policy Advisor to Senator Jeff Bingaman on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Interview with Suicide Bombers -/- Transmission of Trauma from parent to child – March 8, 2020

First, from broken heart to suicide bomber we explore the various drives that fuel deadly terror. [dur: 17mins. ]

Then, is the transmission of trauma multi-generational? Do the children of survivors of mass atrocities have higher risk of developing psychological disorders? What are the social and behavioral factors that result in the trauma of successive generations? We look at the impact of survivors’ post-trauma adaptational style in their children’s eyes. [ dur: 40mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Global spread of Coronavirus -/- Insights on Conspiracy Theories – March 1, 2020

Global alarm over COVID-19 also known as Coronavirus . How did it began? How dangerous is it? What needs to be done now to protect public health.[ dur: 22mins. ]

Guest host Sam Smith examines the flourishing of conspiracy theories. What are they? How dangerous are they? [ dur: 35 mins. ]
For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Understanding Climate and Ecosystem Tipping Points – February 23, 2020

We spent the hour looking at the science of tippings and what they mean for our climate and our ecosystems on land and in water today. What causes these types of sudden changes? And how can society be better prepared for such events? We spoke with three scientists whose studies involve tipping points, how they happen and their effects.[ dur: 58mins. ]

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – US role in Israel and Palestinians peace promotions -/- Modern Diseases – February 16, 2020

What’s the role of the US in promoting peace between Israel and Palestinians? What’s the likelihood of its success? Doug Becker hosts. [ dur: 36mins. ]

  • Brent Sasley is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas, Arlington. He is the author of the book Politics in Israel: Governing a Complex Society and the Washington Post article The White House Peace Plan Puts Israel’s Concerns First – and Shortchanges Palestinians.
  • Fayez Hammad is Lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Studies at The University of Southern California. He is a frequent commentator on Middle East politics.

Sanitation and antibiotics have saved the lives of many, but are they also the culprits behind some of modern diseases? We might have gone overboard in killing our microbes and that may be causing some of today’s epidemics. [ dur 22mins. ]

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Fractured United States, its history and reasons -/- creating people spaces, city places – February 9, 2020

First, the historical roots of the present day political turmoil, divisions, and partisanship in the United States. The fault lines that fractured the United States. [ dur: 38mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

Then, how does the design of a city and its architecture affect democracy, community, our psychology and public health? [ dur: 20 mins. ]

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Insight into Proxy wars and it’s consequence -/- Are Frequency of Volcanic eruptions affected by Climate Change? – February 2, 2020

First, why do states choose to use third parties to intervene in other nation’s civil wars and political conflicts? On today’s show we interview Andrew Mumford on the legality, efficacy, and implications of the waging of proxy warfare. Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 21 mins. ]

In December unexpected volcanic eruption in White Island, NZ. killed 21 people, recent Taal volcano erupts in Philippines caused thousands of people to flee the area, from Ecuador warning of pending eruptions. With Climate Change will volcanic eruptions become more frequent? By looking at ice cores, chemistry, size of eruptions, volcanoes buried in glaciers we get insight into this question. Hosted by Maria Armoudian. [ dur: 35 mins. ]

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Study on emigrant’s positive effects on democracy -/- Understanding Public Diplomacy – January 26, 2020

First, how emigration could lead to greater democratization in the world. [dur: 11 mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

Then, today’s panel hosted by Professor Doug Becker, International Studies at University of Southern California (USC), lays the foundations of public diplomacy, its techniques, and its effectiveness. It then examines the role of new technologies in the digital age and how it poses new challenges and opportunities. [ dur: 45 mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.