Category Archives: Scholars’ Circle Interviews

Information and recordings from Schloars’ Circle radio show is posted here.

Scholars’ Circle – Abortion limits and its consequence – September 24, 2023

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, what are the legal and medical ramifications of the huge geographical swaths of women who have no access to abortion? We discuss reproductive healthcare in a post-Dobbs world. What has it meant for the medical profession and the ways in which it had to alter some of the ways healthcare is provided? How have women sought to secure access to abortion in the areas of the country where it is not legal? Mifepristone, the medicine used to terminate pregnancy, faces severe challenges and restrictions. What does this mean for access to medicinal abortion access? What can the areas where it is legal do to help their counterparts in red states? [dur: 58mins. ]

West Alabama Women’s Center: https://alreprohealth.com/

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – History of Queer culture in Germany; LGBTQ rights struggle in US – September 17, 2023

What was the experience of gay people in East and West Germany during the Cold War? We speak with Samuel Clowes Huneke author of States of Liberation: Gay Men between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany. [ dur: 32mins. ]

Since the 2020 election, anti-transgender campaigns have been growing in the United States. What are these efforts? We look at the campaigns to curtail and reverse gay and transgender rights, in particular we explore campaigns such as Florida’s Parental Rights in Education act (dubbed by critics as “Don’t Say Gay” bill) and attempts to ban trans athletes in all levels of competition. [ dur: 25mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Recorded May 2022

Scholars’ Circle – Peaceful uses of Nuclear power and why arms control fails humanity – September 10, 2023

We explore a new book on the peaceful uses of nuclear power: The Wretched Atom by Jacob Hamblin.[ dur: 29mins. ]

Then, why arms control discourses are centered around western notions of modernity and civilization. What does it mean to decolonize the language around arms control? [ dur: 30mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – The future of Niger and Gabon after coup; Book: A biography of the judge who condemned the Rosenbergs – September 3, 2023

Africa has experienced numerous coups in the last 2 years. Most recently, Niger and Gabon have both seen civilian governments toppled by militaries in the last month. What does this mean for the future of African governance? Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 24mins. ]

The life of former Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Irving Robert Kaufman is the subject of a recent book. He condemned Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to death. His life and times offer insight into how judges can sometimes act in unexpected ways in the pursuit of justice. Guest hosted by Tim Fadgen of the University of Auckland, NZ. [ dur: 24mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Prosecution of Presidents Around the World – August 27, 2023

The criminal indictments of former President Trump have created a political crisis in their unprecedented nature. Historically, U.S. presidents have not faced criminal charges even in cases where there is a high likelihood of guilt, in large part due to respect for the office. Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon embodies this norm.

What can the U.S. learn from other countries that have prosecuted former presidents? And what can we learn from American history about the prosecutions of political figures? Is the prosecution of former heads of state simply the weaponization of justice mechanisms? And how common is this political charge? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Economic War: Ukraine and the Global Conflict between Russia and the West (Book) – August 20, 2023

The economic conflict between Russia and the West started before the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. How has the war in Ukraine affected it? How have the intense sanctions against Russia altered this economic war? Will the West remain unified in confronting Russia in this economic war?

In this episode, we will look at China, a potential Russian partner that could play a particularly significant role. Our discussion centers around a new book by Maximilian Hess, Economic War: Ukraine and the Global Conflict between Russia and the West. [ dur: 58mins. ]

Maximilian Hess is a Central Asia Fellow in the Eurasia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and the founder of the London-based political risk firm Enmetena Advisory.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Factory Farming of Animals, an Unsustainable Method of Food Production – August 13, 2023

Farming around the world, and in particular in the US, has increasingly become centralized as large factory farming. What are the environmental, social, and philosophical implications of this mode of agricultural production? [ dur: 58mins. ]

Factory farming carry significant challenges on environmental protection, on pricing and the centralization of wealth, and on social issues such as animal welfare and animal rights. We discuss agricultural policies and the environmental impacts including carbon emission, climate change and pollution.

This show was recorded Aug, 2022.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Organizing contemporary Labor unions in the US – August 6, 2023

Do High profile cases like the Teamsters, UPS workers, unionization at Starbucks and Amazon signal a new labor awakening in American politics?

Labor organizers are using a large range of issues, including women’s rights, LGBTQ representation and pride, and environmental activism to attract new members. Is this changing the conceptual divide between “culture war” issues and economic issues? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Author interview, On Disinformation, How to Talk to a Science Denier and Science Communication in a Crisis – July 30, 2023

Science is under attack. Who and what are behind the attacks? While we face catastrophic climate change and other pending disasters, how can we restore the public’s understandings about scientific realities? We explore disinformation and ways to communicate with non-scientists to loosen the grip the disinformants have on so many people. [ dur: 58mins. ]

  • Lee McIntyre is with us. He is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and a recent Lecturer in Ethics at Harvard Extension School. He is the author of How to Talk to a Science Denier , Post-Truth, and the forthcoming On Disinformation (MIT Press, August 2023),
  • Christopher Reddy is a senior scientist in the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and faculty member at MIT of the MIT/Woods Hole program in oceanography. He is the author of SCIENCE COMMUNICATION IN A CRISIS: An Insider’s Guide (Routledge; May 10, 2023).

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Insights into Private Military Corporations, their function and deployment by State and international corporations – July 23, 2023

Private Military Corporations have become a growing element of the warfighting landscape. States have historically had a monopoly on the use of military force. But private corporations challenge this monopoly. How much do they increase the lethality and likelihood of war? How much can private corporations be regulated? And what are the challenges to regulation? We explore the political, military, legal, and socioeconomic implications of private military corporations. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.