Welcome to The Scholars’ Circle

Producers: Maria Armoudian (host), Doug Becker (host), 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 – Capital Punishment in USA and reasons why it faces increased opposition – October 17, 2021

The death penalty in the United States has faced increased opposition based on ethical, political, and legal concerns. Several states have outlawed it, but the federal government has returned to its use with a feverish wave of state executions last year. We discuss the implications of the use of the death penalty in the US and examine additional forms of extreme sentencing, such as life without parole. [ dur: 58mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – Examining Disability and Ableism – October 10, 2021

The rights of persons with disabilities is a growing and important area of human rights. But what does it mean to ensure equal treatment under the law? What exactly is a disability, and who makes the judgment? And what do we mean by ableism? [ dur: 58mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – Impact of American Lawyers on International Human Right Cases ; One Year after Armenia and Azerbaijan war – October 3, 2021

We interview Maria Armoudian who has published a book on international human rights and the role that lawyers have played at advancing cases against human rights abusers. Maria Armoudian is the author of Lawyers Beyond Borders : Advancing International Human Rights Through Local Laws and Courts. [ dur: 30 mins. ]

Then, we explore the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan a year after the war over the disputed region of Ngoro-Karabagh. What is the current status of the region following the cease-fire? Is there possibility of lasting peace? [ dur: 26 mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – Cultural experiences affects Mental Health diagnosis and treatment – September 26, 2021

How culture shapes our understanding and treatment of mental health. We speak with three experts. [ dur: 58 mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – Roe v Wade is likely to be overturned by US Supreme Court – September 19, 2021

The Supreme Court signaled with their upholding of the Texas abortion law that Roe v Wade is likely to be overturned. What does this mean for the reproductive rights of women around the country, and in particular women of color and poorer women? Is it the end of women’s rights to reproductive choice established by Roe v Wade? We look at how are many women ensuring access to abortions in light of the closure of abortion clinics. [ dur: 58mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – California recall process and democracy ; Why people follow QAnon – September 12, 2021

California’s Recall process is broken. It may well be unconstitutional and undemocratic. With an upcoming recall election, we explore these issues and discuss potential reforms. [ dur: 28mins. ]

Q Anon has grown significantly in the last few years. We explore a new book that explains the conspiracy theory with the authors.
Why did Q Anon become so widespread? Who does the theory appeal to? And how is it harming individuals and society? [ dur: 28mins. ]

Together they have authored PASTELS AND PEDOPHILES: Inside the Mind of QAnon

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

Scholars’ Circle – How Haiti became an impoverished nation due to External and Internal Forces – September 5, 2021

Haiti has yet again suffered through a major political crises and an earthquake. Is the humanitarian and economic aid coming from abroad helping or harming the nation?
A parallel government of NGO’s may have removed sovereignty from the Haitian people. What does this mean for the county, its people and their future. [ dur: 58mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – Afghanistan, US ends 20 year stay and Taliban Takeover – August 29, 2021

The conflict in Afghanistan has transformed with the US withdrawal. We examine why the government fell and the impact on the country and the region.

What are the security threats within the country and the potential for increased violence with the fall of the government in Afghanistan? [ dur: 58mins. ]

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

Scholars’ Circle – IPCC report analyzed, importance of Mitigation to assist Adaptation to new climate realities – August 22, 2021

The IPCC’s assessment on climate change warns us of the environmental risk if we don’t take dramatic action. We explore the report, the state of scientific research on climate change, and the need for political action. What actions do we need to take to mitigate and adapt to climate change?

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

Scholars’ Circle – Election Laws in America ; Underestimated Impact of Seabed Mining – August 15, 2021

Since the 2020 election, Republican state legislators have passed a series of laws intended to shrink the number of eligible voters in future elections. What are the legal implications and what does this mean for the future of American democracy? Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 36mins. ]

The search for minerals is leading some corporations to begin mining the ocean floor but scientists warn that this could devastate fragile ecosystems that will have repercussions that we still don’t understand. What is going on in the deep sea? What precautions should be taken to prevent devastating fragile ecosystems? hosted by Maria Armooudian. [ dur: 22mins. ]

  • Craig Smith is Professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawai’i.
  • Verena Tunnicliffe is a marine biologist at the University of Victoria in Canada where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Deep Ocean Research.

They are co-authors of the study Deep Sea Misconceptions Cause Underestimation of Seabed-Mining Impacts.

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