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Story in the Public Square
29 minutes | 5 days ago
Examining Animal Rights in Industrial America with Ernest Freeberg
The end of the 19th Century in America, is often associated with the rise of profound social movements like the temperance movement; the women’s suffrage movement, and—more darkly—even the eugenics movement. Ernest Freeberg tells the story of the birth of the animal rights movement. Freeberg is a Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of Tennessee and is the award-winning author of “A Traitor to His Species: Henry Bergh and the Birth of the Animal Rights Movement,” which examines ASPCA founder Henry Bergh’s campaign to grant rights to animals in industrial America. He is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, has served on the editorial board of the “History of Education Quarterly,” and has produced several public radio documentaries. His research has been supported by grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Huntington Library, the Winterthur Museum, Newberry Library, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Spencer Foundation, Emory University’s Center for Humanistic Inquiry, and others. Freeberg has served as Chief Reader and test development committee member for the College Board’s Advanced Placement U.S. History exam. He is the author of “The Education of Laura Bridgman,” which won the Dunning Prize from the American Historical Association, “Democracy’s Prisoner,” a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist in biography, and winner of both the David Langum Award for Legal History and the Eli Oboler Award from the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Roundtable, and “Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America,” was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2014 by the American Library Association.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | 12 days ago
Grappling with Mental Illness in 20th-Century America with Robert Kolker
Every family has its secrets. Robert Kolker tells the story of an all-American family in the middle of the 20th century forced to grapple with that era’s stigma and tragic consequences of serious mental illness. Kolker is the New York Times bestselling author of “Lost Girls,” named one of the New York Times' 100 Notable Books and one of Publisher's Weekly's Top Ten Books of 2013. His most-recent book, “Hidden Valley Road,” a number-one New York Times bestseller and Oprah's Book Club selection, was published in 2020. His 2006 investigation into sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community helped bring an abuser to justice and was nominated for a National Magazine Award. His exploration of an eighteen-year murder-exoneration case and the police tactics that can lead to false confessions received the Harry Frank Guggenheim 2011 Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Award from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Other articles of note include the police shooting of Sean Bell, a close look at New York’s homelessness epidemic, and New York’s cover stories on airport safety and security, and Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s Miracle on the Hudson. Kolker’s journalism has appeared in New York magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, and The Marshall Project.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | 19 days ago
Navigating our Future with Big Tech with Alexis Wichowski
Our nationality has long been a part of how we identify ourselves. But Alexis Wichowski surveys the rise of “net states,” big tech companies that are, increasingly, taking on roles traditionally played by nation-states. Wichowski is a public servant, teacher, and writer. She serves as Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Innovation and Acting Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Broadband for the City of New York. She also serves as an adjunct associate professor in Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, teaching in the Technology, Media, and Communications specialization. She previously served New York City as an Associate Commissioner at the newly established Department of Veterans’ Services and a Disaster Relief Field Responder before and during 9/11. She has also served as Program Officer for the U.S. Department of State’s Office of eDiplomacy and Diplomatic Innovation Division and as Director of Media Analysis & Strategy at the Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations during the Obama administration. She regularly conducts research and writes about the impact of media, technology and government. Several of her recent publications include. “Net States Rule the World,” in WIRED, “What Government Can and Should Learn from Hacker Culture,” in The Atlantic and “The U.S. can’t regulate Big Tech companies when they act like nations,” in The Washington Post, among others. Her book, “The Information Trade: How Big Tech Conquers Countries, Challenges Our Rights, and Transforms Our World,” was published in 2020. Wichowski holds a PhD in Information Science from the University at Albany’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a BA in Chinese from Connecticut College.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | a month ago
Adapting to a Changing World with Jen Schwartz
Change may be an essential part of human existence, but Jen Schwartz explores the dislocations in human society caused by the speed with which the world is changing around us. Schwartz is a senior features editor at Scientific American who produces stories on the intersection of technology and the human condition. She specializes in writing about how society is adapting—or not—to a rapidly changing world, with a focus on climate change and digital disinformation. During the coronavirus pandemic she has written about the anguish of uncertainty, from the trauma of healthcare workers to the legacy of scientific racism to the chaos of media manipulation. She co-led the magazine’s 2019 special issue, “Truth, Lies & Uncertainty,” about making sense of reality in unreal times, and contributed an essay about how everyone is an agent in the new information warfare. Her feature, “Underwater,” about a New Jersey community that is radically adapting to sea-level rise, won the 2019 National Association of Science Writers “Science and Society” award. Schwartz previously worked as an editor or reporter at Popular Science, GQ, New York, Outside, Self, and The Boston Globe. She is a veteran researcher skilled in fact-checking and investigative reporting and holds a degree in journalism with a minor in environmental science from Boston University.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | a month ago
2020 Story of the Year: The Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on American Life
2020 is a year we won’t forget any time soon—though many of us might want to. From the impeachment trial of the president, through the pandemic, and the 2020 election, this year has seen more than it’s fair share of important narratives. Dr. Evelyn Farkas helps us make sense of them all and name our 2020 Story of the Year. Farkas is one of the nation’s premier voices on American foreign policy and geopolitics, and one of the nation’s most-trusted experts on U.S.-Russia relations. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, she was the U.S. Department of Defense’s top Russia expert under President Barack Obama. Farkas advised three U.S. Secretaries of Defense during her tenure at the Pentagon and was responsible for policy toward Russia and the surrounding region. She is an outspoken voice on how America should respond to adversaries and manage aggressors, ranging from Russia to North Korea to Iran. Expertly positioned to discuss the at times tenuous intersection of foreign objectives and domestic priorities, Farkas appears regularly as an NBC/MSNBC national security contributor to discuss hot-button geopolitical issues. She serves as Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and has penned research papers and op-eds featured in most leading publications. She discusses how America’s position abroad is shifting under the Trump administration, the global gamut of U.S. foreign and defense policy, and current national security challenges including Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | a month ago
Artistic Resilience with Gayle Kabaker
The uncertainty of a creative career—waiting for acceptance and dealing with rejection—can be an isolating experience. Gayle Kabaker turned artistic resilience into advice for coping through the pandemic. Kabaker is a graduate of the Academy of Art in San Francisco and has illustrated for various markets worldwide for over 35 years. She illustrated her first New Yorker magazine cover, “June Brides,” in 2012, which celebrated gay marriage, and has subsequently illustrated five other covers for the New Yorker. She uses travel as her inspiration, sometimes creating illustrated stories from her experiences. Kabaker enjoys collaborating with Animators, filmmakers, editors & musicians to match talent with various projects. She describes her creative process as “a combination of old school painting, mostly with Acryla Gouache paint, that I scan and finish in Photoshop.” She adds, “I am also dipping my toe slowly into the world of “fine art” and selling original paintings and prints.” Kabaker is also the illustrator of a book in art exhibition called “Vital Voices,” which celebrates a hundred women leaders and honors 100 years of women’s suffrage in America. Her portfolio with her illustrated stories and other projects can be found here.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Harnessing the Power of Laughter with Gina Brillon
There hasn’t been a lot to laugh about in 2020, but Gina Brillon reminds us of the power of laughter and good humor even amidst so much tragedy. Brillon is a standup comic, singer, published writer, and poet. Her newest one-hour comedy special, “Gina Brillon: The Floor is Lava,” is now available on Amazon Prime Video, along with her first one-hour special, “Pacifically Speaking.” She also performs in the HA Festival: The Art of Comedy on HBO Max. Her half-hour comedy special, “Easily Offended,” was one of the top shows from the Entre Nos franchise on HBO Latino, and streams on all HBO Digital Platforms. She has appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” E!’s “Chelsea Lately,” “The View,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Brillon also appeared on “Kevin Can Wait” on CBS and “The Conners” on ABC. In 2012, she became the first and only Latina winner of NBC’s Stand up for Diversity Showcase. The following year, she was a “New Face” at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival. In 2019, she was featured on Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias’ “Beyond the Fluffy Tour,” which visited 46 cities across the United States. She co-hosts the podcast, “Mess In Progress,” with Katherine G. Mendoza.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Making the Case for a Multiparty Democracy with Lee Drutman
America’s founders feared the rise of political factions that would pit Americans against Americans. Lee Drutman warns that the founders’ greatest nightmares have come true and threaten the health and welfare of our republic. Dr. Lee Drutman is a senior fellow in the Political Reform program at New America. He is the author of “Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America” and “The Business of America is Lobbying,” winner of the 2016 American Political Science Association’s Robert A. Dahl Award, given for “scholarship of the highest quality on the subject of democracy.” He is also the co-host of the podcast “Politics in Question,” and writes for the New York Times, Vox, and FiveThirtyEight, among other outlets.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | 2 months ago
Extraterrestrial Exploration with Andrew Siemion
Science fiction is full of stories about communication and contact with civilizations beyond the stars. Andrew Siemion leads a multi-national effort to scan the heavens for indications of intelligent life. Dr. Andrew Siemion is an astrophysicist and director of the Berkeley Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Research Center. His research interests include high-energy time-variable celestial phenomena, astronomical instrumentation and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Siemion is the Principal Investigator for the Breakthrough Listen program, the “largest ever scientific research program aimed at finding evidence of civilizations beyond Earth.” In 2018, he was named the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute and was elected to the International Academy of Astronautics as a Corresponding Member for Basic Sciences. In September 2015, he testified on the current status of astrobiology to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the United States Congress. He is jointly affiliated with Radboud University Nijmegen and the University of Malta.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | 2 months ago
Exploring Loss, Creativity, and Change with Maggie Smith
It is one of the cruel realities of life for every nation and every individual: we all suffer loss and disappointment. Maggie Smith is a poet whose new book offers wisdom—and hope—for anyone who knows that pain. Smith is the author of four books of poetry, including “Good Bones,” “The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison” and “Lamp of the Body.” Her latest book, “Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change,” a collection of essays and quotes, was released in October. She is also the author of three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems are widely published and anthologized, appearing in Best American Poetry, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Tin House, POETRY, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. In 2016, her poem “Good Bones” went viral internationally and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Public Radio International called it “the official poem of 2016.”See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | 3 months ago
Principled Leadership with Susan Eisenhower
In the pantheon of American presidents, perhaps none was better prepared for the job than Dwight D. Eisenhower. Susan Eisenhower shares with us the principles that guided Ike in war and in peace. Eisenhower is the CEO and Chairman of The Eisenhower Group, Inc., a Washington D.C. based consulting company founded in 1986, which has provided strategic counsel on business development, public affairs and communications projects for more than twenty-five years. She is the Chairman Emeritus at the Eisenhower Institute of Gettysburg College, where she served as president twice. She has also had a distinguished career as a policy analyst and has been a Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics and a Distinguished Fellow at the Nixon Center, now the Center for National Interest. She is the author of the recently published biography, “How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions.” In addition to “How Ike Led,” Eisenhower has written four trade press books, two of which were on regional best seller lists and has co-authored or co-edited four other books on international security issues and has authored hundreds of op-eds for newspapers such as the Washington Post and the LA Times.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | 3 months ago
Fighting Misinformation and the Pandemic with Ashish Jha
Whatever the final count of fatalities is in the United States from the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost is already far too high. Dr. Ashish Jha reminds us that there are still simple things that Americans can do to stay safe, to stay healthy, and to help fight the pandemic. Jha is a practicing physician and is the Dean of the Brown School of Public Health and professor of Health Services, Policy, and Practice after serving as the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute and teaching at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. He has been recognized as a global expert on pandemic preparedness and response in addition to health policy research and practice. He has led groundbreaking research around Ebola and is now on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, leading national and international analysis of key issues and advising state and federal policy makers. Jha has published more than two hundred original research publications in prestigious journals including the BMJ and New England Journal of Medicine and is a frequent contributor to a range of public media. He has conducted extensive research on improving the quality of health care and the reduction of its costs, focusing on the impact of public health policy both nationally and globally.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | 3 months ago
Child and Adolescent Mental Health in the COVID-19 Era with Gayani DeSilva
Pandemic, social unrest–Americans of every age are coping with the mental health consequences of this era. Dr. Gayani DeSilva cautions that the challenges of being a child or adolescent currently poses special health risks. DeSilva has been a psychiatrist for 15 years and focusses on enhancing the mental health of children and adolescents and their families. Much of her work addresses the complex array of needs with adolescent and young adult criminal and violent offenders to understand the interplay between mental illness, societal factors, and interpersonal issues. She is the author of “A Psychiatrist’s Guide: Helping Parents Reach Their Depressed Tween,” and “A Psychiatrist’s Guide: Stop Teen Addiction Before It Starts.” DeSilva obtained her medical training at Albany Medical College and completed her internship at Brown University, and her residency at Harvard University. She holds numerous awards and citations, and currently is on volunteer faculty at the University of California-Irvine and is Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Inland Empire Health Plan. DeSilva also co-hosts the podcast, “Chat and Chai,” which consists of 13 episodes, including “A Candid Conversation on Racism,” “A Discussion on Suicide, Warning Signs, Myths and More,” and “COVID-19 & Loneliness.”See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | 4 months ago
A Public Health Perspective on COVID-19 with Megan Ranney
COVID-19 has put America’s top doctors on the frontlines of a battle to save lives. Dr. Megan Ranney spends her days at the front, working in an urban emergency room where her training in public health and emergency medicine give her unique insights about the pandemic and the nation’s response. Ranney is a practicing emergency physician and researcher, focusing on the intersection between digital health, violence prevention, and public health. She is the current Warren Alpert Endowed Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital/Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Ranney is also the founding Director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health and Chief Research Officer for the American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine, the country’s only non-profit committed to using the public health approach to reduce firearm injury. She a founding partner of GetUsPPE.org, dedicated to matching donors to health systems in need of protective equipment. She completed her internship and residency in Emergency Medicine, Master of Public Health, and fellowship in Injury Prevention Research at Brown University.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | 4 months ago
Examining the Broad Reaches of Systemic Racism with Tricia Rose
Americans took to the streets after the murder of George Floyd, rejecting racism in all its forms. Tricia Rose explains that structural racism has a long history in the United States—and so do the efforts to combat it. Rose is Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. She also holds the Chancellor’s Professorship of Africana Studies and serves as the Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives. A graduate of Yale and Brown University, Rose authored “Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America,” “Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk about Sexuality and Intimacy,” and “The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop and Why It Matters.” She sits on the Boards of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Color of Change, and Black Girls Rock, Inc.. Focusing on issues related to race in America, mass media, structural inequality, popular culture, gender and sexuality and art and social justice, Rose engages widely in scholarly and popular audience settings. She co-hosts the weekly “The Tight Rope” podcast with Dr. Cornel West, covering a range of topics from pop culture and art and music, to the contours of systemic racism, philosophy, the power of Socratic self-examination.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | 4 months ago
Tackling Social Inequality with Eve Ewing
The artist’s role in society is to challenge us, to shine a mirror on our strengths and to expose our weaknesses. Through a remarkable body of work—poetry, visual arts, rigorous scholarship on race and society, as well as ground breaking work in comic books, Eve Ewing does just that. Ewing is an Assistant Professor in the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. She is a qualitative sociologist of education whose work is centered around two primary issues. First, how racism and other large-scale structures of social inequality impact the everyday lives and experiences of young people, and second, the ways public school systems serve to interrupt or perpetuate these social problems, and the role educators, policymakers, families, community members, and young people themselves play in understanding, acknowledging, and disrupting them. Ewing’s scholarship, community work, and classroom teaching are aimed at expanding the ways that urban school stakeholders, other researchers, and the broader public can be equipped to understand, respond to, and ultimately dismantle white supremacy, and to make school systems institutions of liberation, rather than oppression. Ewing is the author of “Electric Arches,” which received awards from the Poetry Society of America and the American Library Association and and was named one of the year’s best books by NPR and the Chicago Tribune. She is also author of “Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side,” “1919” and the co-author of “No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks.”See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | 4 months ago
"Quick Hits" News with David Shuster
Journalists often have a front row seat as history unfolds. Over the last 30 years, David Shuster has witnessed a scandal in Arkansas that reverberated in Washington, the attacks of 911, America’s Wars and every presidential campaign in between. Shuster is an Emmy award winning broadcast journalist who is best known for his work at NBC News and MSNBC where he hosted his own news shows and served as the primary backup host for “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” Shuster anchored the channel’s prime time coverage of breaking news stories including politics, natural disasters, and the death of Michael Jackson. As a field correspondent, his assignments included the Iraq war, the selection of a Pope, and Hurricane Katrina. Shuster was an evening news anchor for Al Jazeera America, where he guided the network’s political coverage. He most recently served as Anchor and Managing Editor for i24News, where he co-anchored prime time shows with Tal Heinrich.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
29 minutes | 5 months ago
Reporting on the Portland Protests with Noelle Crombie
While national media coverage often swoops in to cover local stories with national significance, local reporters are typically there from the beginning. They know the details. They know the sequence of events. And they know the community in which they are reporting. Noelle Crombie knows Portland as well as anyone and she’s been reporting on the protests and violence in that beautiful city. Crombie is a senior staff writer at The Oregonian. She writes extensively about criminal justice issues in Oregon. She was the lead reporter on “Ghosts of Highway 20,” a narrative series and 5-part documentary that won 5 regional Emmys and Oregon’s top investigative journalism award. Crombie led a 10-month investigation into sexual abuse allegations against a founder of Mercy Corps, an international humanitarian relief organization based in Portland. The Oregonian’s reporting prompted the immediate resignation of the organization’s CEO, one of its top lawyers and a veteran board member. The series won two regional Emmys and captured a top prize in the prestigious Pictures of the Year International competition. Previously, she worked as a reporter for The Day in New London, Connecticut.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | 5 months ago
Crafting Stories of Empathy with Paul Tremblay
Empathy is a recurring theme on “Story in the Public Square,” because it is central to the crafting of compelling stories—whether set in fiction or non-fiction. Paul Tremblay uses empathy to draw readers in to the strange and often terrifying worlds that he imagines. Tremblay is one of the best writers of horror and psychological thrillers today. He is the author of “The Cabin at the End of the World,” “Disappearance at Devil’s Rock,” “A Head Full of Ghosts,” the crime novels “The Little Sleep and No Sleep ‘Till Wonderland,” and the short story collection, “Growing Things and Other Stories.” His latest book is “Survivor Song,” set in a pandemic plagued world. He has won the Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, and Massachusetts Book awards and currently serves a member of the board of directors of the Shirley Jackson Awards. His essays and short fiction have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly online, and numerous years’ best anthologies. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | 5 months ago
Re-envisioning American Heroes with Candace Fleming
If you grew up in a household that prized reading, you probably recall a book from childhood that shaped your view of the world. Candace Fleming writes those books with an unflinching honesty about the subjects she presents. Candace Fleming is an educator, and speaker and author, who writes both fiction and non-fiction. She has written more than twenty books for children and young adults, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize honored “Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of the Russian Empire,” Boston Globe/Horn Book Award-winning biography, “The Lincolns,” the bestselling picture book, “Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!,” and the beloved “Boxes for Katje.”See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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