Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, member of the National Academy of Sciences

Sunday, April 22
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Old South Meeting House

Our planet has become warmer in recent decades, and there is a growing chorus—as evidenced in the recently released summary report of the U.N. Panel on Climate Change—claiming that, unless we curb production of greenhouse gases, the consequences will be disastrous. However, some still remain unconvinced that economy-wide carbon caps and similar regulatory measures will help the situation, the President among them. Does the cost of regulation outweigh the damage of inaction? Should the United States government take dramatic public policy steps and become a party to international treaties, or continue to wait and see? Should we brace for stronger hurricanes, invasions of tropical diseases, and significant increases in sea levels, or is the danger overstated? Prof. Richard Lindzen steps into the fray to offer his view that irrational alarm may be clouding our judgment. Join us for tonight’s discussion as we explore what the future holds for our planet—and what we should do about it.

This program is part of the Ford Hall Forum’s continuing series on environmental issues. It is presented in collaboration with the Old South Meeting House as part of the Partners in Public Dialogue Series.

Herman Badillo, counsel to the law firm of Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath & Cannavo, former deputy mayor of New York, and former U.S. Congressman. Moderated by State Representative Jeffrey Sanchez.

Sunday, April 1
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Raytheon Amphitheater, Northeastern University

Since our nation’s founding, those who come here fleeing poverty and persecution abroad have formed a vibrant and important part of American culture. Today, however, America is facing an onslaught of issues surrounding immigration, both legal and illegal. Herman Badillo, who rose from poverty to become the first Puerto Rican native elected to the U.S. Congress, says his community’s path to prosperity, political unity, and the American mainstream must be through self-reliance. “We must not delude ourselves believing that government will provide Hispanics with adequate health care, employment, or housing for all,” he says, “or even offer our children a proper education.” Does liberal social policy do more harm than good? Does success for immigrant communities lie in the restoration of traditional values: hard work, thrift, and integrity? Join us tonight, as Herman Badillo addresses questions that impact every American.

Marshall Goldman, Katherine Wasserman Davis Professor of Russian Economics at Wellesley College (Emeritus), associate director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University; Uri Ra’anan, director of the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology, and Policy, and professor of international relations at Boston University.

Thursday, March 22
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Old South Meeting House

Russia is reemerging as an international power—as strong as in czarist or Soviet times—and President Vladimir Putin shows troubling tendencies of reverting to authoritarian and imperial habits. Russia recently overtook Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading producer of oil, and it has demonstrated a clear willingness to flex this muscle on the world stage. Within its own borders, corruption, contract killing, and media censorship have become routine. Should we regard this nation as a threat to the West, or as an ally? How does its use of energy supplies as an instrument of foreign policy affect global markets? In a country that historically lacks a mechanism for legitimate succession, what should we expect as Putin steps down in 2008? Tonight, two renowned scholars Prof. Marshall Goldman and Prof. Uri Ra’anan, join us to explore the impact of the Kemlin’s concentrated political power in an age of booming oil and gas wealth.

This program is presented in collaboration with the Old South Meeting House as part of the Partners in Public Dialogue Series.

Ali S. Asani, professor of the Practice of Indo-Muslim Languages and Culture at Harvard University, member of the Board of Directors of the American Islamic Congress; Mona Eltahawy, award-winning New York-based journalist and commentator, international lecturer on Arab and Muslim issues. Moderated by Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe columnist.

Thursday, March 15
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Old South Meeting House

The world’s 1.4 billion Muslims encompass an enormous range of beliefs and practices, a world of cultures—from Arab to post-Soviet to Indian to American, and a wide spectrum of movements—from liberal progressive to Islamist. However, today’s headlines all too often highlight the familiar stories of violence and extremism within the Islamic world. Is religion truly the driving force behind these actions? Where is the space for voices of the moderate majority to be heard? In our country, where many became acquainted with Islam only in the context of September 11th, how can we better understand this major world religion? Tonight, Prof. Ali Asani and Mona Eltahawy explore the tensions within modern Islam and how we can better understand them.

This program is presented in collaboration with the Old South Meeting House as part of the Partners in Public Dialogue Series.

George Lakoff
Thursday, june 5
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Boston Public Library, Abbey Room

Professor George Lakeoff, author of Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think, Whose Freedom?, and Don’t Think of an Elephant!, explores the connections between cognitive science and political action. Why do many American vote against their own interests? Humans, he argues, are not the rational creatures we’ve so long imagined ourselves to be. Any savvy political campaigns should not assume people will use an objective system of reasoning when deciding how to vote. Lakoff joins us tonight to discuss his new book, The Political Mind, and explore how the mind works, how society works, and how they work together.
Book Signing will follow lecture and discussion.

Yaron Brook
Thursday, May 8
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Old South Meeting House

In 1969, Ayn Rand’s Ford Hall Forum talk, “Apollo and Dionysus,” addressed the near simultaneous events of Woodstock and the first lunar landing. Employing Greek mythology’s god of the sun and god of wine, she compared the aweinspiring accomplishments of NASA’s Apollo space program to the famous three-day concert that has come to exemplify the counterculture of the 1960s and the “hippie era.” Almost four decades later, Dr. Yaron Brook, President and Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institute, reflects on her words and takes a new look at our society’s drives toward individualism versus wholeness, light versus darkness, and civilization versus primal nature.
The program is presented in collaboration with the Old South Meeting House as part of the Partners in Public Dialogue Series.

Cecile Richards
Thursday, May 1
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Old South Meeting House

“You all know that i have been gagged. I have been suppressed. I have been arrested numerous times. I have been hauled off to jail. yet every time, more people have listened to me, more have protested, more have lifted their own voices.” Thus read Arthur Schlesinger, Sr. in 1929 as Margaret Sanger sat silent beside him on the stage of Ford Hall, banned under court injunction from speaking herself. Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, joins us tonight to reflect on that event; its meaning, its messengers, and the era that gave us the phrase, “Banned in Boston.”

This program is presented in collaboration with the Old South meeting House as part of the partners in Public Dialogue Seriers.

Danny Schechter
Thursday, April 17, 2008
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Old South Meeting House

Danny Schechter “The news Dissector,” launched a media career in Boston on WBCN Radio. He became a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at harvard, a reporter at WGBH, a producer at WLVI and WCVB, and then went on to CNN and ABC News where he won two Emmys. However, he believes media, the field in which he has worked for four decades, is harming our democracy. Are major corporations capable of presenting the news effectively? Can independent media — empowered with the tools of a technological revolution — do any better? Schechter joins us tonight to look back on his journey from Boston to the world stage and explore the rapidly changing ways in which we receive our information.
This program is presented in collaboration with the Old South Meeting House as part of the Partners in Public Dialogue Series.

Herman Badillo
Sunday, April 13
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Old South Meeting House

Since our nation’s founding, those who come here fleeing poverty and persecution abroad have formed a vibrant and important part of American culture. Today, however, America is facing an onslaught of issues surrounding immigration, both legal and illegal. Congressman Herman Badillo, who rose from poverty to become the first Puerto Rican native elected to the U.S. Congress, says his community’s path to prosperity, political unity, and the American mainstream must be through self-reliance. Does liberal social policy do more harm than good? Does success for immigrant communities lie in the restoration of traditional values? Join us tonight as Herman Badillo addresses these questions that impact every American.
Book signing will follow lecture and discussion.
This program is presented in collaboration with the Old South Meeting House as part of the Partners in Public Dialogue Series.

Strobe Talbott
Thursday, April 3
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Boston Public Library, Abbey Room

In his new book, The Great Experiment, Strobe Talbott, former Deputy Secretary of State (1994 – 2001) and current president of the Brookings Institution, recounts the progression to a global nation (i.e. The League of Nations and the U.N.). Through the lens of history and personal experience, he assesses the prospects for global cooperation and the United States’ role in the process. What can we learn from empires and conflicts of the past? Can a world made up of many nations govern itself peacefully? Talbott joins us tonight to give us an insider’s opinion of current United States foreign policy and explain why he believes we should take the lead in multilateral global politics for the future.
Book signing will follow lecture and discussion