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College of Arts and Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences

Lecture Series: Previous Projects



Lacovara cancellation

  Lecture cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.


Lynch Lecture

Donald Trump has promised a bold new approach for the United States in the Middle East. His administration has focused on combating Iran and Islamic extremism, while downplaying democracy and human rights. Will Trump actually be able to fundamentally change America's role in the Middle East, or will he find his administration battling the same intractable conflicts and contradictions which have bedeviled his predecessors? Will his policies drive the US towards war with Iran or Syria?

Bio: Marc Lynch is a professor of political science at the George Washington University, and a nonresident senior fellow in Carnegie’s Middle East Program. He is the director of the Project on Middle East Political Science, an international network of scholars, and a contributing editor of the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog. In 2016, he was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow to conduct research on the legacies of post-Arab uprising violence. His most recent book is The New Arab Wars: Uprisings and Anarchy in the Middle East. New York: Public Affairs. 2016.



CAS Lecture Series: Dr. David Helfand


The Earth’s climate is changing. That’s both beyond dispute and nothing new. The important questions are What’s driving this change? How fast will change occur? What does the future hold? Few public debates are carried out with so much misinformation and irrational exuberance. So now for something completely different: a dispassionate analysis of what we actually know and
what we don't yet know about climate change. My approach is to distinguish facts from fictions, and physics certainties from feedback uncertainties. Every planet's temperature is controlled by a simple balance between the energy it receives and the energy it radiates back into space, and we examine each of the factors affecting this balance in turn.

Bio: Dr. Helfand made his reputation as chair of Columbia’s astronomy department for about half of his 39 years as a faculty member, authored close to 200 scientific publications, mentored 22 doctoral students and helped create Quest University Canada, where he served as president and vice chancellor from 2008 to 2015 and is now president emeritus. His passion remains teaching science to non-science majors which directly influenced his instituting the first change in Columbia’s core curriculum in 60 years by introducing science to all first-year students.

He currently serves on the executive committee of Science Counts, an organization formed to educate the general public on the importance and impact of scientific research. And his recently published — and critically acclaimed — book, A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age: Scientific Habits of Mind (Columbia University Press), is specifically aimed to help nonscientists come to their own conclusions about scientific research.

 CAS Lecture Series: Dr. James Aho

James Aho is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Idaho State University, where he taught for more than 40 years. Aho’s research interests are in the sociology and phenomenology of religion, violence, and the body. He is the author of 10 books including Far Right Fantasy: A Sociology of American Religion and Politics (Routledge, 2016), This Thing of Darkness: A Sociology of the Enemy (University of Washington Press, 1994), and The Politics of Righteousness: Idaho Christian Patriotism (University of Washington Press, 1990). He was the recipient of the Gustavus Myers Award for the Best Study of Human Rights in North America in 1994 and the Pacific Sociological Association book award in 1996. He was nominated for the Edward Hayden Humanities Book Award, the American Political Psychology Book Award, and the Victor Turner Humanities Book Award in anthropology.


Lecture – Video 1                                            Lecture – Video 2                                  Lecture – Video 3