Tuesday, September 19, 2017
From Marconi and AM radio to email, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, each new medium has changed the nature of politics and civic engagement. Yet in many ways our political knowledge and civic participation has decreased. Tracy Westen, founder and director of the Center Governmental Studies, will talk about why this has happened, and how can we revitalize our democracy through new media models of civic engagement.
Tracy Westen founded and directed the Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) and taught communications law and policy at the USC Annenberg School for Communications and UCLA Law School for over 30 years. He created four Blue Ribbon Commissions; built award-winning model websites to enhance civic education including The Democracy Network, Video Voter, California Channel, Digital Democracy and PolicyArchive.org; litigated test cases on media in the federal courts; and authored or edited over 75 books and reports on media, democracy and judicial reforms. He was deputy director for consumer protection at the Federal Trade Commission and legal assistant to an FCC Commissioner.
He received degrees with high honors from U.C. Berkeley Law School (J.D.), University of Oxford (M.A.) and Pomona College (B.A.).
Professor Westen's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Rose Institute of State and Local Government.
Robert Wright, award-winning writer and teacher, draws on evolutionary psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience to show how and why meditation can serve as the foundation for spiritual life in a secular age and explores the role of Buddhist philosophy in leading the way.
Robert Wright is the New York Times bestselling author of The Evolution of God, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Nonzero; The Moral Animal; and Three Scientists and Their Gods, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at Princeton, where he also created the popular online course “Buddhism and Modern Psychology.”
In 2009, Foreign Policy named him one of its Top 100 Global Thinkers alongside Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Anne-Marie Slaughter. He has written for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Time, Slate, and The New Republic.
Mr. Wright’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies.
Photo credit: Barry Munger