Pell Center

  • Human Caused Environmental Catastrophe with Elizabeth Kolbert

    Air Dates: April 22-28, 2019 The fossil record of planet earth tells us that there have been five mass extinctions—the most famous being the fifth that destroyed the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert warns that we’re in the midst, now, of the sixth extinction and its cause is human activity. Kolbert’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Sixth Extinction, documents the risk to species across the planet. The threat is human activity.  The fabric … Read More

  • The Mueller Report is the Public’s Information

    Information is, truthfully, the coin of the realm in politics and campaigns—it always has been—even more so now in the era of social media where memes, hashtags, and short quips can have lasting and strategic political consequences. Let me share with you a dark secret: since the campaign of 2016, I have marveled at the sophistication I see in the way President Trump and his political operation use information; how … Read More

  • Technically True, but Spin

    In 2005, the United States Department of Defense announced a list of excess military bases that it wanted to close as part of a cost-saving measure.  Anyone who has lived near a closed base will appreciate that this is an incredibly disruptive thing for communities who lose an important employer, community members, both in uniform and their families, and a source of pride—an operational military unit in their home-town that … Read More

  • Healthcare Through a Doctor’s Eyes with Helen Ouyang, MD

    Air Dates: March 25-31, 2019 Public understanding of healthcare is driven principally by our own personal experience—and that of our loved ones—with doctors, nurses, and hospitals—and for many, it can feel overwhelming. Dr. Helen Ouyang is an emergency room doctor at one of America’s best hospitals, but admits she found it difficult to access the healthcare system when she had her own health scare.  Helen Ouyang, M.D., M.P.H., is an … Read More

  • Llewellyn King on Story in the Public Square

    Technology vs. Democracy with Llewellyn King

    Air Dates: March 12-17, 2019 Democracy relies on facts, accurately reported and commonly understood—and journalists play an essential role in building that shared body of knowledge. Llewellyn King argues that technological change is placing great strain on our democratic societies. Llewellyn King is the creator, executive producer and host of “White House Chronicle,” a weekly news and public affairs program, airing nationwide on more than 200 PBS and public, educational … Read More

  • Jeff Jackson on Story in the Public Square

    Destroy All Monsters with Jeff Jackson

    Air Dates: March 5 – 10, 2019 Stories are sometimes told with a particular message for their audiences.  Other times, they are just stories. And in some cases, you can’t tell the difference. Enter the playwright, songwriter and novelist Jeff Jackson, who explores the intersection of fame and violence in a remarkable new novel. Jackson is a novelist, playwright, visual artist, and songwriter. His second novel Destroy All Monsters: The … Read More

  • Alice Robb on Story in the Public Square

    Why We Dream with Alice Robb

    Air Dates: February 26 – March 3, 2019 Poets, rock stars, authors—and even we mere mortals—all share a nightly sojourn—a temporary stay–in the land of dreams. Alice Robb argues they are not just flights of fancy, but critical to health and happiness in our waking hours too. Robb is a science writer whose work has been published in The New Republic where she was a staff writer, The New York … Read More

  • Mike Stanton on Story in the Public Square

    The life of Rocky Marciano with Mike Stanton

    Air Dates: February 19-24, 2019 There are not a lot of examples of perfection in life—except in the world of sports. On rare and exciting nights, a baseball pitcher can throw a perfect game or a basketball player can have a perfect night shooting. But a perfect career—that’s the rarest of accomplishments. Mike Stanton recounts the life of Rocky Marciano, who finished his heavyweight championship career with a perfect 49 … Read More

  • Jason Rafferty on Story in the Public Square

    Health in the LGBTQ Community with Jason Rafferty

    Air Dates: February 12-17, 2019 Recently, the Trump administration proposed defining gender as an individual’s assigned sex at birth. But the medical community—including Dr. Jason Rafferty—tells us gender is not so simply expressed. Rafferty graduated from Harvard Medical School and obtained post-graduate training through the Triple Board Residency at Brown University. He has additional Masters’ degrees from Harvard University in public health concentrating on Maternal and Child Health, and education … Read More

  • Karen King on Story in the Public Square

    Untold Stories of Christianity with Karen King

    Air Dates: February 5-10, 2019 Even for the devout, questions about the earliest history of Christianity can seem lost behind a shroud of history and official church teachings. Karen King traces the power of stories told and untold in the growth of the early church. Karen L. King is the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana and a … Read More