Public Affairs


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First elected to Congress in 1980, Barney Frank represented Massachusetts's 4th District for 32 years. He is known as a superb legislator and a pragmatic politician whose sharp intellect and sense of humor made him one of Washington's most influential and colorful figures. While in Congress, Frank worked to adjust America's spending priorities to reduce the deficit, provide less funding for the military and more for domestic programs. He argues here that the US could safely trim its military budget if American allies took more responsibility for their own defense. As chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank was a key author of the 2010 Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In 1987, Frank became the first member of Congress to voluntarily come out as openly gay, and in 2012 he married his longtime partner, becoming the nation's first congressman in a same-sex marriage while in office. Recorded on 03/11/2015.

David Murphy is Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) San Diego office. In this lecture Murphy shares his insights into the moral and logistical challenges posed by the current world-wide refugee crisis, based on his extensive experience working with the IRC in Africa and Afghanistan. Recorded on 04/18/2017.

Overcoming gridlock to achieve solutions to society's pressing problems usually requires compromise but around a quarter of legislators reject compromise proposals if they perceive that their voters especially their primary voters - are likely to punish them for compromising. But political scientist Sarah Anderson shows that only a small slice of primary voters who oppose a particular policy really do punish compromise. Solutions that insulate legislators from the small groups of legislators who punish for compromise may allow legislators to more easily support a beneficial compromise. Recorded on 07/16/2018.

Karen Ross, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, discusses the future of food and public policy in California and around the world at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Secretary Ross covers everything from the challenges of water management in the face of climate change, to reforming United States immigration policy to benefit farmers, farm workers, and the country as a whole. Recorded on 9/05/2018.

Two-term Mayor of San Francisco and Speaker of the California State Assembly Willie Brown discusses the midterm elections and shares his knowledge of California politics, government, and civic life. Recorded on 11/15/2018.

Premature births, unexplained human and livestock sicknesses, flammable water faucets, toxic wells and the onset of hundreds of earthquakes: the impacts of fracking are far-reaching and deeply felt. Professor Sara Wylie (Northeastern University) describes the fossil fuel connection between climate change and endocrine disruption and how the fossil fuel and petrochemical industries twin toxicities might be resisted together. Wylie also explores the need, and potential, to build alternative public interest databases and environmental health research tools. Recorded on 11/28/2018.

Former Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift talks about the nature of strategic competition between the U.S. and China and the grand strategies they may be employing. This competition is less about global leadership and more about how the rules that govern that leadership are being challenged and modified. The annual IGCC Herb York Lecture honors the memory of the distinguished nuclear physicist. York was the founding chancellor of UC San Diego, first director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, first chief scientist of the Advanced Research Projects Agency and founding director of the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.
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