The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Public Program

Perkins Bass Distinguished Visitor Lew Feldstein Talks About Social Capital

Lewis Feldstein, the Rockefeller Center 2016-2017 Perkins Bass Distinguished Visitor, delivered the Perkins Bass 1934 Lecture on Tuesday, August 1 entitled “Viewing the World Through a Social Capital Lens: Who You Know Matters, Community Building Counts.”

Public Program: “The Clothes in Your Closet Tell a Story"

Today, when one thinks of employment in the United States, images of airy offices inside glassy skyscrapers tend to come to mind. Of course, there will be complaints: perhaps the bathrooms are too small or the lunch breaks too short. This, however, is a privilege often taken for granted. Indeed, there was a time in living memory in which employment meant laboring for excessive hours for minimal wages in cramped, poorly ventilated workspaces under dangerous — even fatal — conditions. Perhaps no tragedy better demonstrates the appalling conditions many working class Americans were exposed to than the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City. Because employers at that time frequently locked the doors to their factories to ‘prevent theft,’ 146 workers perished when a fire erupted and they found themselves locked in, unable to escape. Not too long ago, the very same New York City of airy offices and glassy skyscrapers that we know today was littered with sweatshops and workers’ rights violations.

Interview with Professor Anna Kirkland, University of Michigan

On Tuesday, May 2, 2017, the Rockefeller Center hosted a public talk by Dr. Kirkland, titled “Vaccine Courts: The Law and Politics of Injury.” Prior to this talk, Nikita Bakhru ’17 sat down with Anna Kirkland for an interview.

Public Program: "A Conversation with Eric Fanning ’90”

Many Dartmouth alumni reach high positions of leadership after graduation, leaving students wondering how they can fashion their paths to lead to such success. One of the most notable instances of alumni leadership in recent times has been slightly atypical, in that it comes in the form of civilian leadership of the armed forces. On Thursday, May 18 Dean Lacy, Professor of Government and Director of the Program in Politics and Law at Dartmouth, had a conversation with Eric Fanning '90 in Filene Auditorium in Moore Hall, titled “From Dartmouth to the Pentagon: A Conversation with Eric Fanning ’90.” This event was part of the Rockefeller Center’s 2017 Spring Term public programming, was co-sponsored with Alumni Leadership, and was open to the community.

Public Program: "Disrupted Discourse" with Journalist Karin Pettersson

When Brexit passed in the United Kingdom last summer, the world was shocked and is still reeling from the implications of Brexit for the stability of the European Union and international system. Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election in the United States was yet another shock to audiences around the globe, and the absence of France’s usual political parties in the presidential run-off this month had people wondering whether Marine Le Pen of the National Front would result in another victory for right-wing politics. Each of these is a clear example of the rise of right-wing populism in the U.S. and Europe. The atmosphere is tense; feelings ripe; and politics more uncertain than ever before in recent memory.

Public Program: “Building an American Empire" with Paul Prymer

American imperialism and the idea of an American Empire are topics often discussed in debates over contemporary foreign policy. However, the expansion into what now is the American West is rarely framed in such terms. Expansion westward involved complex federal politics, regulation of settlement patterns, and the push for racial exclusion in the quest for a “white settler nation.”

On Thursday, May 11 Paul Frymer, a professor of Politics and Director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University, examined the politics of American expansionism in the 19th century. He discussed how expansion was influenced by a variety of factors, including conflicts over race and an overarching desire for a white settler nation. In particular, he focused on the role of the federal government in regulating settlement patterns to determine where and how expansion occurred.

2017 Law Day Celebration at the Rockefeller Center

In 2012, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta once warned that the United States is susceptible to a “cyber-Pearl Harbor,” citing the destructive potential of cyber-aggression. Years later, the premise of Secretary Panetta’s statement holds stable, as issues of cyber-security continue to make headlines. As the digital age has progressed, cyberspace has consistently proven to be a dynamic, open, and efficient platform for economic growth and the exchange of ideas. However, the very openness that makes this space so innovative has created critical vulnerabilities. Without setting off a single explosive, state and non-state actors can render infrastructure quiescent, steal/delete information, or even commandeer resources towards malevolent objectives in complete secrecy. Contemporary government policy is reluctant to take substantial steps forward in the realm of cybersecurity so as not to impede on privacy or the economic benefits of an open, fluid internet. Nonetheless, if the U.S.

Public Program: Vaccine Court: The Law and Politics of Injury

Since Edward Jenner created the world’s very first vaccine in the late eighteenth century, vaccines have become a widely accepted and important part of medical practice, to the point of achieving nearly taken-for-granted status. Indeed, one would be hard-pressed to find a Dartmouth College student who has never had a vaccine; certain vaccinations are often required before enrolling at school or going abroad, a testament to how commonplace vaccines have become. Despite their near ubiquity in the United States, however, vaccines generally have not featured prominently in daily conversations or considerations — until now.

Public Program: “The Hungry Ghost: A Biopsychosocial Perspective on Addiction”

Addiction is epidemic in our society and, as such, has become a common word that many people are familiar with, perhaps even painfully so. When one hears this word, thoughts of alcohol and drug addiction almost exclusively come to mind. However, addiction can manifest in many other forms as well, each of which is perceived and received differently by society. Indeed, some forms of addiction have become nonchalantly embedded into our daily vocabularies, as in the case of shopping or Internet addictions. In other words, addiction is a spectrum, running the gambit from textbook heroin addiction to workaholism, and it is vital to recognize this diversity.

Talking Policy with Columnist Megan McArdle

Megan McArdle is a Washington-based writer focused on the interrelationship of business, economics, and public policy. Her work has appeared in outlets including but not limited to The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Bloomberg, Newsweek, Time, and Businessweek. Her book, The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success, analyzes how failing well may turn out to be a key to success.

McArdle received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. When she graduated from business school in 2001, she had no intention of becoming a journalist. In fact, she had another job lined up in 2001, which ultimately did not work out and led her to an administrative position at the World Trade Center site.

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