Location: Bowdoin / McKeen Center / Activity / 2009 / Seeking the Common Good Series

Seeking the Common Good Series: Fall 2009

Story posted September 23, 2009

The yearlong series Seeking the Common Good encourages and supports learning and reflection about the meaning of the common good through multiple events connected by a common theme  to help promote the exploration and understanding of public issues.  Sponsored by the McKeen Center in partnershiop with multiple departments across campus, this year's themes include Empowering through Policy in the fall, Innovation for Change in February and Literature as a Lens on the Common Good in April.

Empowering through Policy examines public policy from multiple perspectives and in relation to major issues such as health, education and the environment, with an eye on enhancing understanding of how policy works and the various ways to influence policy as a way in which to effect change.

Discussion: “Translating Scientific Research into Public Policy: Early Childhood Roots of Health and Educational Disparities”
Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D. Professor of Neuroscience, Rockefeller University
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 4:00 p.m.
McKeen Center Common Room

A specialist in the neuroscience of stress, Professor McEwen has been involved in recent years as a member of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, which focuses on bringing scientific evidence on the influences of early life experiences on learning, memory and health to bear on public policy.  

Discussion: “Policy and Advocacy Work in Maine and Beyond”
Nicole Witherbee, Ph.D., Maine Center for Economic Policy
Thursday, October 8, 4:00 p.m.
McKeen Center Common Room

Join Nicole Witherbee as she shares the academic and career paths she followed that led her to her current role in working with public policy in Maine.   A specialist in social policy and management, Nicole will discuss how policy works, the major policy issues facing Mainers, and how to become involved in understanding and influencing policy as a citizen.

Presentation: “Effecting Global Policy: Careers in Diplomacy and International Relations”
David Fetter, U.S. Consul General to Quebec
Thursday, October 15, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Shannon Room, Hubbard Hall

After completing his undergraduate degree in Government, David Fetter joined the U.S. Department of State in 1986 where he served tours of duty in Washington, Australia, Chad, Somalia (twice), Tunisia, and, most recently, Afghanistan.  In 2007 he became Consul General to Quebec, where he promotes diplomatic relations and trade between the U.S. and Canada. (Sponsored by the Career Planning Center)

Symposium: “Changing Environments, Changing Societies - Community Responses to Environmental Uncertainty”
Saturday, October 24
Smith Hall, Sills Auditorium
This Mellon Global Symposium brings together natural scientists, social scientists, humanists and practitioners to explore climate change issues and the implications of policies for addressing them. (Sponsored by the Environmental Studies Program) Symposium schedule

Inaugural Lecture of the Rusack Professorship in Environmental Studies: “Journeys of a Global Change Scientist”
Phil Camill, Environmental Studies and Biology

Thursday, October 29, 7:30 p.m.
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium
Rusack Associate Professor Phil Camill describes being on the front lines of global change research over the past 15 years and what that has meant to him personally and professionally. Using research examples from his work and the broader natural and social scientific communities, Camill shows how human impacts and the study of global change are changing rapidly, opening a critical need for the intersection of science and policy.

Info Session: Public Interest Research Internship Program
Wednesday, November 4, 9:00 p.m.
McKeen Center Common Room

The student Public Interest Research Group Internship Program in Maine offers students the opportunity to learn how to tackle public problems using advocacy and research skills to inform public policy as a way to effect social change. Learn about this year's PIRG projects and how to apply to the program, which offers a structured curriculum to train students in the skills of research and advocacy to inform public policy.

Film Screening and Discussion: “Money-Driven Medicine: What’s Wrong with American Healthcare and How to Get it Right”
Tuesday, November 10, 7:00 p.m.
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

Money-Driven Medicine takes us behind the scenes to show how our 2.6 trillion dollar a year healthcare system went wrong and what it will take to fix it. This film provides an essential foundation for understanding and participating in health care reform.

Brodie Family Lecture: "Rising to Meet Obama's Challenge: What the Crisis in Educational Attainment Means for Urban High Schools"
Melissa Roderick ’83, University of Chicago
Wednesday, December 2, 7:00 p.m.
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Melissa Roderick, Co-Director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago and expert in urban school reform, high-stakes testing, minority adolescent development and educational policy, will share her recent work on determining successful transition to post-secondary schooling. (Sponsored by the Education Department)

Arnold D. Kates Lecture: “Why We Need Single Payer National Health Insurance”
Dr. David Himmelstein, Harvard Medical School
Tuesday, December 8, 7:30 p.m
Pickard Theatre, Memorial Hall

Dr. David Himmelstein is the chief of the Division of Social and Community Medicine at Cambridge Hospital and co-director of the Center for National Health Program Studies at the Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School. A founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, Dr. Himmelstein will discuss the merits of a non-profit, single payer national health insurance program. (Sponsored by the Arnold D. Kates Lecture Fund)

The McKeen Center would like to thank event sponsors and sponsors who agreed to have their events listed in the series including the Departments of Biology, Education, and Sociology and Anthropology, the Environmental Studies Program, the Career Planning Center, the Lectures and Concerts Committee, the Brodie Family, the Kates Family, and the Rusack Family, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Morgan Family Foundation.

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Learn and reflect about the meaning of the common good and engage in exploration of major public issues.