Published October 19, 2021 by Tom Porter

New Bowdoin Podcast to Tackle Issues of Democracy

Bowdoin Presents is a new podcast series launched by the College on October 19, 2021. 

podcast artwork
Bowdoin Presents is available here.

This audio offering will tap into the array of talent available within the Bowdoin community, says producer Lisa Bartfai.

The first season, which runs throughout the semester, will examine the broad issue of democracy from several different angles, she adds.

“We’ll be featuring in-depth one-on-one conversations with people who have thought long and hard about our democracy,” adds Bartfai, who also hosts the podcast.

“The episodes range in length from twenty to forty minutes and feature guests who approach the subject from a number of different perspectives, including a tech entrepreneur, a conservation advocate, and someone with direct experience as a political representative.”

The first season contains six episodes, she explains, and the opening one features a conversation with Associate Professor of Government and Asian Studies Henry Laurence.

He and Bartfai discuss the politics behind public broadcasting, which is also the subject of Laurence’s latest book project.

“We talk, among other things, about the role of public broadcasting in laying the groundwork for civic discourse and countering the spread of misinformation and so-called ‘fake news,’” she says.

“We’ll be featuring in-depth one-on-one conversations with people who have thought long and hard about our democracy.”

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Featured guest: Associate Professor of Government and Asian Studies Henry Laurence.

Other Bowdoin Presents guests include alumni such as Kate Dempsey ’88, state director of The Nature Conservancy—“she has a lot to say about democratic processes and how they impact her work as an advocate”—and tech entrepreneur Noah Finberg '16, who launched a social media startup while still a student at Bowdoin and whose passion is using data to inform better decision-making.

Bartfai is an independent radio producer and broadcaster whose work can be heard on NPR stations and podcasts throughout the country.

She is particularly interested in the intersection of politics and culture, she says, and the Bowdoin Presents podcast series provides the perfect opportunity to fulfill her desire to connect with people through conversations that are “deep and meandering, but also accessible.”

The series is available on Amazon Music, Apple Podcast, Google Play, Simplecast, Spotify, Stitcher, and wherever you find podcasts