Public Policy Lectures


The School of Social Science's Lectures on Public Policy are funded by an anonymous gift. These lectures aim to address issues of broad import relevant to contemporary politics, social issues, and scientific matters.


Anna Tsing, Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Santa Cruz

"Patchy Anthropocene: The Feral Impacts of Infrastructure"



Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Professor of African-American Studies at Princeton University and 2021 MacArthur Fellow

“Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership”



Naomi Oreskes, Henry Charles Lea Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University

"Can Science Be Saved?"



Nicholas Lemann, Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism at Columbia University

"The Financial Economy: Where It Came from and What Might Come Next"



Thomas Piketty, Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and at the Paris School of Economics

"Reflections on Inequality and Capital in the 21st Century"



Barbara Arnwine, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

"The State of Democracy and Voting in a Post-Shelby Era"



Kenneth Roth, former Executive Director of Human Rights Watch

"What Rules Should Govern Drones and the Broader ‘War’ on Terrorism?"



Owen M. Fiss, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School

"The Lives of Others"



Maude Barlow, Chair of the Council of Canadians and Chair of Food and Water Watch

"The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water"



James Hansen, climatologist and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University

"Human-Made Climate Change: A Moral, Political, and Legal Issue"



David Cole, National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union

"Torture and Accountability in the 'War on Terror': What Should Be Done?"



Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

"Human Rights Challenges in the Next Decade"



Lakhdar Brahimi, former Algerian Foreign Minister and Ambassador and chair of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, 2000

"Afghanistan and Iraq: Failed States or Failed Wars?"