AIF Blog - Society

February 13, 2019
Writers Wajahat Ali and Jelani Cobb talk about race, white nationalism, and President Trump at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June.When Americans elected their first black president more than a decade ago, some questioned whether the country had transitioned into a post-racial era. But today race is a more prominent and intransigent problem than ever. As the US grapples with issues like identity politics, the Travel...
February 05, 2019
Canine cognition researchers Brian Hare and Alexandra Horowitz join furry friends on stage at the Aspen Ideas Festival to speak with Ross Andersen, senior editor at The Atlantic, about what dogs are thinking.When your dog wags its tail or welcomes you home, what are they thinking about? How do they perceive you and the world around them? Two canine cognition scientists, Alexandra Horowitz and Brian Hare, share what...
January 29, 2019
 Nadine Strossen, professor at New York Law School, talks about using free speech to combat hate speech at the Aspen Ideas Festival. She was interviewed by Conor Friedersdorf, founding editor of The Best of Journalism. Should rules govern demeaning, disparaging, and degrading speech directed at certain groups? How can we resist hate while protecting free speech? Nadine Strossen, longtime president of...
January 22, 2019
Linguists Deborah Tannen and John McWhorter talk about the evolution of the English language at Aspen Ideas.Young people tend to say “LOL” and “like” a lot. Business jargon — such as “What’s the ask?”— is surfacing in boardrooms. Is the English language deteriorating before our ears? Linguist and author John McWhorter pushes back, saying these modern terms are...
January 16, 2019
Mountaineer and Backbone Media founder Penn Newhard interviews Tommy Caldwell, author of the book, "The Push" about his historic climb up Yosemite's Dawn Wall. Their conversation was held by Aspen Words.What does it take to rock climb one of the world’s hardest routes at night in the bitter cold? Tommy Caldwell, an accomplished climber, says he summoned focus, drive, and endurance to summit...
January 10, 2019
 John McWhorter is a professor of English, comparative literature, and linguistics at Columbia University, and author of the book "Words on the Move." He spoke with Georgetown linguistics professor Deborah Tannen at Aspen Ideas. In his posthumous treatise on language, Viennese philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein said, “Language can be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses,...
January 08, 2019
 Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin discusses her latest book with Kitty Boone, director of the Aspen Ideas Festival. What qualities make a good leader? Are leaders born with these attributes or can they be learned? In her seventh book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin writes about the lives of four presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D...
December 31, 2018
Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos talks about how to live a happier life at the Aspen Ideas Festival.The number of college students dealing with stress, depression, and anxiety is growing. Psychology professor Laurie Santos noticed it in her Yale classroom and set out to change the campus culture. Her course “Psychology and the Good Life” is the most popular class in Yale’s 300-year history....
December 25, 2018
Reverend Adam Hamilton leads a Methodist church in Kansas City. He talks with journalist Joshua Johnson about mending divisions in his church, and around the country, in the Aspen Ideas to Go podcast.Can faith help unite us in divided times? How are religious leaders navigating divisions inside and outside their places of worship? Listen below to conversations that dive deeply into faith, leadership, and...
December 19, 2018
Gender studies professor Michael Kimmel and neuroscientist Lise Eliot discuss gender and science at the Aspen Ideas Festival.Why is it that we think boys are good at math and girls are more empathetic? Or that boys can’t focus in the classroom and girls are obsessed with relationships? These sometimes damaging gender stereotypes have become part of our culture, but are they backed up by science? Neuroscientist...

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