AIF Blog

April 28, 2011
Today Fatah and Hamas agreed to a reconciliation deal. (Read the news story here.) In 2009 Palestinian National Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad spoke about Hamas and the need for fair elections in Palestine. Fayyad will be joining us again this summer.
April 21, 2011
"A human tragedy and environmental disaster are continuing to unfold in the Gulf..." NOAA's Jane Lubchenco examining the Deep Water Horizon disaster, at AIF '10. Watch her discussion with Andrea Mitchell. Are we doing enough? What policy changes will make a difference?
April 18, 2011
Congratulations to Siddhartha Mukherjee and David Leonhardt for winning Pulitzer Prizes today!From the Pulitzer Prizes announcement: "Awarded to David Leonhardt of The New York Times for his graceful penetration of America’s complicated economic questions, from the federal budget deficit to health care reform... Awarded to The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Scribner), an...
April 16, 2011
“From April 2007 to August 2009, there’s been more learned about the root causes of disease than in the history of mankind,” says Eric Topol of Scripps Translation Science Institute in Los Angeles Times Magazine’s “Making Medicine Personal.” (Read the full article.) “I’ve been a scientist and researcher my entire life—that’s 30 years—and I’ve never seen anything like this.” These genetic discoveries are giving many...
April 15, 2011
Does “sustainable” mean 100% renewable? Does “renewable” mean “sustainable”? How much wind, water and sun will fuel our energy needs? According to World Watch: in 2008, the share of the world’s electricity generated from wind and solar power surpassed 1 percent—doesn’t sound like much, but double that of 2004…Several states in northern Germany now generate more than 30 percent of their electricity from wind energy...
April 12, 2011
Another three books for your pre-Festival reading stack!The Climate War, Eric Pooley. With impressive access to many of the key players, Pooley examines the issues and people involved in the struggle to cap global warming pollution.Power Hungry, Robert Bryce delivers a state-of-the industry overview of energy policy, with arguments about why some renewable energies are not a suitable solution.In The Emperor of All...
March 15, 2011
Here’s a preview of books by upcoming Festival Speakers. Add them to your reading list.A Chance to Make History As Teach for America turns 20, founder Wendy Kopp’s view on school reform is well summed up in the subtitle: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All. Festival Track: The Learning LandscapeAmerican Grace Written by Harvard professor and AIF speaker Robert D. Putnam and David...
March 11, 2011
In our turbulent world of uprisings and natural disasters, social and mobile media are playing a vital role in connecting people. From protesters using Twitter to organize and Facebook posts serving as a way for friends and family to spread the word about the tsunami in Japan (see FB map here), the impact and utility of both are staggering. Even the US State Department used Twitter last week to inform Americans how...
March 01, 2011
The Aspen Ideas Festival mourns the loss of the Rev. Peter J. Gomes, who graced us with his presence numerous times and died on Feb. 28. With his trademark blend of humor, wisdom, and intellectual curiosity, he challenged us to take our ideas out into the world and do good with them.Gomes was the Plumer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, The Memorial Church, Harvard University...
February 16, 2011
“The search for happiness is as old as history itself, one might venture, and in a certain sense that claim would be true.” (Happiness: A History by Darrin M. McMahon). Author and 2011 Festival presenter McMahon argues that our modern concept of “happiness” is the result of a dramatic shift in expectations since the 18th century.Through deep inquiry into economics, psychology, geography, neuroscience, and more, we...

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