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No Forum in December. Save the Date January 25th, 2021, Topic and Speakers TBD
November 16th, 2020
“Democracy in a Time of Un-Truth”
Tamim Ansary, Author and Educator
George DeMartino, Professor, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, DU
Lynn Schofield Clark, Professor & Chair, Dept. of Media, Film, & Journalism Studies, DU
Sponsored by the Ethics and Ecological Economics (EEE) Forum
Tamim Ansary writes about history and culture and what happens when civilizations overlap. His latest book, The Invention of Yesterday, is a history of the world that looks at human history as the story of various world historical narratives interacting and intertwining around the planet. Conspiracy Theory is one such narrative. He writes: “My work ranges from history to memoir to fiction. I grew up in Afghanistan and grew old in America. As an Afghan-American writer, I often find myself exploring areas where civilizations overlap and cultures interact.”
George DeMartino is an economist who researches the ethical foundations of economic theory, policy, and professional economic practice. Professor DeMartino is a Past President of the Association for Social Economics and a current board member of the Association for Integrity and Responsible Leadership in Economics and Associated Professions. His newest book is Oxford Handbook of Professional Economic Ethics, co-edited with Deirdre McCloskey. He is now at work on The Tragedy of Economics (University of Chicago Press).
Lynn Schofield Clark is an ethnographer who is interested in how the everyday uses of digital, mobile and social media shape peoples’ identifies and aspirations, particularly in the context of widening income inequality in the United States. Her latest book, co-authored with Ragina Marchi, is Young People and the Future of News: Social Media and the Rise of Connective Journalism (Cambridge University Press). Professor Clark was recently elected President of the Association of Internet Researchers.
Today, our nation and the world face multiple and interconnected crises: climate change, global pandemics, structural racism, and growing socio-economic disparities. What is keeping our democracy from addressing them in a timely and effective manner? Some clues:
**A recent on-the-ground article by Time magazine reporter, Charlotte Alter: “How conspiracy theories are shaping the 2020 election–and shaking the foundation of American democracy” (9.21/28.2020 issue, pp74-77).
Over a week of [more than seven dozen] interviews in early September, I heard baseless conspiracies from ordinary Americans in parking lots and boutiques and strip malls from Racine to Cedarburg to Wauwatosa, Wis.
**Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently put it this way:
Without shared facts on which to make decisions, there can be no solutions to our biggest challenges. And without a modicum of trust that both sides want to preserve and enhance the common good, it is impossible to accomplish anything big.
–from “Trump Sent a Warning. Let’s Take It Seriously.” (NYT, 9.29.2020)
- David Carlson: Introductory slides
- Lynn Schofield Clark: Democracy in a time of Un-truth
- George DeMartino Should Economists Deceive?
- YouTube video link forthcoming; Many thanks to Martin Voelker, Forum video specialist and Colorado Renewable Energy Society leader.
- If you wish to contact panelists, please email your request to Forum Founder and Convener David Carlson.