PublicSquare Seminars

Charlie Sykes – January 2020 The Future of Conservatism

Charlie Sykes – January 2020 The Future of Conservatism

What happened to the conservative movement? And where does it go now? Charlie Sykes is the author of How the Right Lost Its Mind, which looks at the Trumpist takeover of the Republican Party. But now that that takeover is complete, what lies ahead for the conservative movement? Will it continued to be dominated by Trumpism? By nationalism? Isolationism? Protectionism? Anti-immigrant sentiment? Or can it return to its small government, free market, intellectual roots?

Charlie Sykes, veteran journalist and conservative political commentator, is a founder and editor-in-chief of The Bulwark, host of The Bulwark Podcast, and an NBC/MSNBC contributor. He is also the author of nine books on current affairs and education. Sykes was previously a contributing editor at the now-shuttered Weekly Standard and host of its Daily Standard podcast. He co-hosted the public radio show “Indivisible” in 2017 and prior to that was a top-rated and influential conservative talk-show host in Wisconsin for 23 years. Sykes has written for many national publications including The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, and National Review. He has appeared on Meet the Press, the Today Show, ABC’s This Week, Real Time with Bill Maher, as well as on PBS, CNN, Fox News, the BBC, and NPR.

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Podcast coming soon.

Seminar Readings

Charles J. Sykes, “Where the Right Went Wrong,” Op-Ed, The New York Times (December 15, 2016)
Charles J. Sykes, “Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying,” The New York Times, (February 4, 2017)
Charles J. Sykes, “What’s the Endgame of Trumpism?” The Bulwark, (February 25, 2019)

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Clare Garvie – December 2019 Facial Recognition and Civil Liberties

Clare Garvie – December 2019 Facial Recognition and Civil Liberties

This seminar explores the unique risks face recognition poses to our constitutional rights and liberties, and the efforts underway in communities across the country to regulate or ban its use. It will outline the current state of the technology and likely future deployments in the United States and abroad in the absence of regulation, using the UK as a comparative case study. It also examines historical and recent court decisions from both the US and UK that can help inform what legal protections exist vis-a-vis face recognition and related surveillance technologies.

Clare Garvie, Senior Associate at Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology, is the lead researcher and author of The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America (2016), a landmark study which revealed law enforcement’s widespread use of facial recognition technology with very little to no oversight or accountability mechanisms, limited training for bias, and the systematic compilation of databases made up of law-abiding citizen. She also served as the lead researcher on two follow-up reports, Garbage In, Garbage Out: Face Recognition on Flawed Data and America Under Watch: Face Surveillance in the United States, both of which appeared in 2019. In May, she testified before the U.S. House Oversight Committee hearing on “Facial Recognition Technology: Its Impact on our Civil Rights and Liberties.”  That same month the groundbreaking findings of Clare and her research team were the focus of a one-day conference entitled, “About Face: The Changing Landscape of Facial Recognition,” sponsored by the Northeastern University School of Law. Her current research focuses on the use of face recognition-derived evidence in criminal cases, and she serves as an informational resource to public defenders, advocates, and journalists. Prior to attending Georgetown Law School (’15), Garvie worked in human rights and international criminal law with the International Center for Transitional Justice. She received her B.A. from Barnard College in political science, human rights, and psychology.

This event has been made possible through the generosity of Claude and Susan Case, Dorothy Largay and Wayne Rosing.

Listen Now

Podcast coming soon.

Seminar Readings

Paul Mozur, “One Month, 500,000 Face Scans: How China Is Using A.I. to Profile a Minority,” The New York Times (April 14, 2019)
Drew Harwell, “Police Have Used Celebrity Look-alikes, Distorted Images to Boost Facial-Recognition Results, Research Finds,” The Washington Post (May 16, 2019)

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Natalie Wexler – October 2019 Closing the Knowledge Gap

Natalie Wexler – October 2019 Closing the Knowledge Gap

This seminar examines a largely overlooked reason for our failure to narrow the substantial gap in test scores between students at the top and bottom of the socioeconomic spectrum—and to raise overall achievement—over the past 50 years. Policymakers and reformers have viewed the problem as one of skills, leading educators to focus intensively on supposed reading comprehension skills like “finding the main idea” and marginalize social studies and science. Cognitive science, however, indicates the problem is fundamentally a lack of academic knowledge and vocabulary, especially among students from less educated families. As some schools are now discovering, the solution is to immerse all students in a rich, content-focused curriculum, beginning in the early elementary grades.

Leading education journalist, Natalie Wexler, is a senior contributor Forbes.com and the author of The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America’s Broken Education System—and How to Fix It (2019) which was deemed “essential reading for teachers, education administrators, and policymakers alike” by Library Journal. She is the coauthor, with Judith C. Hochman, of The Writing Revolution: A Guide to Advancing Thinking Through Writing in All Subjects and Grades (2017). Wexler has written articles and op-eds on education for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and other publications. Wexler blogs about education for Greater Greater Washington and on her own blog, DC Eduphile. She is a graduate Radcliffe College (A.B. 1976, magna cum laude), where she wrote for The Harvard Crimson. She also has degrees from the University of Sussex (M.A. 1977), and the University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D. 1983), where she served as editor-in-chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review. After graduating law school, she worked as a law clerk for Judge Alvin Benjamin Rubin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and then for Associate Justice Byron R. White of the United States Supreme Court. Following her clerkships, she practiced law with Bredhoff & Kaiser in Washington, D.C.

This event has been made possible through the generosity of Mitchell Kauffman and Joanne Moran.

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Seminar Readings

Natalie Wexler, “The Achievement Gap Hasn’t Budged in 50 Years. Now What?” Forbes.com (Mar 17, 2019)
Daniel T. Willingham, “How to Get Your Mind to Read,” The New York Times (November 11, 2015)
Natalie Wexler, “Elementary Education Has Gone Terribly Wrong,” The Atlantic (August 2019)
Rory Dollard, “England vs West Indies Result: Chris Jordan Skittles Caribbean Rivals for 45 to Claim Biggest T20 win,” Independent (March 9, 2019)

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