CSPO Conversations

Occasional Encounters in Science, Society and Policy

CSPO conversations are occasional dialogues and collective reflections, among thought leaders, partners and collaborators, on contemporary issues at the intersections of science, society and policy — from the perils of remaining captive to a “scientific-technological elite” to pragmatic actions in dealing with climate change.

  • Webinar: Are Bats Really to Blame for the COVID-19 Pandemic?

    Bats have been identified by some experts, and in the media, as the culprits behind the costliest pandemic in modern history, even though the source and method of transmission of the novel coronavirus remain unclear. Despite a long tradition of being misunderstood and feared, bats have an outstanding record of living safely with humans. Exaggerated warnings of bat disease risks aren’t just misguided. They threaten the health of entire ecosystems and economies. Join Merlin Tuttle, one of the world’s leading bat scientists and conservation experts, to discuss the vital role bats play in ecosystems and how misplaced public health concerns are endangering these important mammals.

    Register here!

    Date

    May 27, 2020 4:00pm—5:00pm

    Links

  • COVID-19 and the Mission of the US Public University

    How have public universities responded to the COVID-19 pandemic? As university presidents look toward resuming in-person classes in the fall, what have they learned from the crisis, how will their institutions evolve as a result, and what might that mean for the future of higher education in the United States? How will public universities adapt to the serious financial challenges likely to arise in states and the nation in the months ahead? Could the response to the pandemic translate into an enhanced role for America’s public universities in the restoration of the nation’s public health and the recovery of its economic and social wellbeing?

    Please join the presidents of three of the nation’s premier public universities—Arizona State, Purdue, and the University of Washington—as they discuss “COVID-19 and the Mission of the US Public University.” Register for the online event and participate in this important conversation.

    Date

    May 27, 2020 2:45pm—3:45pm

    Links

  • Webinar: Applying Engineering Lessons to Pandemic Management

    The COVID-19 pandemic has produced challenges that are commonly dealt with in engineering in the United States. Policy responses to the pandemic could be improved with lessons from other types of infrastructure, and by investing in “efficient resilience” when it comes to medical infrastructure. Engineering professors Braden Allenby and Mikhail Chester take a close look at how engineered systems such as electric power, communications and transportation infrastructures deal with peak load, disaster recovery, and partial failure to offer ideas for building greater resilience into the US medical system and infrastructures that provide critical services during pandemics.

    Register here!

    Date

    May 14, 2020 3:00pm—4:00pm

    Links

  • Webinar: Where’s Congress? Don’t Just Blame Trump for the Coronavirus Catastrophe

    The United States has the world’s highest rating on the Global Health Security Index. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may well have the planet’s highest density of expertise in infectious disease. The nation had forewarning from its health experts and intelligence services that a pandemic was gestating in China and then southern Europe. So how is it possible that the United States mounted such an inept response to the coronavirus pandemic?

    Join M. Anthony Mills (R Street Institute) and Robert Cook-Deegan (Arizona State University) for an in-depth conversation on fixing the broken links between expertise and governance, and on how improving the legislative branch’s capacity for understanding science and technology is necessary to ensure that the country is better prepared for the next public health crisis. Their new essay on this subject can be found at Issues in Science and Technology.

    Date

    April 22, 2020 3:30pm—4:30pm

    Links

  • Lessons from the Yellow Vests, Grand Debates, and Citizen Assembly on Climate in France

    Other nations, including Scotland and England, are following France’s lead in convening their own citizen assemblies on climate. Will the United States be next? If so, what lessons might policymakers and organizers derive from Macron’s misadventure with climate politics and subsequent change of approach? Can citizen assemblies help to overcome political gridlock in order to implement effective climate policies?

    Join Yves Mathieu of Missions Publiques, co-organizer of both the Grand Debates and the Citizen Assembly on Climate, in a CSPO Conversation moderated by Daniel Sarewitz.

    Register here!

     

     

    Date

    February 11, 2020 2:00pm—4:00pm

    Location Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center
    1800 I St NW
    8th Floor
    Washington, DC 20006

    Links

  • What will it take to transition to a sustainable future?

    Solutions to the critical and complex challenges of sustainability (such as deep decarbonization, food sufficiency, and equitable water and energy access) demand collaborations between universities, businesses, government, and civil society. In this CSPO open workshop, five academic leaders from ASU and The Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Germany will propose questions, issues, and strategies for collaborative efforts to forge transitions to sustainability. Intensive discussion will follow, where workshop attendees are invited to bring the perspectives of their own institutions and experiences to engage and critique these ideas.  The outcome of our deliberation will provide valuable input to the Global Sustainability Strategy Forum for further development of strategies for fostering transformation to a just and equitable sustainable society.

    Sign up here!

    Date

    January 22, 2020 9:00am—12:00pm

    Location Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center
    1800 I St NW
    8th Floor
    Washington, DC 20006

    Links

  • The Governance of Solar Geoengineering

    Climate change is among the world’s most important problems, and solutions based on greenhouse gas emission cuts or adapting to a new climate remain elusive. One set of proposals receiving increasing attention among scientists and policymakers is “solar geoengineering” (also known as solar radiation modification), which would reflect a small portion of incoming sunlight to reduce climate change. Evidence indicates that this could be effective, inexpensive, and technologically feasible, but it also poses environmental risks and social challenges. Governance will thus be crucial.

    In this CSPO Conversation, Jesse Reynolds will draw on his just-released book, The Governance of Solar Geoengineering: Managing Climate Change in the Anthropocene (Cambridge University Press), to show how solar geoengineering is, could, and should be governed. He will focus on the most common concern: solar geoengineering could undermine already insufficient efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Can policies be crafted in which solar geoengineering could actually increase emissions cuts?

    Date

    November 22, 2019 9:00am—10:30am

    Additional Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center
    1800 I St NW
    8th Floor
    Washington, DC 20006

    Links

  • Putting Social Science to Work for Society

    Social science research—spanning disciplines as diverse as economics, anthropology, political science, and psychology—illuminates the inner workings of human behavior and society. How can this research be effectively applied to discover solutions to some of society’s most complex and formidable problems? And what role can universities play in transforming the social sciences into drivers of societal improvement?

    These questions are at the heart of “Retrofitting Social Science for the Practical & Moral,” Kenneth Prewitt’s feature article in the latest edition of Issues in Science and Technology. Prewitt, a professor at Columbia University and former director of the US Census Bureau, will discuss his article at the launch event for the Fall 2019 Issues on November 20 in Washington, DC. He’ll be joined by Mary Ellen O’Connell (National Academies), Jed Herrmann (Results for America), and Toby Smith (Association for American Universities) in a wide-ranging exploration of how this research can better serve society.

    Date

    November 20, 2019 12:00pm—1:30pm

    Location Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center
    1800 I St NW
    8th Floor
    Washington, DC 20006

    Links