17 December, 2013Print
Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates Announce Spring 2014 Season
Award-winning NPR show and hit podcast Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US) announces its Spring 2014 season with eight new, provocative debates on some of the most significant issues facing Americans today. Moderated by three-time Emmy Award-winning ABC News correspondent John Donvan, IQ2US has presented over 80 debates on a number of topics, earning praise from The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Forbes, and The New York Times, which called it “a salon for movers and shakers, writers and thinkers.”
Based on the traditional Oxford-style debate format, with one side proposing and the other side opposing a sharply framed motion and both taking questions from the audience, each IQ2US debate features top experts from a variety of fields. The audience votes before and after the arguments, determining a winner by which team has swayed more audience members.
Starting Wednesday, January 15th, at New York City’s Kaufman Center and traveling to Harvard Law School, Columbia University, and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, IQ2US will delve into charged issues—including Obamacare, labor unions, and affirmative action on college campuses—to show that they can be discussed with respect for opposing viewpoints. Confirmed debaters include New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait and Bloomberg View writer and blogger Megan McArdle, among others.
The IQ2US Spring 2014 season will feature debates on the following motions (topics and panelists subject to change):
January 15—Obamacare is Now Beyond Rescue
With the disastrous launch of the HealthCare.gov website, critics of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” were given more fuel for the fire. Is this political hot potato's inevitability once again at stake? And is the medical community really on board with the law, or resisting it from the sidelines?
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA Deputy Commissioner, practicing physician and resident fellow at AEI
Megan McArdle, economics blogger and writer for Bloomberg View
Dr. Doug Kamerow, former Assistant Surgeon General, family physician, and author of Dissecting American Health Care
Jonathan Chait, writer for New York Magazine
February 12—Labor Unions are the Enemy of the Middle Class
For some, labor unions are champions of the American worker, advocating for competitive wages, benefits, and good working conditions—setting standards that benefit all workers and, by extension, the overall economy. But to others, unions are good for members but bad for everyone else, raising wages above competitive levels, crippling companies, and eliminating jobs. Is the steady decline in union membership something to fear, or is the middle class better off without them?
February 27—Affirmative Action on Campus Does More Harm than Good
**Presented at Harvard Law School, Boston MA
Affirmative action, when used as a factor in college admissions, is meant to foster diversity and provide equal opportunities in education for underrepresented minorities. But is it achieving its stated goals and helping the population it was created to support? Its critics point to students struggling to keep up in schools mismatched to their abilities and to the fact that the policy can be manipulated to benefit affluent and middle class students who already possess many educational advantages. Is it time to overhaul or abolish affirmative action?
March 5—The President has Constitutional Power to Target and Kill U.S. Citizens Abroad
**Presented at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia
With the drone strike on accused terrorist and New Mexico-born Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, President Obama has tested the limits of the executive branch’s powers. Does the president have constitutional authority under the due process clause to kill U.S. citizens abroad, or is it a violation of this clause to unilaterally decide to target and kill Americans?
March 12—Russia is a Marginal Power Disarming Syria.
Asylum for Edward Snowden. Arming Iran. Is Vladimir Putin flexing his muscles, while our own president fades into the background of world politics, or is it all a global game of smoke and mirrors? Russia is one of the world’s largest oil producers and has the power of veto on the U.N. Security Council, but it remains an authoritarian state, rife with corruption and economic struggles. Is our toxic relationship something to worry about, or is Putin’s Russia fading in importance?
April 2-- More Clicks, Less Bricks: The Future of the University is Online
**Presented at Columbia University in partnership with the Richard Paul Richman Center
Is the college of the future online? With the popularity of MOOCs (massive open online courses) and the availability of online degree programs at a fraction of their on-campus price, we are experiencing an exciting experiment in higher education. Does the traditional classroom stand a chance? Will online education be the great equalizer, or is a campus-based college experience still necessary?
April 9—Millennials are Underrated
Millennials—growing up with revolutionary technology and entering adulthood in a time of recession—have recently been much maligned. Are their critics right? Is this generation uniquely coddled, narcissistic, and lazy? Or have we let conventional wisdom blind us to their openness to change and innovation, and optimism in the face of uncertainty, which, in any generation, are qualities to be admired?
May 7—Death is Not Final
If consciousness is just the workings of neurons and synapses, how do we explain the phenomenon of near-death experience? By some accounts, about 3% of the U.S. population has had one: an out-of-body experience often characterized by remarkable visions and feelings of peace and joy, all while the physical body is close to death. To skeptics, there are more plausible, natural explanations, like oxygen deprivation. Is the prospect of an existence after death “real” and provable by science, or a construct of wishful thinking about our own mortality?
Tickets are on sale now through the Kaufman Center at http://bit.ly/HE1QgB
To view transcripts and videos, listen to and download audio, or learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S., please visit: http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org
ABOUT INTELLIGENCE SQUARED U.S. DEBATES (IQ2US)
Winner of the 2013 Silver Radio Award for Best Public Affairs Program and named one of the "Five Podcasts that Will Change the Way You Think" by Forbes, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in New York City in 2006 by Robert Rosenkranz, and has grown into an internationally syndicated series heard and watched by millions. The debates have attracted some of the world's top thinkers, including Steven Forbes, Neal Barnard, Paul Krugman, Karl Rove, Malcolm Gladwell, and Arianna Huffington. With over 80 debates, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to “think twice” on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008. The executive producer is Dana Wolfe.