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The Technology and Culture Forum is a ministry of the Episcopal Chaplain at MIT, and grows out of the church’s commitment to peace, justice, and upholding human dignity. Our programs challenge participants to consider how their work as scientists, engineers, managers, and citizens furthers these ideals.

During the 2004-2005 academic year, T&C hosted series on Religion in the 21st Century and the Future of Food, programs on the Media and the 2004 Elections, a talk by Prof. Noam Chomsky on Empire Building, a panel discussion of Nuclear Proliferation: Domestic and International, a 30th Anniversary discussion of the end of the Vietnam War, and the 2004 International Development Fair.

On April 21, 2005 Professor Scott Appleby gave a fascinating presentation on The Rise of Fundamentalism in the 20th Century as part of a T&C series on Religion in the 20th Century.

  International Securitydemocracy and  new mediaJohn Kerry vs. George W. BushThe Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Past Forums

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Forums 2004-2005

Religion in the 21st Century: A Four-Part Series
Understanding the Dynamics and Impact of Change

The headlines are filled with stories about events in which religious faith or religious institutions are central. The dynamics within and between major faiths, as well as the role of faith in political and social life, are shifting quickly. These shifts are affecting how technologies are being used, how policy is framed and debated, and much, much more. This series will offer an overview of the factors and dynamics behind today's religious landscape. The goal of the series is to equip participants to understand the context within which they are working, leading, voting and living.  Our aim is for thoughtful conversation with experts which involves education, self- reflection, and lots of opportunity for discussion

This series has been organized by the Technology and Culture
Forum with co-sponsorship by the Program in Human Rights and Justice, the Tech Catholic Community, the MIT School of Humanities,Arts and Sciences, and the Office of the Dean for Student Life

Thursdays: April 14, 21, 28 and May 5 7:00pm in Building W11--Registration is required. Please e-mail weinmann@mit.edu

Women's Rights and Islam

April 14, 2005

Dr. Lama Abu-Odeh
Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law

Havva Guney Ruebenacker
Harvard Law School; Former Researcher, European Court of Human Rights

This event is co-sponsored by the MIT Program in Human Rights and Justice.

Listen to the audio archive (Requires RealPlayer)

The Rise of Fundamentalism in the 20th Century

April 21, 2005

R. Scott Appleby
Director, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Notre Dame University

Listen to the audio archive (Requires RealPlayer)

Religious Terrorism

April 28, 2005

Mark Juergensmeyer
Director, Global & International Studies, UC-Santa Barbara

Listen to the audio archive (Requires RealPlayer)

Religion and the Media in the US

May 5, 2005

Gustav Niebuhr
Associate Professor, Religion and the Media, Syracuse University

Tom Roberts
Editor, National Catholic Reporter

Listen to the audio archive (Requires RealPlayer)

30th Anniversary of the End of the Vietnam War

Saturday, April 30th, 11am-1pm , MIT Kresge Auditorium

Noam Chomsky
MIT Institute Professor Emeritus
Ngo Vinh Long
Professor History, University of Maine

Listen to the audio archive (Requires RealPlayer)

Feeding the Global Poor: Innovations in Food Production

April 26th, 7pm, Rm. 3-270

Pedro Sanchez
Director of Tropical Agriculture at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, 2002 World Food Prize recipient, a MacArthur Fellow for 2004.
Eric Bost
United States Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services

Bill Niebur
DuPont/Pioneer Hi-Bred

Calestous Juma
Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Listen to the audio archive. (Requires RealPlayer)

Our Brains and Us:
Neuroethics, Responsibility and the Self

April 17-19, 2005 Kresge Auditorium, MIT

A conference developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion in collaboration with departments and faculty from MIT and Harvard University

The aim of this conference is to bring together scientists, philosophers, members of diverse religious communities, and the public for a multifaceted and interdisciplinary dialogue. It will explore emerging ethical, religious and philosophical issues associated with neuroscience research.

Listen to the proceedings - requires RealPlayer

Welcome and Neuroscience, Ethics, and Religion in Dialogue
Neuroscience and Neuroethics
The Self in Context
Neuroscience and the Developing World
Moral Agency and Free Will
Responsibility and the Law
Therapeutic and Non-therapeutic Interventions
Social Interventions
Future Directions for Dialogue

Beyond Agribusiness: New Models for Agricultural Production

March 10th, 2005, 7pm, Rm. 3-270

Brian Donahue
Assoc. Prof. Brandeis University, author of Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town.
Kathleen Merrigan
Director of the Center for Agriculture, Food and Environment, Tufts Univ.
Frederick L. Kirschenmann
Director of the Leopold Center at Iowa State University

Deborah Fitzgerald
Prof. STS at MIT

Listen to the audio archive (Requires RealPlayer)

Rethinking Agricultural Subsidies

March 3rd, 2005, 7pm, Rm. 3-270

Barry Goodwin
Prof. of Agricultural Economics, NC State University. Author of Landowners' Riches: The Distribution of Agricultural Subsidies.
Barrett Kirwan
Lecturer, Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University.
Tim Wise
Deputy Director, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University

Prof. Judith Tendler

Listen to the audio archive (Requires RealPlayer)

Election 2004: Did the Media Fail?

Thursday, February 17, 2005; 5:00pm in the Bartos Theater (E15)

Terence Smith
Media Correspondent/Senior Producer, PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
Cathy Young
Boston Globe columnist and Contributing Editor, Reason magazine

3rd program in a three-part series on the Media and the 2004 Elections

Co-sponsored with the MIT Communications Forum

Listen to the audio archive (Requires RealPlayer)

On Intelligence and Human Progress

Thursday, November 4, 2004 at 7:00pm

Jeff Hawkins

Palm Pilot inventor Jeff Hawkins explained his theory of how a new understanding of the brain will lead to the creation of truly intelligent machines and why he believes this has important, positive implications for education, in particular, and society in general.

Listen to the audio archive (Requires RealPlayer)

Media and Election: Is Our Democracy Working?

Many have claimed that the emergence of the Internet and the multiplication of television channels as a result of cable and satellite technologies have fundamentally altered American politics. The current presidential campaign may offer a decisive test of this thesis. How are new technologies enabling new forms of fundraising and political activism? What is the significance of the fact that Fox News, a cable network, drew more viewers of the Republican National Convention than the traditional networks? What has been the impact of such Internet- based groups as MoveOn and TrueMajority? Are these developments helpful to the ideal of an informed and engaged civic society? Or do they encourage polarization and the politics of slander and smear?

Offered in partnership with the MIT Communications Forum


New Roles for Established Media Thursday

October 28, 2004 at 5pm in E15-070

Mark Jurkowitz
Media writer, Boston Globe
Amy Mitchell
Associate Director, Project for Excellence in Journalism
Alex Jones
Director, Shorenstein Center on the Press, Harvard University Moderator
Steve Van Evera
MIT Political Science

Listen to the audio archive (Requires RealPlayer


New Media, Old Politics

Thursday, October 14, 2004 at, 5pm, Bartos Theater (E15-070)

Henry Jenkins
Comparative Media Studies Program, MIT
Joseph Trippi
National Campaign Manager, Howard Dean 2004 and author of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Garrett Loporto
Consultant, truemajority.org

Listen to the audio archive (Requires RealPlayer)


Empire-Building: Domestic and International Consequences

Friday, October 8, 2004

Noam Chomsky
Institute Professor; Professor of Linguistics: Linguistic Theory, Syntax, Semantics, Philosophy of Language
James Carroll
columnist, Boston Globe; recipient of the National Book Award for "An American Requiem"
Michael Klare
Professor of Peace and World Security Studies, Hampshire College

Amy Goodman
host of "Democracy Now!" and author of The Exception to the Rulers

[ Listen to it ]


What's Wrong with the American Voting System (and what you can do about it)

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Joy Marie Forsythe
MIT Graduate Student
Ted Selker
Program in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT Media Lab
Charles Stewart
School of Humanities, Arts and Sciences

Barun Singh
President, MIT Graduate Student Council

[ Listen to it ]


3rd Annual International Development Forum

Friday, September 24; 1:00pm-3:00pm

For information go to International Development Forum


Nuclear Proliferation
Domestic and International

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Joseph Cirincione
Director for Non-Proliferation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Randall Forsburg
Executive Director of the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies
Subrata Goshroy
Senior Defense Analyst at the U.S. General Accounting Office
(Affiliation for the purposes of identification only.)

Allison Macfarlane
Research Associate at the MIT Center for International Studies.

[ Listen to it ]