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Through public lectures, the Technology and Culture Forum presents speakers of diverse viewpoints who come from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds. In planning programs, the Technology and Culture Steering Committee, made up of MIT faculty, students and alumni, seek to address critical issues and raise important questions.

Sherry Turkle

On April 12, 2011, Sherry Turkle, MIT professor and author, most recently of "Alone, Together", discussed her evolving view of our digitized world. Click here to watch a video of this program.



Miss Representation: A Sundance Film

Barbed Wire Image

Youth CAN May 2009

bullying image

Women without Men

Gene Patenting

Malalai Joya

Caytie Campbell-0rrock

ID Fair

Wired for War bookcover

American and Chinese Flag

Radical Abundance - a theology of sustainability

Past Forums

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[ Past Speakers ]

Forums 2012-2013


Iran and American Foreign Policy: Where the US Went Wrong

Tuesday, May 14

Click here to watch the video.

Institute Professor Emeritus Noam Chomksy, Professor of Linguistics, MIT

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett, Authors of "Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran"

Dr. Ali Banuazizi, Professor of Political Science, Boston College; Director, Program of Islamic Civilization and Societies

Flynt Leverett served at the National Security Council, State Department, and CIA and is currently a professor of international affairs at Penn State. Hillary Mann Leverett served at the National Security Council and State Department and negotiated for the US government with Iranian officials. She is now senior professorial lecturer at American University.

Read a recent New Yorker blog posting about Professor Chomsky.

Read the Leverett's blog.

7th Annual Youth Summit on Global Climate Change

Saturday, May 4
The Stata Center, Building 32 - click here for map

7th Annual Youth Summit on Global Warming hosted by The Technology and Culture Forum and organized by the Boston Latin School's Youth Climate Action Network (YouthCAN) The day will be filled with informative and fun workshops, free food and prizes. Last year's summit was a big success and this year's promises to be even better!

Cities for Sale: The Right to Housing vs Corporate Real Estate

Friday, May 3
Room 3-333 - click here for map

Professor Tom Angotti, Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning, Hunter College; Graduate Center, City University of New York

Fred Salvucci, Departments Civil and Environmental Engineering; Urban Studies and Planning, MIT; Former Secretary of Transportation of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Co-sponsors: Department of Urban Studies & Planning and MIT CoLab

Click here to listen to this program
Part 1
Part 2

In-Between: A One Man Show

Wednesday, April 24
Bartos Theatre (E-15-070) - click here for map

“In Between” is a semi-autobiographical show that portrays the complexities and contradictions inherent in Palestinian-Israeli identity. On the precipice between two cultures stands Ibrahim Miari. His play recalls his childhood in Acco, memories of his Jewish and Palestinian grandmothers, of war, and of the struggle to shape and understand his own multi-faceted identity as he sits being interrogated by Israeli police and contemplates marriage to a Jewish American woman.

"In Between" is an educational, riveting and provoking show written and performed by Mr. Miari. With deft and charm, he transcends today’s political distractions and reminds us of the deeper inner struggles that link all of humanity.

Co-sponsors: Addir Fellows Interfaith Dialogue, Muslim Student Association, MIT Hillel, Technology and Culture Forum, Office of Chaplain to the Institute

Free and open to the public.

International Development Night at MIT

Saturday, April 13, 2013
N51-3rd Floor (265 Massachusetts Avenue-next to the MIT Museum) - click here for map

IDNight at MIT occurs each spring in collaboration with the Harvard International Development Conference (IDC). The event brings together a diverse audience to share ideas and learn about MIT international development technologies and projects. IDNight is an opportunity to build relationships between groups of people who bring many different perspectives to international development. It also promotes social awareness about pressing global issues such as poverty, public health, education, and mobility. IDNight at MIT is a unique opportunity for MIT students and staff to showcase their projects to a wide range of audiences. The IDNight draws hundreds of attendees, including a large number of Harvard and MIT students, local scientists, engineers and participants from the Harvard IDC that runs in conjunction with the IDNight.

Money and Meaning
A One-Day Conference

Saturday, March 9, 2013

SOCAP is an annual event series that connects leading global innovators — investors, foundations, institutions and social entrepreneurs — to build this market at the intersection of money and meaning.

SOCAP events are produced by Social Capital Markets.

For more information about SOCAP: Soul, please contact marybeth@episcopalcitymission.org

This program was sponsored by the Episcopal City Mission of Massachusetts, the Chaplain to the Institute at MIT and the Technology and Culture Forum at MIT and was held in conjunction with Village Capital's Boston.

The Environmental Crisis and Capitalism

Monday, March 11
32-141 - click here for map

Fred Magdoff, Professor Emeritus, University of Vermont

Lawrence Susskind, Department of Urban Studies and Planning; Director, MIT Science Impact Collaborative; Co-Director, Water Diplomacy Workshop

Daniel Fireside, Equal Exchange

The environmental damage being done to the earth has reached crisis proportions. Many causes have been proposed: too many people; industrial society; human ignorance or inability to control themselves; human nature (greed); and a "perpetual growth philosophy." Discussion will be focused on how the inner logic and normal functioning of our economic system is contributing to this crisis.

Read an article by Professor Magdoff: Global Resource Depletion: Is Population the Problem?

Read Professor Susskind’s blog.

Click here to link to a video of this program

Syria, Two Years into the Revolution

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
E51- 395 - click here for map

Speaker: Christina Markus Lassen, Danish Ambassador to Syria and Jordan; Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University

The Syrian uprising broke out more than two months into the Arab Spring and took everyone by surprise. For a number of reasons, the prospect of an uprising taking place in Syria at this point was deemed to be low, but the resilience and bravery of the Syrian people facing the regime’s brutality defied all expectations. Starting out as peaceful protests for reform and democratic change, the situation in Syria has after two years developed into a full scale conflict between opposition forces and regime loyalists. Based on her experience as a diplomat in Syria during the first year and a half of the uprising, Ambassador Lassen will analyze the development and major turning points of the crisis, the power bases of the regime and the role of minorities, the changing nature of the opposition, the role of the international community and the potential regional consequences of the current crisis.

Christina Markus Lassen is a current Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. Ambassador Lassen came to Harvard directly from Damascus, where for the last three years she has served as Denmark’s ambassador to Syria and to Jordan. Previous assignments include: Head of Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Executive Secretariat; Special Advisor to the Prime Minister (Middle East and Transatlantic Affairs); and Embassy Secretary for Political Affairs at the Danish Embassy in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Lassen has a Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree (Business and International Relations) from Copenhagen Business School. While at Harvard, she is conducting research on the Arab uprisings, and their implications and consequences for relations between the Arab world and the EU/US.

Co-Sponsored with the Bustani Middle East Seminar. The Bustani Middle East Seminar is organized under the auspices of the MIT Center for International Studies, which conducts research on contemporary international issues and provides and opportunity for faculty and students to share perspectives and exchange views. Each year the Bustani Seminar invites scholars, journalists, consultants, and other experts from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States to MIT to present recent research findings on contemporary politics, society and culture, and economic and technological development in the Middle East.

Dying to Forget: The Foundation of US Policy in the Middle East

February 26, 2013
E51-395 - click here for map

Professor Irene Gendzier, Department of Political Science, Boston University

Co-sponsored with the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar The Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar is organized under the auspices of the MIT Center for International Studies, which conducts research on contemporary international issues and provides an opportunity for faculty and students to share perspectives and exchange views. Each year the Bustani Seminar invites scholars, journalists, consultants, and other experts from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States to MIT to present recent research findings on contemporary politics, society and culture, and economic and technological development in the Middle East. This Bustani Seminar talk is co-sponsored by the Technology and Culture Forum at MIT.

Why Lincoln and Darwin?
Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the
Emancipation Proclamation
and the shared Birthday of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013
4:30 to 6 p.m.
The MIT Chapel - click here for map

Welcome and Introduction
Rev. Thea Keith-Lucas, Technology and Culture Forum at MIT

Lincoln, Douglass and the Emancipation Proclamation
Prof. John Stauffer, Harvard University

Why Lincoln and Darwin?
Prof. Jonathan King, Biology Dept., MIT

Readings: The Words and Lives of Abolitionists
Prof. Helen Elaine Lee, Comparative Media Studies, MIT

A View from the Community
Saundra Graham, Former Cambridge City Councilor and State Representative

Music by the St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church Choir and the Americana String Band
with Benediction by Rev. Lesley Sterling of St. Bartholomew’s

Free and open to the public.

For more information, please go to http://www.darwinbicentennial.org or contact Guisbond@mit.edu.

Co-sponsored by the Technology & Culture Forum at MIT, the Massachusetts Darwin Society, the MIT Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences and the MIT Dean of the School of Science

Opening Doors: Honoring Physics Professor Emerita Vera Kistiakowsky

Friday, January 11 at 4 PM
Pappalardo Conference Room 4-349- click here for map

Co-sponsored with the MIT Faculty Newsletter and the MIT Department of Physics

Attack of the Drones: Ethical, Legal and Strategic Aspects of UAV Use

Tuesday, November 13
Kirsch Auditorium, Building 32 (32 Vassar Street) - click here for map

J. Bryan Hehir, Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Harvard Divinity School
Rabia Mehmood, Pakistani Television Express; International Herald Tribune
Barry Posen, Director, MIT's Security Studies Program

Kenneth A. Oye, MIT Program on Emerging Technologies; Political Science and Engineering Systems, MIT

Co-Sponsored by the Center for International Studies, MIT

J. Bryan Hehir is Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and former acting Dean of the Harvard Divinity School. His research and writing focus on ethics and foreign policy and the role of religion in world politics and in American society. His writings include: "The Moral Measurement of War: A Tradition of Continuity and Change; Military Intervention and National Sovereignty.

Rabia Mehmood is a Lahore based correspondent and producer for the Pakistani television network Express and for the International Herald Tribune. She has covered the survivors and victims of terrorist attacks, suicide bombings and hostage sieges carried out by militants in Lahore. She has also reported on internally displaced people who left Northwest Pakistan as a result of insurgency by terrorists and military offensives. She was a 2010-2011 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies.

Barry R. Posen is Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT, Director of the MIT Security Studies Program, and serves on the Executive Committee of Seminar XXI, an educational program for senior military officers, government officials and business executives in the national security policy community. He has written two books, Inadvertent Escalation: Conventional War and Nuclear Risks and The Sources of Military Doctrine. He has been a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow; Rockefeller Foundation International Affairs Fellow; Guest Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow; Smithsonian Institution; and a Transatlantic Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Dr. Posen's current research interests include U.S. national security policy, the security policy of the European Union, the organization and employment of military force, great power intervention into civil conflicts, and innovation in the U.S. Army, 1970-1980.

Kenneth A. Oye is Director of the MIT Program on Emerging Technologies and holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor in Political Science and Engineering Systems. His writings include Cooperation under Anarchy, Economic Discrimination and Political Exchange, and books on Carter, Reagan and Bush foreign policy. His current research centers on the adaptive management of risks associated with emerging technologies.

Professor Posen will begin the evening by discussing the technology and the strategic use of drones in the context of American foreign policy and the military. Ms. Mehmood will give a Pakistani perspective; and Professor Bryan Hehir will conclude with a discussion of the ethical use of drones in the context of security.

Articles of Interest:

Take Two Drones and Call Me in the Morning
The perils of our addiction to remote-controlled war

What's Not Wrong With Drones?
The wildly overblown case against remote-controlled war.

Do Drone Attacks Do More Harm Than Good?

CIA Seeks to Expand Drone Fleet

Plan for Hunting Terrorists

Behind the US Targeted Killing Program

Match Made in Hell?
Citizens United and a Return to
‘Traditional American Values’

Thursday, October 25
6-120 - click here for map

Mel White, author of Holy Terror and Stranger at the Gate
The Honorable Byron Rushing, Majority Whip in the MA House of Representatives
Additional Speakers TBA

Read Mel White's blog

Mel White, former ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, will describe the players and agendas that he believes drove the Citizens United legislation and that continue to propel the over-arching ‘traditional American values” campaign — a mutually exploitative relationship between religious fundamentalists and wealthy a-religious zealots.

Drawing on more than thirty years in local and state politics, The Honorable Byron Rushing, Majority Whip in the MA House of Representatives, will describe the street-level implications of the Citizens United legislation, and will reflect on its potential repercussions for our democratic process and identity.

Some articles pertaining to “Citizens United”

N.J. Assembly rejects Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate political spending

Supreme Court Rejects Corporate Campaign Spending Limits

Supreme Court doubles down on "Citizens United"

Chance to Vote on Citizens United!? Yes, This November

Read Former Justice Stevens opinion on the Supreme Court decision.

Understanding the Arab Uprisings in their
Second Year:
From National Humiliation to Legitimacy

Tuesday, October 16
E51-395 - click here for map

Rami Khouri
Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut

Hosted by the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar Series

Co-sponsored with the Center for International Studies

Click here to listen to this program

Coming Out Faithful
An Interfaith Dinner Conversation about Coming Out in Religious Communities

Thursday, October 11
4-145 - click here for map


The Rev. Pamela Werntz, Rector, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Boston
The Rev. Theodore W. Asta, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Bishop's Associate, New England Synod
Jason McNight, Assistant Dean, Graduate Education, MIT
John Falcone, PhD Boston College, Catholic Theologian, Huffington Post Writer
Samuel Brinton, G, MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering, Technology Policy Program

Moderator: Howard M. Heller, Chief of Medicine, MIT Medical

Coming Out Faithful
Some folks live lives surrounded by love and support. Others live in constant fear of rejection and violence. Some are actively involved in their faith communities. Others have left their faith traditions behind. In Coming Out Faithful we will hear the perspectives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people of faith who will describe their experiences in their communities and churches. Individuals from a variety of religious traditions will speak for themselves in their own voices, in what we hope will be a fresh, candid and honest conversation. Together we will explore possible contours of an interfaith model for institutional reformation.

The Lutheran Episcopal Ministry is hosting this event which includes dinner! Please join us!

Co-sponsored with GLBT@MIT and the Technology and Culture Forum at MIT

Love Free or Die: A Film Screening

Thursday, October 4
6-120 - click here for map

LOVE FREE OR DIE is about a man whose two defining passions are in direct conflict: his love for God and for his partner Mark. Gene Robinson is the first openly gay person to become a bishop in the historic traditions of Christendom. His consecration in 2003, to which he wore a bullet-proof vest, caused an international stir, and he has lived with death threats every day since. The film follows Robinson from small-town churches in the New Hampshire North Country to Washington’s Lincoln Memorial to London’s Lambeth Palace, as he calls for all to stand for equality – inspiring bishops, priests and ordinary folk to come out from the shadows and change history.

Following the film, a discussion will be lead by queer theologian, Rev. Dr. Patrick S. Cheng, Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology, Episcopal Divinity School and Shannon Fennema, feminist theologian, Harvard Divinity School.

Co-sponsored with MIT Women and Gender Studies and the MIT Rainbow Lounge.

The 11th Annual International Development Fair

Friday, September 28
Stata Center- click here for map

The Fair is traditionally held each year early in the fall semester and provides incoming and continuing MIT students, recent graduates and members of the MIT community an opportunity to learn about ways that they can become engaged in international development through student groups, non-profit organizations, academic course offerings and other activities on and around MIT's campus. Groups and organizations of all types set up booths to display their development projects and enlist the interested individuals who pass through the fair grounds.

The annual Fair is organized by the International Development Initiative and the Technology and Culture Forum.

Film Screening: Countdown to Zero

Thursday, September 27 at 7pm
6-120- click here for map

Countdown to Zero is directed by Lucy Walker and produced by the Academy Award winning producers of An Inconvenient Truth, Lawrence Bender and Participant Media.

The film is a fascinating and frightening exploration of the dangers of nuclear weapons, exposing a variety of present day threats and featuring insights from a host of international experts and world leaders who advocate the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Countdown to Zero is a chilling wake-up call about the urgency of the nuclear threat. It tells the striking story of uncertainty, exposing the real possibility of nuclear disaster and revealing the truth behind an issue on which human survival itself hangs.

Click here to watch the trailer.

Following the film, there will be a discussion and Q&A with Professor Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Co-sponsored with MIT Global Zero