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.
Recent Forums - Spring 2013
The Nuclear Agreement with Iran and Its Ramifications for the Regional Politics of the Middle East
Tuesday, April 15
After receiving his Ph. D. from Yale University in 1968, Ali Banuazizi taught at Yale and the University of Southern California before joining the Boston College Faculty in 1971. Since then, he has held visiting appointments and fellowships at the University of Tehran, Princeton, Harvard, and Oxford University, and MIT. He served as the founding editor of the journal of Iranian Studies, from 1968 to 1982. He is a past President of the International Society for Iranian Studies (ISIS) and the Middle East Studies Association (MESA).
Ali Banuazizi is the author of numerous articles on society, culture, and politics in Iran and the Middle East, and the coauthor (with A. Ashraf) of Social Classes, the State and Revolution in Iran (2008, in Persian) and coeditor (with Myron Weiner) of three books on politics, religion and society in Southwest and Central Asia. He is currently associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World.
Wednesday, April 2
Click here for a timeline of Iran's nuclear program.
The Ides of April: The Presidential Succession Crisis and the Dilemmas of the Algerian Oligarchy
Edward Keller, Professor, North African and Middle Eastern History and Director, Middle Eastern Studies Program at Tufts University
Tuesday, April 1
Co-sponsored with the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar
The Cold War Hangover: Nuclear Risks and Political Realities in the 21st Century
Thursday, February 20
Refreshments at 3:30pm in 4-349
PLEASE NOTE: You are invited to an informal conversation with James Acton prior to his main talk in 10-250 at 4pm. We will be hosting a discussion at 2:00 - 3:15 PM in the LNS conference Room 26-528. Please email Aron Bernstein to RSVP.
Tuesday, February 4
New brain imaging studies show us that our instincts and assumptions can set us up to experience greater conflict, especially between groups that have differing moral codes or unequal access to power. Dr. Joshua Greene and Dr. Emile Bruneau will share insights from their research into why we encounter conflict and the strategies we can use to overcome our brains' automatic responses and create new opportunities for compromise, coexistence and peace.
Emile Bruneau is interested in the psychology of human conflict. He is working with Saxe to figure out why empathy - the ability to feel compassion for another person's suffering - often fails between members of opposing conflict groups. Bruneau is also trying to locate patterns of brain activity that correlate with empathy, in hopes of eventually using such measures to determine how well people respond to reconciliation programs aimed at boosting empathy between groups in conflict.
Joshua Greene's research focuses on moral judgment and decision-making, primarily using behavioral experiments and functional neuroimaging (fMRI). The goal of the research is to understand how moral judgments are shaped by automatic processes (such as emotional "gut reactions") and controlled cognitive processes (such as reasoning and self-control). Much of the research is aimed at understanding these automatic and controlled processes in more detailed functional terms. Recent work examines related phenomena such as cooperation, punishment, and belief in God.
Click here to listen to a recent radio program, "Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them", on WYNC featuring Professor Joshua Greene.
Click here to listen to a BBC panel discussion, "Why Do We Tell Stories?", featuring Dr. Emile Bruneau.
Click here to read an MITnews story featuring the research of Dr. Emile Bruneau.
The Origins of Freedom