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Limiting Knowledge in a Democracy

21st Social Research Conference February 24-25, 2010 

 

There is no question that the free access to knowledge and information are the bedrock of all democratic societies, yet no democratic society can function without limits on what can be known, what ought to be kept confidential and what must remain secret. The tension among these competing ends is ever present and continuously raises questions about the legitimacy of limits. What limits are necessary to safeguard and protect a democratic polity? What limits undermine it?


Of course, there is no need to be a student of history to know that the kinds and severity of limits wax and wane, over time. In fact, it would appear that all stable democracies (the United States is a case in point) appear to place structural limits on limits; that is they appear to have a built-in capacity to ‘return’ from periods in which access to knowledge and information is severely limited—such as the period after World War II or after the McCarthy period in the U.S. to a more “normal” state. What processes account for this? How have whistle blowers and investigative journalists increased freedom of information and public accountability? What is it that explains why periods in which limits increase invariably seem to be followed, after some time, by a relaxation of limits and a return to some mid-point – between maximal and minimal limitations?


The central question asked by this proposed conference was, where is America today with respect to the limits on our access to information, limits on what we can keep confidential and what the government and other institutions can keep secret? How can the public gain access to information and how do we decide what information is a citizen’s right to know? What information endangers individuals’ or the country’s well-being and safety? Are the ever-increasing number of technological innovations fundamentally transforming what we can know and what we cannot? What can remain confidential and what cannot? On the one hand, technology has aided access to information and knowledge to broader and broader communities, thus eroding limits, while on the other hand, technologies are increasingly used by governments, businesses, and other social institutions to monitor and interfere with what we can know and cannot know and what is private and what is not.


The conference recognized that it is not only governments which impose limits on knowledge and control the flows of information. Limits and accessibility to information also are affected by political manipulation of the scientific enterprise, by funding decisions, by research communities themselves which decide what to explore and what not to, by the government’s censorship (both explicit and implicit) of the media as well as the media’s own role in controlling or increasing the public’s access to information and, sometimes, misinformation. Less obvious are the limits imposed by the culture itself which both implicitly and explicitly may control what questions can and should be asked and which are ignored. These forces all together have serious impacts on what we seek to know and what we are content not to know.


Because the question of the limits on knowledge and their relationship to power, policy, intellectual life, and privacy in a democracy is eternal, and because what has been made possible by technology and globalization has so drastically altered the possibilities both of limits and no limits, the question of limits has become more urgent than ever, which is the reason we organized a Social Research conference on this subject. The conference will not only examine the question of limits in the new global environment but the ways in which limits may both support or undermine democracy.

This conference was made possible by generous support from Eugene Lang College at The New SchoolRockefeller Brothers Fund, and Russell Sage Foundation.

 

To order the related issue of Social Research: An International Quarterly

Limiting Knowledge in a Democracy, Vol. 77, No. 3 (Fall 2010)

PROGRAM

Wednesday, February 24th

 

SESSION I         

 

Keynote Address

Seymour M. Hersh, United States Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist; Author

Moderator: Morton H. Halperin, Senior Advisor, Open Society Institute, Open Society Policy Center

 

 

Thursday, February 25th

 

SESSION II          

 

Recurrence of Limits on Knowledge

Throughout the history of the U.S. there have been moments when limits on what can be known have increased. What are the general features of these moments? Are there built-in restraints that set limits?

The Secrecy System, Democracy and Wise Policy

Daniel Ellsberg, former Defense and State Department official, Rand Analyst; released the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times

 

Infrastructure Restraints

Christopher Capozzola, Associate Professor of History, Lister Brothers Career Development Associate Professorship, MIT

 

Recent Increases in Limits on Knowledge

David Barstow, reporter, The New York Times

 

The Role of the Media

Glenn Greenwald, reporter, Salon; author; former constitutional law and civil rights litigator

 

Moderator: James Miller, Professor of Political Science and Liberal Studies, The New School for Social Research

 

SESSION III  

 

Arguments For and Against Limits on Knowledge in a Democracy

There are those who have made strong arguments in favor of limiting knowledge and those who have argued that there should be no limits on what we can know.

Risks of No Limits

Philip Kitcher, John Dewey Professor of Philosophy, James R. Barker Professor of Contemporary Civilization, Director, Undergraduate Studies for Columbia College, Columbia University

 

Disadvantages of Limits on Knowledge in a Democracy

Jameel Jaffer, Director, National Security Program, ACLU

 

The Inverse Relationship between Secrecy and Privacy

Julie E. Cohen, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center

 

Moderator: David Z. Albert, Frederick E. Woodbridge Professor of Philosophy, Director of M.A. Program in The Philosophical Foundations of Physics, Columbia University

 

Film Screening        

Secrecy: A Film by Peter Galison and Robb Moss

Followed by Q&A with Peter Galison and Jameel Jaffer

 

 

Thursday, May 27th

 

SESSION IV      

 

Limits on Knowledge: The Nexus of Power, Policy and Research

Limits on what we can know are not only imposed by governments but emerge from the nexus of power, the politics surrounding the making of policy, and from within the research community itself.

Geo-engineering and the Self-Imposed Limitation of Knowledge Within the Scientific Community

Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School and Department of Geosciences, Princeton University

 

Public Health Surveillance and Privacy

Ronald Bayer, Professor, Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

 

Media Censorship (Explicit and Implicit) and Media Distortion

Nicholas Lemann, Dean and Henry R. Luce Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

 

Moderator: Kenneth Prewitt, Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs, Department of Political Science, Vice-President for Global Centers, Columbia University; former US Census Bureau director

 

SESSION V    

 

Mechanisms of Limiting Knowledge

What are the actual processes that are used to limit knowledge in the US?

Recent Increases in Limits on Knowledge

Eric Lichtblau, Washington bureau reporter, The New York Times

 

Economic Sanctions and Secrecy

David D. Aufhauser, Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies

 

The Impact of New Technologies on Increasing Limits and Transparency

John Palfrey, Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law, Vice Dean, Library and Information Resources, Harvard Law School, Faculty Co-Director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society

 

Cultural, Political, and Practical Limits:  What We Seek to Know, What We Choose Not to Know, What We Don't Bother Knowing

Daniel Sarewitz, Professor of Science and Society, Director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University

 

Moderator: Trebor Scholz, Assistant Professor, Culture and Media Study, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts

 

SESSION VI    

 

What we have learned about Limiting Knowledge in a Democracy

This panel will discuss, how should we proceed? where should lines be drawn?

Peter L. Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Director, Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University

Victor Navasky, Director, Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism; Delacorte Professor of Journalism, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History and Science Studies, University of California, San Diego

Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union

 

Moderator: Aryeh Neier, President, Open Society Institute

BIOGRAPHIES

Speakers, Panelists, and Moderators

 

David D. Aufhauser is Senior Advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a managing director of UBS and a member of the management committee and board of the investment bank. He serves as the global general counsel of the bank and as UBS AG general counsel for the Americas. Prior to joining UBS, he was general counsel of the U.S. Department of Treasury, served on the Department of Justice Corporate Fraud Task Force, chaired the National Security Council’s committee on terrorist financing, was counsel to the president’s working group on financial markets, and supervised the Treasury Department’s economic sanctions program, financial crime investigations, enforcement of the Bank Secrecy Act, and implementation of the Patriot Act. For his public service, he received the Treasury Department’s highest honor, the Alexander Hamilton Award, as well as awards for leadership and distinction in diplomacy, intelligence, and law enforcement from the U.S. Department of State, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Secret Service. Mr. Aufhauser is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University. Mr. Aufhauser has testified frequently before Congress and has been a guest lecturer at the Harvard Law School, Georgetown University Law School, MIT Sloan School of Management, American University

 

Ronald Bayer is Professor at the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, where he has taught for 14 years. He has taken a leadership role in the HIV Center's work on ethics since the Center's beginnings and is now Co-Director of the Ethics, Policy, and Human Rights Core. Prior to coming to Columbia, he was at the Hastings Center, a research institute devoted to the study of ethical issues in medicine and the life sciences. Dr. Bayer's research has examined ethical and policy issues in public health, with a special focus on AIDS, tuberculosis, illicit drugs, and tobacco. His broader goal is to develop an ethics of public health. He is an elected member of the IOM, serves on its Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and has served on IOM committees dealing with the social impact of AIDS, tuberculosis elimination, vaccine safety, smallpox vaccination, and the Ryan White Care Act. His articles on AIDS have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, the American Journal of Public Health, and The Milbank Quarterly. His books include Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagnosis (1981), Private Acts, Social Consequences: AIDS and the Politics of Public Health (1989), AIDS in the Industrialized Democracies: Passions, Politics and Policies (1991, edited with David Kirp), Confronting Drug Policy: Illicit Drugs in a Free Society (1993, edited with Gerald Oppenheimer), Blood Feuds: Blood, AIDS and the Politics of Medical Disaster (1999, edited with Eric Feldman), AIDS Doctors: Voices from the Epidemic (2000, written with Gerald Oppenheimer), Mortal Secrets: Truth and Lies in the Age of AIDS (2003, written with Robert Klitzman), and Unfiltered: Conflicts over Tobacco Policy and Public Health (2004 Harvard University Press, edited with Eric Feldman).

 

Christopher Capozzola is an Associate Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Christopher Capozzola specializes in the political and cultural history of the United States from 1861 to 1945. He graduated from Harvard College and competed his Ph.D. at Columbia University in 2002. He has held fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Carnegie Scholars Program, and the Social Science Research Council.

At MIT, he teaches courses in political and legal history, cultural history, and the history of race, gender, and class. In 2009, he won the James A. and Ruth Levitan Award for excellence in teaching in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Professor Capozzola's research interests are in the history of war and politics in everyday life. His first book Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen was published by Oxford University Press. The book examines the relationship between citizens, voluntary associations, and the federal government during World War I, through explorations of military conscription and conscientious objection, homefront voluntarism, regulation of enemy aliens, and the emergence of civil liberties movements. An article based on his research won the Louis Pelzer Memorial Award of the Organization of American Historians and the Biennial Article Prize of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

A new project brings together his interests in citizenship, the military, and migration. Brothers of the Pacific: Soldier, Citizens, and the Philippines from 1898 to the War on Terror is a transnational history of American soldiers in the Philippines and Filipino soldiers in the U.S in the twentieth century. An essay, “Minutemen for the World: Empire, Citizenship, and the National Guard, 1903-1924,” was published in Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State (University of Wisconsin Press).

He has published articles and essays in American Quarterly, Georgetown Law Journal, Journal of American History, Journal of Women's History, New England Quarterly, and Rethinking History, as well as in popular periodicals including The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, New Labor Forum, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Washington Post Book World.

 

Julie E. Cohen is Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. She teaches and writes about intellectual property law and privacy law, with particular focus on copyright and on the intersection of copyright and privacy rights in the networked information society. She is a co-author of Copyright in a Global Information Economy (Aspen Law & Business, 2d ed. 2006), and is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and Public Knowledge. From 1995 to 1999, Professor Cohen taught at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. From 1992 to 1995, she practiced with the San Francisco firm of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, where she specialized in intellectual property litigation. She was formerly a Supervising Editor of the Harvard Law Review and a law clerk to Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

 

Daniel Ellsberg was born in Detroit in 1931. After graduating from Harvard in 1952 with a B.A. summa cum laude in Economics, he studied for a year at King’s College, Cambridge University, on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. Between 1954 and 1957, Ellsberg spent three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving as rifle platoon leader, operations officer, and rifle company commander.

From 1957-59 he was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows, Harvard University. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics at Harvard in 1962 with his thesis, Risk, Ambiguity and Decision. His research leading up to this dissertation—in particular his work on what has become known as the “Ellsberg Paradox,” first published in an article entitled Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms—is widely considered a landmark in decision theory and behavioral economics.

In 1959, Ellsberg became a strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation, and consultant to the Defense Department and the White House, specializing in problems of the command and control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making. In 1961 he drafted the guidance from Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the operational plans for general nuclear war. He was a member of two of the three working groups reporting to the Executive Committee of the National Security Council (EXCOM) during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Ellsberg joined the Defense Department in 1964 as Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense (International Security Affairs) John McNaughton, working on the escalation of the war in Vietnam. He transferred to the State Department in 1965 to serve two years at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, evaluating pacification in the field.

On return to the RAND Corporation in 1967, Ellsberg worked on the top secret McNamara study of U.S. Decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-68, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000 page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; in 1971 he gave it to the New York Times, the Washington Post and 17 other newspapers. His trial, on twelve felony counts posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed in 1973 on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, which led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.

Ellsberg is the author of three books: Papers on the War (1971), Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (2002), and Risk, Ambiguity and Decision (2001). In December 2006 he was awarded the 2006 Right Livelihood Award, known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” in Stockholm, Sweden.

Daniel Ellsberg lives in Kensington, California with his wife, Patricia Marx Ellsberg. Their son, Michael Ellsberg, is a developmental editor in New York. His oldest son, Robert Ellsberg, is publisher and editor-in-chief of Orbis Books. His daughter, Mary Ellsberg, is Vice President of Research and Programs at the International Center for Research on Women in Washington, D.C. He has 5 grandchildren.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, Ellsberg has been a lecturer, writer and activist on the dangers of the nuclear era, wrongful U.S. interventions and the urgent need for patriotic whistleblowing.

He is a Senior Fellow of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

 

Peter L. Galison is Joseph Pellegrino University Professor and Director of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. Galison's main work explores the complex interaction between the three principal subcultures of twentieth century physics--experimentation, instrumentation, and theory. He is author of three volumes, How Experiments End (1987), Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics (1997) and Theory Machines (under construction). Image & Logic won the Pfizer Award from the History of Science Society in October 1998. Other books include The Architecture of Science (1999) and Picturing Science, Producing Art (1998), as well as Big Science (1992), The Disunity of Science (1996), Atmospheric Flight in the 20th Century (2000), Scientific Authorship (2003), and Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture (2008). In 1997, Peter Galison was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow; in 1999, he was a winner of the Max Planck Prize given by the Max Planck Gesellschaft and Humboldt Stiftung.

 

Glenn Greenwald was a constitutional law litigator in New York, and is now a Contributing Writer at Salon, where he writes his daily political blog, Unclaimed Territory. Greenwald's first two books were New York Times Best Sellers: How Would a Patriot Act?, published in 2006, which critiqued the radical executive power theories of the Bush administration, and A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency, examining the legacy of the Bush administration for the United States, released in 2007.

 

Nicholas Lemann is Henry R. Luce Professor in The Journalism School at Columbia University. He became dean of the Graduate School of Journalism in 2003. Lemann continues to contribute to The New Yorker as a staff writer. He has published five books, most recently Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War (2006); The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy (1999), which helped lead to a major reform of the SAT; and The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America (1991), which won several book prizes. He has written widely for such publications as The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, and Slate; worked in documentary television with Blackside, Inc., Frontline, the Discovery Channel, and the BBC; and lectured at many universities. Lemann serves on the boards of directors of the Authors Guild, the National Academy of Sciences’ Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and the Academy of Political Science, and is a member of the New York Institute for the Humanities.

 

Eric Lichtblau joined The New York Times in September 2002 as a Washington correspondent covering the Justice Department in the Washington bureau. He was at the Los Angeles Times for 15 years, where he also covered the Justice Department in the Washington bureau from 1999 to 2002. He won a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for breaking the story of the National Security Agency’s wiretapping program. Author of Bush’s Law: The Remaking of American Justice (Pantheon, 2008).

 

James Miller is Chair of Liberal Studies and Professor of Political Science at the New School for Social Research.  His latest book, Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche, will be published next year by Farrar Straus and Giroux.  He is the author of five other books: Flowers in the Dustbin: the Rise of Rock & Roll, 1947-1977, winner of an ASCAP-Deems Taylor award and a Ralph Gleason BMI award for best music book of 1999; The Passion of Michel Foucault (1993), an interpretive essay on the life of the French philosopher, and a National Book Critics Circle Finalist for General Nonfiction; “Democracy is in the Streets”: Form Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago (1987), an account of the American student movement of the 1960s, also a National Book Critics Circle Finalist for General Nonfiction; Rousseau: Dreamer of Democracy (1984), a study of the origins of modern democracy; and History and Human Existence – From Marx to Merleau-Ponty, an analysis of Marx and the French existentialists.  The original editor of The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll (1976), he has written about music since 1967, when one of his early record reviews appeared in the third issue of Rolling Stone magazine.  Subsequent reviews, profiles, and essays on music have appeared in New Times, The New Republic, The New York Times and Newsweek, where he was a book reviewer and pop music critic between 1981 and 1990.  From 2000 to 2008, he was the editor of Daedalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, an NEH Fellow twice, and in 2006-2007 he was a Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.   A native of Chicago, he was educated at Pomona College in California, and at Brandeis University, where he received a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas in 1976. 

 

Victor S. Navasky is the author, among other books, of Kennedy Justice (1971), Naming Names (which won a National Book Award, 1982) and A Matter of Opinion (which won the George Polk Book Award, 2005). He worked as an editor of The New York Times Magazine, where he also wrote a column, "In Cold Print" for The New York Times Book Review. Beginning in 1978, he was editor and then publisher of The Nation, America's oldest weekly magazine, where he is now Publisher Emeritus. He has freelanced for scores of magazines. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College (Phi Beta Kappa, 1954), and the Yale Law School, 1959, where he founded, edited and published Monocle Magazine, "a leisurely quarterly of political satire".

 

Aryeh Neier is president of the Open Society Institute. Prior to joining the Open Society Institute in 1993, he served for 12 years as executive director of Human Rights Watch, of which he was a founder in 1978. Before that, he worked 15 years at the American Civil Liberties Union, including eight years as national executive director. He served as an adjunct professor of law at New York University for more than a dozen years. Neier is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, and has published in periodicals such as the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and Foreign Policy. For a dozen years he wrote a column on human rights for The Nation. He has contributed more than a 150 op-ed articles in newspapers including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the International Herald Tribune. Author of six books, including his most recent, Taking Liberties (2003), Neier has also contributed chapters to more than 20 books. He has lectured at many of the country’s leading universities. He is the recipient of six honorary degrees and the American Bar Association’s Gavel Award and the International Bar Association’s Rule of Law Award.


Michael Oppenheimer is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the Department of Geosciences at Princeton University. He is also Director of the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) at the Woodrow Wilson School and Faculty Associate of the Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences Program, Princeton Environmental Institute, and the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. He is also a Visiting Professor of Law at NYU School of Law. He joined the Princeton faculty after more than two decades with The Environmental Defense Fund, a non-governmental, environmental organization, where he served as chief scientist and manager of the Climate and Air Program. Oppenheimer is a long-time participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, serving most recently as a lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. He is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Panel on Alternative Liquid Transportation Fuels. He is also a science advisor to The Environmental Defense Fund. Dr. Oppenheimer has been a guest on many television and radio programs, including ABC's This Week, Nightline, Alcove, The News Hour, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Charlie Rose, ABC News and the Colbert Report. He is the author of about 100 articles published in professional journals and is co-author (with Robert H. Boyle) of a 1990 book, Dead Heat: The Race Against The Greenhouse Effect.

 

Naomi Oreskes is Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Her research focuses on the historical development of scientific knowledge, methods, and practices in the earth and environmental sciences, and on understanding scientific consensus and dissent. She has held grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Philosophical Society, and is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. Oreskes is the author of The Rejection of Continental Drift: Theory and Method in American Earth Science (Oxford University Press, 1999), "Verification, validation, and confirmation of numerical models in the earth sciences" (Science 263: 641-646, 1994), and "Objectivity or Heroism: On the Invisibility of Women in Science" (Osiris 11: 87-133, 1996), and editor of Plate Tectonics: An Insider’s History of the Modern Theory of the Earth (with Homer Le Grand, Westview Press, 2001), which was cited by Library Journal as one of the best science and technology books of 2002, and by Choice as an outstanding academic title of 2003. She is currently completing Science on a Mission: American Oceanography in the Cold War and Beyond, to be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007. Her most recent work deals with the science of climate change. Her 2004 essay "The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change" (Science 306: 1686), led to Op-Ed pieces in the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times, and has been widely cited in the mass media, including National Public Radio (Fresh Air), The New Yorker, USA Today, Parade, as well as in the Royal Society’s publication, "A guide to facts and fictions about climate change," and, most recently, in Al Gore’s movie, "An Inconvenient Truth."


John Palfrey is Henry N. Ess Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School. He is the co-author of "Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives" (Basic Books, 2008) and "Access Denied: The Practice and Politics of Internet Filtering" (MIT Press, 2008). His research and teaching is focused on Internet law, intellectual property, and international law. He practiced intellectual property and corporate law at the law firm of Ropes & Gray. He is a faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Outside of Harvard Law School, he is a Venture Executive at Highland Capital Partners and serves on the board of several technology companies and non-profits. John served as a special assistant at the US EPA during the Clinton Administration. He is a graduate of Harvard College, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard Law School.

 

Kenneth Prewitt is the Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and the former US Census Bureau director. He has taught at the University of Chicago (1965–82) as an assistant, associate, and full professor. He has also taught at Stanford University, Washington University, the University of Nairobi, and Makerere University (Uganda). He was also the dean of the Graduate Faculty at the New School University (2001–2002). Previous positions include director of the United States Census Bureau (1998–2001), director of the National Opinion Research Center, president of the Social Science Research Council, and senior vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation. Prewitt's publications include Politics and Science in Census Taking (2003), Introduction to American Government (6th edition, 1991), and "The U. S. Decennial Census: Political Questions, Scientific Answers" in the Population and Development Review. He has authored and coauthored a dozen books and more than 100 articles and book chapters. He is currently completing a historical study of the tortured consequences of the nation's official racial classification from 1790 to the present. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, honorary degrees from Carnegie Mellon and Southern Methodist University, a Distinguished Service Award from the New School for Social Research, various awards associated with his directorship of the Census Bureau, and in 1990 he was awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany.

 

Anthony D. Romero is the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation's premier defender of liberty and individual freedom. He took the helm of the organization just four days before the September 11, 2001 attacks. Shortly afterward, the ACLU launched its national Safe and Free campaign to protect basic freedoms during a time of crisis. Under Romero's leadership, the ACLU gained court victories on the Patriot Act, filed landmark litigation on the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. custody, and filed the first successful legal challenge to the Bush administration's illegal NSA spying program. Romero, an attorney with a history of public-interest activism, has presided over the most successful membership growth in the ACLU's history and more than doubled national staff and tripled the budget of the organization since he began his tenure. This unprecedented growth has allowed the ACLU to expand its nationwide litigation, lobbying and public education efforts, including new initiatives focused on racial justice, religious freedom, privacy, reproductive freedom and LGBT rights. Romero is the ACLU's sixth executive director, and the first Latino and openly gay man to serve in that capacity. In 2005, Romero was named one of Time Magazine's 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America, and has received dozens of public service awards and an honorary doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law. In 2007, Romero and co-author Dina Temple-Raston published In Defense of Our America: The Fight for Civil Liberties in the Age of Terror, which takes a critical look at civil liberties in this country at a time when constitutional freedoms are in peril. Using the stories of real Americans on the frontlines of the fight for civil liberties, In Defense of Our America takes readers behind the scenes of some of the most important civil liberties cases in America to illustrate the dangerous erosion of the Bill of Rights in the age of terror.

 

Daniel Sarewitz is Professor of Science and Society and Co-Director of the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes at Arizona State University. His work focuses on revealing the connections between science policy decisions, scientific research and social outcomes. How does the distribution of the social benefits of science relate to the way that we organize scientific inquiry? What accounts for the highly uneven advance of know-how related to solving human problems? How do the interactions between scientific uncertainty and human values influence decision making? How does technological innovation influence politics? And, how can improved insight into such questions contribute to improved real-world practice? From 1989-1993 he worked on R&D policy issues as a staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and principal speech writer for Committee Chairman George E. Brown, Jr.. He received a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Cornell University in 1986. He now directs the Washington, DC, office of CSPO, and concentrates his efforts on increasing CSPO's impact on federal science and technology policy processes.

 

Trebor Scholz is Assistant Professor in the Department of Culture and Media Studies at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts. He is a writer, artist, media activist and founder of the Institute for Distributed Creativity. In 2009, he convened the international conference, The Internet as Playground and Factory. He co-edited The Art of Free Cooperation (Autonomedia, 2007).

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