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>  News Releases >   2006 >   September

"Chalk Talk," Popular Pregame Dartmouth Faculty Lecture Series, Kicks off September 23

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 09/15/06 • Genevieve Haas • (603) 646-3661

The fourth annual Chalk Talk lecture series, presenting talks on newsworthy issues by Dartmouth faculty before Big Green home football games, kicks off Saturday, September 23, before the Dartmouth-New Hampshire home opener. Sponsored by the Dartmouth College Office of Alumni Relations, the Chalk Talk series is free and open to the public; lectures are held at the Hanover Inn from 10 to 11 a.m. on game days. Scheduled lectures include:

September 23 (vs. New Hampshire)
"Reforming Social Security and Medicare" by Andrew Samwick, professor of economics and director of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Social Security has been called the "third rail" of American politics - touch it and you die. But the financial crunch associated with the baby boomers' impending retirement has prompted policymakers to begin the process of reforming the system. Learn about the issues involved, the political obstacles to reform, and bipartisan options for reforming entitlements in the 21st century.

October 7 (vs. Yale)
"Survival of the Unexpected: Darwin Revisited" by Dorothy Wallace, professor of mathematics

In many species of birds, the male's plumage is much brighter than the female's. Darwin's hypothesis that these bright colors are a result of sexual selection by females is a belief broadly held by biologists. Superficially this plumage appears to be a disadvantage for the species, as bright males are easier targets for predators. New mathematical biology models show, however, that ordinary natural selection may suffice as an explanation of this phenomenon. Professor Wallace will explore the science of mathematical biology and see why some species might get "voted off the island."

October 14 (vs. Holy Cross - Homecoming)
"What's Right and Wrong with The Da Vinci Code?" by Susan Ackerman '80, professor of religion

Dan Brown's runaway bestseller The Da Vinci Code appeals to a wide audience, ranging from the casual reader to those intrigued by the thriller's claims regarding art and religious history, especially Mary Magdalene's role in the Christian movement. Professor Ackerman will examine the book's contextual accuracy as it relates to New Testament gospels, some noncanonical first- and second-century Gnostic Christian texts, as well as traditional Christian understandings of Mary Magdalene.

October 28 (vs. Harvard)
"21st-Century Latin America: The Impact of a Leftward Swing" by John Carey, professor of government

By early 2006, politicians calling themselves socialists governed Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Venezuela, and of course, Cuba. This year promises further elections in Peru, Colombia, Mexico and other Latin American countries, and in many cases leftist candidates lead the early polls. Who are these politicians, and what do they stand for? What's the appeal of the left in Latin America in the 21st century? What are the implications of this Latin leftward swing for the United States?

November 11 (vs. Brown)
"Running Red Lights and Ruling the World" by Ned Lebow, James O. Freedman Presidential Professor of Government

The changing narratives of self-interest in the United States have moved from what Alexis de Tocqueville called "self-interest well understood" to individualism. Professor Lebow will describe how this is apparent in domains as diverse as sports, business, driving, Congress (and its declining comity), and our increasingly unilateral foreign policy.

For more information, contact the Dartmouth Office of Alumni Relations at (603) 646-9159.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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