Lectures in government and policy this week

Lectures this week will cover a range of approaches to government and policy issues. Tomorrow, Gerry Mackie will discuss democracy as a form of government. Wednesday afternoon, journalist Khaled Abu Toameh will demonstrate the need for a free press in the Middle East. At 6:30 the same evening, Tupper Thomas will describe New York City’s innovative public education project. Lastly, at 7:30 p.m., Mumia Abu Jamal’s lead lawyer, Robert R. Bryan, will discuss the constitutional issues at stake in the death-row inmate’s last attempt at a new trial.

Title: “Democracy Defended”

The Basics: Gerry Mackie, associate professor of political science at the University of California: San Diego will discuss ongoing doubts about democratic governance. Mackie will refute the claim that democracy leads to chaos and cannot sustain itself by illustrating every potential instability within a democratic system and concluding that none are normatively troubling.

The lecture is part of the lecture series “Liberalisms,” sponsored by the Humanities Center.

When: Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Baker Hall 154R

Title: “Life as a Journalist in Israel and the Palestinian Authority”

The Basics: Independent Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh will discuss the importance of a free press in the Middle East. After a 20-year career in journalism, Toameh has established a reputation as an honest and unbiased journalist. Toameh began his career at a Palestinian Liberation Organization newspaper and moved into the Israeli and then international press. Currently, Toameh works with the international media in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The lecture is co-sponsored by Tartans for Israel, Hasbara Fellowships, the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon College Republicans, and the University Lecture Series.

When: Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A

Subject: Tupper Thomas

The Basics: Tupper Thomas, president of the Prospect Park Alliance in Brooklyn, N.Y., will discuss the mission of the Brooklyn Academy for Science and the Environment (BASE), a public high school in New York City. BASE uses Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to engage students in scientific research and teach them about the environment. The project is part of New York City’s New Century High School Initiative, which seeks to convert underperforming high schools into groups of smaller “themed” schools.

The lecture is part of the University Lecture Series.

When: Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Where: Gregg Hall, Porter Hall 100

Title: “On the Anniversary of the Assassination of Malcolm X: the Case for Mumia Abu Jamal”

The Basics: Award-winning Philadelphia journalist Mumia Abu Jamal has been on death row for the past 25 years for the murder of a Philadelphia policeman. Robert R. Bryan, lead lawyer for Jamal, will discuss recent developments in this famous case. In particular, Bryan will speak about the constitutional issues that will determine whether Jamal will get a new trial.

The lecture is sponsored by the Humanities Scholars Program.

When: Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Adamson Wing, Baker Hall 136A