Distributed May 5, 2003
For Immediate Release

News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

33rd annual Commencement Forums

Former Brazilian president and Nixon counsel headline forums

Brown will present its 33rd annual Commencement Forums throughout the day on Saturday, May 24, 2003. The 18 sessions, all free and open to the public, will feature leaders in the fields of science and medicine, the arts, international affairs and entertainment.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Former President of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso and former Nixon counsel and Prison Fellowship ministry founder Charles Colson ’53 will be among the speakers at Brown University’s 33rd annual Commencement Forums Saturday, May 24, 2003.

An outgrowth of the campus teach-ins of the early 1970s, the Commencement Forums offer a window on the intellectual world of Brown and have become an integral part of the University’s Commencement/Reunion Weekend. The forums draw upon the knowledge, talent and expertise of Brown alumni, faculty, parents and special guests to consider timely social, political and personal issues. This year’s speakers will share lessons learned in the arenas of international affairs, history, science and medicine, the arts and entertainment.

Eighteen forums will be offered Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing through the afternoon in several locations on campus. Each session will last 60 to 90 minutes and will include time for questions from the audience. All forums are free and open to the public on a space-available basis.

Editors: Times and locations are subject to change. For the latest information, contact the News Service at (401) 863-2476 or visit the Web site (www.brown.edu/news) for updates.

People with special needs who plan to attend a forum should contact the University at least 24 hours in advance by calling University Events at (401) 863-2474 during business hours or Brown Department of Public Safety at (401) 863-3322 after business hours.

The forums are scheduled as follows:

9 a.m.

  • Abraham Lincoln: Our Ever Present Contemporary
    Abraham Lincoln’s presidency has particular relevance today. In a Friends of the Library Lecture, the Hon. Frank Williams, chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, will examine Lincoln’s controversial use of military tribunals and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War.
    Salomon Center for Teaching (lower level), The College Green
  • The Service Ethic:
    Colleges and Universities as Good Citizens in Their Own Home Towns
    Roger Mandle, president of the Rhode Island School of Design, examines the unique expressions of their own mission that colleges and universities bring to their home cities. As part of his remarks, Mandle will present a “report card” on future collaborations between RISD and Brown.
    Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall, 167 Thayer St.
  • Can the Ivy League Teach Ethics?
    The financial-markets scandals of 2002 reflect a serious ethical failure in American life. Charles Colson ’53, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries and former special counsel to President Richard M. Nixon jailed for his role in the Watergate scandal, believes that for society to function optimally, human beings need to be taught a code of moral truth with objective standards of right and wrong. Can elite institutions such as Brown, committed as they are to philosophical relativism, do this?
    Salomon Center for Teaching (upper level), The College Green
  • Pax Americana? Problems and Prospects for U.S. Foreign Policy
    What factors will shape foreign policy in the era after 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Peter Gourevitch, professor at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California–San Diego, and Neta C. Crawford, associate professor of political science at Brown’s Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies, will explore conceptual issues that frame debates on U.S. security, interests, values and identity.
    Sayles Hall, The College Green

10:15 a.m.

  • The Daily Planet:
    Why the Press Stumbles over the World’s Biggest Story – the State of the Planet
    Most news is dramatic and fast-breaking, whereas environmental issues are manifested in subtle, slow-moving shifts – the antithesis of news. Andrew Revkin ’78, a veteran environmental reporter for The New York Times, discusses the difficulty of explaining such issues in a way that will capture the attention of editors and readers.
    Sayles Hall, The College Green
  • Medicine, Manpower, and Money: Will You Have a Doctor When You Need One?
    Dramatic – and expensive – advances in technology have greatly improved the outcome of many illnesses, yet insurance companies and HMOs often balk at paying for these advances. Soon, predicted physician shortages will further impede timely access to health care. In this Ruth Sauber Lecture, Pardon Kenney ’72, M.D., chief of surgery at Faulkner Hospital, discusses what the future holds for doctors and their patients?
    Salomon Center (lower level), The College Green
  • Entitled and Empowered: Today’s Child
    Author/illustrator Ted Dewan ’83 (Crispin, the Pig Who Had It All) and author Lisa Birnbach ’78 (1,003 Great Things About Kids) will use slides from Dewan’s books to present a humorous and incisive look at today’s “poor little rich kids.”
    List Art Center, room 120, 64 College St.
  • Biomaterials and How they Change Our Lives
    New drug-delivery technologies, including novel polymers and intelligent microchips, promise to revolutionize treatments for cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. The ability to create tissues that combine mammal cells and synthetic polymers may help physicians treat burns, damaged cartilage, paralysis and vascular disease. In this Maurice and Yetta Glicksman Lecture, Robert Langer, the Kenneth J. Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will discuss the brave new world of bioengineered materials.
    Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall, 167 Thayer St.
  • Come with Me to the SEC
    From Enron to Global Crossings, issues confronting the securities market, and the SEC’s role in addressing them, continue to dominate the business news. Annette Nazareth ’78, director of the Division of Market Regulation at the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission, plays a policy- and decision-making role at the SEC; she will discuss the current situation and future directions.
    Salomon Center (upper level), The College Green

2:15 p.m.

  • Fighting Terrorism and the Danger of Neglecting Human Rights
    Since September 11, some observers feel that the Bush administration has viewed human rights as an obstacle to fighting terrorism. Kenneth Roth ’78, executive director for Human Rights Watch, believes that respecting rights and ending terrorism should be seen as mutually reinforcing processes, not as a zero-sum game.
    Salomon Center (lower level), The College Green
  • Unchained Memories
    The WPA slave narratives so powerfully captured in the HBO film Unchained Memories represent one of our few connections to a past era and a lost generation. Spencer Crew ’71, executive director and CEO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, talks about these former slaves, the circumstances of their lives, and the process of capturing their memories for the film and a book.
    Salomon Center (upper level), The College Green
    In conjunction with this forum, the interactive exhibition Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives will be on display in the lobby of the Salomon Center Wednesday through Friday, May 21-23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Monday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Exploring the Surface of Mars with Twin Rovers
    Next month, NASA will launch two identical robotic rovers to explore the surface of Mars early next year. Each Mars Exploration Rover will examine its landing site for geological evidence of past liquid water activity and past environmental conditions hospitable to life. Catherine Weitz ’98 Ph.D., NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) program scientist, will present an overview and a visual tour of the MER program.
    Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall, 167 Thayer St.
  • How War and Terrorism Affect Women and Children, Here and Abroad
    What impact do war and terrorism have on the lives of women and children? In this panel Cynthia Garcia Coll, Brown’s Charles Pitts Robinson and John Palmer Barstow Professor and professor of education, will discuss the psychological effects on women and children in the United States, as well as economic impacts. Jacqueline Bhabha, adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and an international human rights attorney, will talk about international law in regard to women and children during times of war, and Elliott Colla, assistant professor of comparative literature at Brown, will examine gender and the metaphors of war.
    List Art Center auditorium, 64 College St.

3:30 p.m.

  • The Business of Show Business, Redux
    Producer/ filmmaker Doug Liman ’88 has found that success depends on hard work, focus, and raw talent, not the chance Hollywood-and-Vine encounters of movie lore.
    Salomon Center (upper level), The College Green
  • Closing the Gap on Race and Gender:
    What is the Role of Art Museums with “Niche” Agendas in the 21st Century?
    Chartered in 1967, the Studio Museum in Harlem is one of many museums organized over the last 35 years devoted to showcasing the work of artists of color – artists who were poorly represented in mainstream institutions. With the advancements and improvements that came with the movements of the 1980s and 1990s, is there still a need for such institutions, or has their primary mission been pre-empted by the mainstream? Lowrey Stokes Sims, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, considers what these museums can still offer that is distinct from mainstream institutions.
    Sayles Hall, The College Green
  • Lupus and Snurps: Uncovering an Extra Step in the Central Dogma
    Joan Steitz, Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, will discuss the discovery of the cellular machinery that removes introns (nonsense regions) from gene transcripts involved the use of clinical tools – a reversal of the usual “bench to bedside” paradigm in biomedical research. Steitz will review this pathway to discovery in basic biology, as well as more recent surprises concerning splicing and the nature of our genomes.
    Starr Auditorium, MacMillan Hall, 167 Thayer St.
  • Internet Technology and Medicine: From Education to Diagnosis
    It is difficult for the public and the medical community to keep abreast of today’s quantum leaps in medical treatments and health information. Such a lack of awareness can lead to missed opportunities for improved health and well-being. Chirinjeev Kathuria ’88, M.D., and Associate Dean for Medical Education Stephen Smith will look at innovative information solutions for patients and physicians.
    Salomon Center (lower level), The College Green

3:45 p.m.

  • Toward a New Order: The Influence of Globalization on Democratic Theory
    The Stephen A. Ogden Jr. ’60 Memorial Lecture on International Affairs
    Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil, will give the Stephen A. Ogden Jr. ’60 Memorial Lecture. Cardoso is one of Latin America’s most distinguished social scientists, and he was recently appointed to a five-year term as professor-at-large at Brown.
    Starr Plaza, Watson Institute for International Studies, 111 Thayer St.