Wednesday, June 9, 2021
The Role of Professionals in Preserving Democracy
|Democracies do not often fall in one fell swoop, instead, it is the erosion of democratic norms and processes over time that destabilize government. How do we teach professionals and educators about their role when democracy is at stake? read more...
What kinds of trade-offs and compromises serve to weaken democratic institutions, and how do we restore democratic norms and promote critical thinking? How do we structure the challenges of acknowledging the complexities of the past in a way that helps educators and professionals navigate decision making in complex environments? What is an ethically and academically responsible way to employ history in our understanding of the present?
Join us as we look to the historic example of the Weimar Republic to understand how a democracy can crumble, examine the ways in which our own democracy has been strained, and explore the most effective ways of educating about the pitfalls, risks, and responsibilities of professionals involved in the preservation of democracy.
Dr. Karen Murphy, Director of International Strategy, Facing History and Ourselves
Dr. William Meinecke, Historian, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Dr. Stephen Latham, JD, PhD, Director, Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Complicity & Accountability — Rebuilding the Guardrails
|The January 6 right-wing insurrection at the Capitol was not simply the actions of an uncontrolled mob, but an assault on democracy incited by political leaders that has massive implications for the ethical responsibilities of professionals. The path to the Capitol was paved by the actions of those who violated crucial norms and undermined central democratic institutions. In the wake of the past four years, how do professionals promote meaningful and fair accountability work for the people and institutions who have violated the law and ethical obligations? read more...
In what case is the excuse of having prevented worse from happening credible, and how is it weighed against acts of complicity? How do we calibrate the tension between moral responsibility and pragmatics in individual decision making, and as a civil society, how do we create incentives that enable professionals to make ethical choices? Join us in conversation with FASPE Law Faculty David Luban and Erica Newland, Counsel at Protect Democracy and former Attorney Adviser at the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice.
Erica Newland, Counsel, Protect Democracy; former Attorney Adviser at the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice (DoJ)
David Luban (FASPE Law Faculty & Academic Committee Member), Professor of Law and Philosophy, Georgetown University
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
The Role of Clergy
|Members of the mob that attacked the Capitol and attempted to overthrow a democratic election claimed they were enacting God’s will. What role did religious leaders play in encouraging or enabling this? What can history teach us about the role of religious institutions and leaders within polarized societies and authoritarian regimes? read more...
Contemporarily, how can religious leaders work for what they might think of as traditional family values, without compromising these values through an alliance with ruthless, authoritarian and xenophobic religious nationalism?
Rev. Dr. Kevin Spicer (FASPE Seminary Faculty & Academic Committee Member), James J. Kenneally Distinguished Professor of History, Stonehill College
Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Trusting the Experts
|Recent crises have shown us that following the advice of scientists and experts is crucial to maintaining public health. And yet, we live in a society where expertise is doubted and rejected or lauded and revered in seemingly equal measure. While science may be infallible, scientists are not. read more...
Historical example reveals the perils of granting dangerous ideas the veneer of legitimacy by couching them in the ideals of progress and scientific or technological advancement. How can we safeguard the professions against these pitfalls? What are the standards that we should hold doctors, lawyers, journalists, clergy, businesspeople, and scientists to in order to ensure that expertise remains ethical?
Dr. Arthur Caplan, Drs. William F and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and founding head of the Division of Medical Ethics, NYU School of Medicine
Past Webinars in this Series
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Journalism in the Era of Post-Truth
|In an era where leaders lambast the press as “fake news” and citizens fall victim to rampant disinformation, ethical journalism has never been more necessary. Journalists are the first line of defense and are essential to ensuring an informed public makes the best choices. read more...
How should journalists respond in the face of these challenges, when they are maligned as the enemy, and truth is viewed as subjective? How did journalists under the Nazi regime react to censorship and propaganda, and what can be learned from their experiences? Join us as we explore how the news media can respond to the urgent need to inform a fractured, polarized public and establish trust in the press and democratic institutions.
Bill Grueskin (FASPE Board Member & Journalism Faculty), Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Journalism School
Amanda Bennett, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, investigative journalist and editor; former Director of the Voice of America
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Auschwitz: Place, Education, Memory
|The year 2020 forced a hiatus on all of us. During this time, historical sites barely were accessible for pedagogic or commemorative purposes. What consequences did this have? read more...
Is this the moment to recalibrate and reimagine what the significance of the site can and should be?
Where does Auschwitz stand in relation to other sites of memory, as a part of the European landscape of memory, referencing a century of death and destruction? What kind of new ways need to be explored, in terms of remembering, but perhaps even more, in terms of learning, contextualizing, and reflecting about the current relevance of these historical sites?
Paul Salmons, Curator, educator, & consultant, Auschwitz: Not long ago. Not far away
Pawel Sawicki, Press Officer, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
About The Rhyme of the Past
Mark Twain is said to have once posited that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” At FASPE, we believe that history provides both warning and instruction. Join us for a series of webinars in which we explore the historical dimensions of issues such as the erosion of democratic norms, the significance of the rule of law, the power of the press, transitional justice, and the nexus of contemporary ethics and historical memory, examine how professional standards have been challenged during the past four years, and seek to elucidate the role professionals can play today in the writing of tomorrow’s history.
Click here to view the archive of 2020 FASPE webinars.