Lectures


Toward a Better Constitution

Bob Levy
Bob Levy

Lecture #LC199
Bob Levy
Ringling College Museum Campus
Wednesday, April 3 2:30-3:30 pm
Gold Member: $12
Silver Member and General Admission: $15

In this session, Bob Levy will discuss how the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted—analyzing the views of liberals and conservatives, and explaining how those views differ from the libertarian perspective embraced by legal scholars at the Cato Institute, where Bob chaired the board for many years. Additionally, Bob will compare and contrast two leading theories of constitutional interpretation: originalism and “the living constitution.” He will also examine several controversial constitutional questions, describe how the Supreme Court has occasionally subverted the document’s original design, and recommend three constitutional amendments—involving the taxing power, interstate commerce, and the administrative state.

Bob Levy earned his doctorate at age 24 and went on to found CDA Investment Technologies. At 51, he entered George Mason University (VA) law school and earned a juris doctorate as class valedictorian. He clerked on two federal courts and then joined the Cato Institute, where he is currently chairman emeritus. Bob also taught at Georgetown University (D.C.) law school, published widely, and appeared often on radio and television. He was co-counsel in the groundbreaking Supreme Court gun case, District of Columbia v. Heller.


Technology, the Individual and Society: What Do Advanced Technologies Such as Artificial Intelligence Portend for the Individual and for Society?

Peter B. Miller
Peter B. Miller

Lecture #LC200
Peter B. Miller|
Ringling College Museum Campus
Friday, April 12 1-2:30 pm
Gold Member: Free
Silver Member and General Admission: $15

We are in one of the most rapid periods of technology development in history. The most important of these developments is artificial intelligence (AI). In November 2022, ChatGPT was opened to the public. It immediately garnered over one hundred million worldwide users. However, since that time, AI has raced forward with increasingly powerful applications for creating images, video, etc. What does this technology portend for the individual and for society? Will these benefit us or harm us? In this talk, Peter will explore the entire range of possibilities and potentialities of AI and related technologies

Peter B. Miller was born and raised in New York City. He is a product of the Bronx High School of Science and City College of New York where he split his studies between mathematics and literature. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a graduate degree in computer science and artificial intelligence. Over his career, he has pushed the frontiers of computer technology with pioneering software efforts. He founded successful start-up companies as well as worked for companies such as Apple. In addition to his work in technology, he is an author and composer.


Plastics and Human Health

Rick Tolin
Rick Tolin

Lecture #LC201
Rick Tolin
Ringling College Museum Campus
Wednesday, April 17 • 1-2:30 pm
Gold Member: $12
Silver Member and General Admission: $15

Production of plastic products has skyrocketed over the past 20 years. Microplastics are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Toxins from plastic have been found in the urine of nearly every human tested. They cross into the placenta, have been found in amniotic fluid, meconium of newborns, and in breast milk. They interfere with fetal endocrine and brain development and may be in part responsible for the dramatic increase in autism, ADHD, and gender dysphoria syndromes that have been seen over the past few decades. Harms caused by plastic-associated toxins may extend into later life and may be passed on to future generations. This talk will include: 1. the definition of plastic and the reasons why there has been such a dramatic increase in production in recent years; 2. the life cycle of plastic products and sources of human exposure; 3. physiology of the epigenetic changes that are induced by plastic-associated toxins; 4. human health harms, with emphasis on endocrine disruptors; and 5. solutions.

Rick Tolin had a long career as a gastroenterologist at a community hospital in Pennsylvania where he also served as Chairman of the Department of Medicine. In 2017, he joined Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project and transitioned his interest to teaching about the interconnections between health care, climate change, pollution, and social injustice. He retired from clinical practice in 2020.


A Generational Look at Election 2024 

Dr. Susan MacManus
Dr. Susan MacManus

Lecture #LC202
Susan MacManus
Ringling College Museum Campus
Monday, April 29 2:30-3:30 pm
Gold Member: Free. Pre-registration required.
Silver Member and General Admission: $15

The Times They Are a-Changin’… The 2024 election is shaping up to be a “young v. old” battle, and there is no place like Florida in which to examine generational shifts. This session will focus on generational differences in party registration, voting patterns and turnout, along with divergent opinions about governance and specific issues. Successful campaigns are attentive to these differences and also to voters’ primary sources of political information. Generational media reliance patterns will be examined,  along with their role in micro-targeting—getting the right message to the right voter. Failure to do so typically tamps down turnout…already a concern in 2024.

Susan A. MacManus is a University of  South Florida Distinguished University Professor Emerita (Department of Government and International Affairs, School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies). From 1998 to 2015, she served as political analyst for WFLA News Channel 8 (Tampa’s NBC affiliate). Since 2016, she has been the political analyst for ABC Action News (Tampa’s ABC affiliate). Susan is a featured columnist on sayfiereview.com, a widely-read Florida-based political website, and has appeared on every major broadcast and cable television and radio network. Susan is Florida’s most-quoted political scientist. She is not affiliated with any political party.

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