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Foley Institute director to discuss civility, democracy Oct. 1

Cornell Clayton
Cornell Clayton

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) hollers “You Lie!” at President Barack Obama during his health-care speech to Congress. Conservative talk-radio showman Rush Limbaugh labels a caller a “slut” because she advocates insurance coverage for contraceptive care. Occupy Wall Street protesters portray bankers as criminals.  Is American democracy in the midst of an “incivility crisis”?

Cornell Clayton, political science professor and director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, will discuss “Being Wrong about Democracy: Political Incivility in a Polarized Society” at 7 p.m. today, Oct. 1, in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education, Room 203. Hosted by the Common Reading Program, this presentation is free and open to the public.

Read more about the presentation

WSU planetarium previews 3D science learning – free Oct. 1

Planetarium WSU
The latest digital technology for viewing the universe at the WSU planetarium will be previewed in a free, public demonstration at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, in Sloan Hall 231. A demo for WSU organizations, departments, clubs, units, students, staff and faculty will be at 2 p.m. Seating is first come, first served.

The demo of the SciDome 3D projector by maker SPITZ, Inc. will include teaching visuals, lessons from the extensive SciDome curriculum,  the Layered Earth software for earth science teaching and previews of full-dome shows featuring astronomy and space science, biology, chemistry, earth science, mathematics and the arts.

In addition to using the planetarium for WSU classes, the Department of Physics and Astronomy welcomes hundreds of school children from the region each year to the facility.

Continue planetarium preview

New insights into intelligence role in start of Pacific war

Recently uncovered documents about prewar Japanese intelligence that offer new insights to the World War II Pacific theater will be discussed in a free, public presentation on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at WSU Pullman. Tosh Minohara, professor in the Graduate School of Law at Kobe University, Japan, will present “Reconsidering the Road to Pearl Harbor: The Role of Intelligence in Decision Making,” noon-1:30 p.m., Sept. 25, in Bryan Hall 324.

His approach will be two-fold: first, to briefly overview the obscure history of the Japanese Black Chamber, a code breaking operation; and second, to examine the intelligence dimension of policy formulation in Tokyo. This will include the impact of signals intelligence on decision making, most notably at the critical juncture of November 1941 during U.S.-Japan negotiations. The talk is sponsored by the WSU Department of History, the George and Bernadine Converse Historical Endowment, and the WSU Asia Program.

Read more about the presentation

Psychology prof to lecture on public project success, failure

Craig Parks
Craig Parks
Psychology Professor Craig Parks will present “Build the Skate Park and Kill the Swimming Pool: Why People Want Some Societal Projects to Succeed and Others to Fail” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, in the Honors Hall Lounge. His presentation will explore the reasons some public projects succeed or fail.

Parks is the inaugural program speaker in the Honors College Distinguished Lecture Series. A branch of his research examines the conditions under which people will work for the common good or actively oppose a collectively beneficial endeavor, and the ways cooperation is affected by individuals’ personality and influence.

“We are pleased that Dr. Parks will be our first guest speaker. His research into human cooperation is ground-breaking,” said M. Grant Norton, dean.

Learn more about the Honors College distinguished speaker

Washington State lawmakers not subject to tickets?

Carolyn Long
Carolyn Long

The Washington State Patrol says lawmakers should be shielded from arrest or civil process during the session, except for serious offenses.


But Carolyn Long, associate professor of politics, philosophy, and public affairs, disagrees. “I think it’s a terrible idea in this time when the public has a lot of mistrust in politicians and believe they get favored treatment,” she said. “So we ought to re-evaluate the application of the law and make sure it’s consistent.”

Read more at KMOV