November 08, 99

Vol. 15 , No. 05   

Marriage and Family: Looking at the Data

Though few social science essays merit the title of "classic," Barbara Dafoe Whitehead's 1993 Atlantic Monthly article "Dan Quayle Was Right" undoubtedly does. The article followed a heated national debate precipitated by a 1992 episode of the popular television series Murphy Brown, in which the lead character, portrayed by Candice Bergen, chose to have a baby without marrying the child's father. The Republican Vice President Dan Quayle sharply criticized the program's implications that single-motherhood was an acceptable, benign alternative to the two-parent family. Quayle, in turn, was silenced with a torrent of media criticism. While most social scientists remained mute, Whitehead's Atlantic cover story grounded this emotional discussion in studies that showed that, in terms of aggregate data, children of two-parent families experienced far fewer problems than those in various alternative family forms. "Dan Quayle Was Right" reoriented public debate and won the Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Women's Political Caucus and Radcliffe College.

More recently, Whitehead authored The Divorce Culture: Rethinking Our Commitments to Marriage and Family (Alfred A. Knopf, 1997). She is codirector of Rutgers University's National Marriage Project, which recently published a survey on marriage patterns and attitudes. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Barbara Dafoe Whitehead is one of three speakers featured this year in conjunction with CMC's new Berger Institute for the Study of Work, Family, and Children.

Are We Headed For a Green Millennium?

More than 2500 students from across the United States gathered recently at the University of Pennsylvania to spend a weekend participating in workshops designed to help them become effective campus organizers. They attended panel discussions on subjects such as corporate organization, market subsidies, and the effects of the World Trade Organization. They organized into regional caucuses to discuss region specific issues, listened to lectures on shareholder power, global equity, the power of the media and learned everything from how to work with the media to drafting environmental legislation. Ecoconference 2000 brought together environmental activists to help focus their strategy in making the coming century a "green" millennium. The success of this conference is indicative of a new environmentalist movement peopled by activists like Loren Finkelstein, the program director of Free The Planet!, a predominately student-oriented environmental group that focuses on empowering the next generation of environmental leaders in hope of revitalizing the political core of the environmental movement. In the six years that Free the Planet! has existed, it has grown exponentially, with chapters currently maintained at close to 200 schools across the country.

Please join Loren Finkelstein as she discusses the future of the environmental movement in the twenty-first century.

Civic Responsibility and Higher Education

Recent polls and surveys show a sharp decline in civic and political participation among young people. Americans growing up in recent decades vote less often than their elders and show lower levels of social trust and knowledge of politics. On college campuses, political discussion and involvement have dropped precipitously.

What are the roles of higher education in preparing students to be knowledgeable and engaged citizens? What values, knowledge, and skills are needed to enable those students to become responsible citizens?

Thomas Ehrlich, senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and distinguished scholar, San Francisco State University, will discuss these issues in light of a multiyear Carnegie Foundation project. Ehrlich is president emeritus of Indiana University, former provost of the University of Pennsylvania, and former dean of Stanford Law School. He is author or editor of eight books, including Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, to be published next year.

Thomas Ehrlich's lecture is part of a series of speakers planned in conjunction with the Teaching Resource Center at CMC.

Science Cooperation, International Security, and Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Former Soviet Union

Throughout the Cold War the Soviet Union maintained a massive infrastructure of scientific institutes and manufacturing facilities to support its arsenals of nuclear and chemical weapons. In addition, a large offensive biological warfare program continued in violation of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.

The breakup of the Soviet Union, with the subsequent political turmoil and economic chaos, has created new dangers. Weapons might be lost, stolen, or sold to other governments or terrorists, along with the knowledge of how to make these weapons more lethal. The United States, Japan, the European Union and others have developed numerous programs to prevent the spread of technology and material from the former Soviet Union. Understanding the risks and benefits of such programs helps us understand more clearly the international security implications of the broader globalization of science.

Ronald F. Lehman is the director of the Center for Global Security Research (CGSR) at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and also is chairman of the governing board of the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Moscow. He has served three Presidents, four Secretaries of State, four Secretaries of Defense, and three National Security Advisors in senior executive and advisory positions. From 1989 to 1993 he was the director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Lehman is also chairman of the board of governors of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies at CMC. Lehman's appearance at the Athenaeum is second in the Keck Center's lecture series on nuclear issues.

Making the Grade
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1999 Lunch

How do teachers evaluate students? Is there grade inflation? The Teaching Resource Center at CMC has invited Michael Scriven, professor of psychology at Claremont Graduate University to the address these and other questions of vital interest to students and faculty across the United States.

Scriven took honors degrees in mathematics and the philosophy of mathematical logic at the University of Melbourne and earned his doctorate in philosophy at Oxford. He has taught in the U.S. and Australia, in departments of mathematics, philosophy, psychology, the history and philosophy of science, and education. He has held fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Palo Alto), the Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Psychology (University of Alberta), the Educational Testing Service (Princeton), the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (Santa Barbara), the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, the National Science Foundation, and as a Whitehead Fellow at Harvard University. His 330 publications are mainly in the fields of his appointments and in the areas of critical thinking, technology studies, computer studies, and evaluation. He is an ex-President of the American Educational Research Association, the recipient of the American Evaluation Association's Lazarsfeld Medal for contributions to evaluation theory, and since 1998, President of the American Evaluation Association.

Lunch is served at 11:45 a.m. Professor Scriven will speak at 12:15 p.m.

Humor in American Politics: It's Not Funny Anymore ... Is It ?

Monday will be the first time the Athenaeum presents a comedian. It will be a night of firsts. Political satirist Mort Sahl was the first performer on the cover of Time magazine, the first performer to cut a best-selling comedy album and win a Grammy for nonmusical work, and the first to address the National Press Club and Austrian Parliament. He has hosted the Academy Awards and been on television and film more times than anyone can remember.

Sahl broke the comic mold in the 50s. In an era when comedians addressed audiences in three-piece suits, offering maliciously crafted jokes on banal topics, Sahl-with a hip, casual style-poked fun at the politically and socially powerful, using a quick, intimate delivery. He set a new stand-up standard and provided a major influence for comedians-to-be such as Woody Allen, Jay Leno, and Lenny Bruce. Sahl's unique style and content earned him a place among the political elite he so relentlessly satirized.

Sahl has also composed screenplays for Hollywood and published an autobiography, Heartland (1976). He continues to perform today, no longer the only daring voice of political wit, but still one of the best.

Please join us as this pioneer of topical comedy lampoons today's political leaders and fills the Athenaeum with laughter. The dinner is open to the CMC community. All are welcome to the program.

Border Ballad

Ruben Martinez is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, poet, and performer, and an associate editor at Pacific News Service. His published collection of essays and poetry, The Other Side: Fault Lines, Guerrila Saints, and the True Heart of Rock'N'Roll (1992), won widespread critical acclaim, and he has been a guest commentator on NPR's All Things Considered.

Martinez has performed throughout the United States, Britain, and Latin America, combining music and spoken word poetry into powerful messages. He will be performing his new one-man spoken word/musical, Border Ballad, at the Athenaeum. In this piece Martinez tells the story of Latino immigrant and migrant workers using fascinating anecdotes and bicultural music. He tells "the tales of the New Frontier, which gave rise to a new border mythology ... one in which both 'foreigner' and 'native' are transformed." His character, described as "equal parts of Johnny Cash and Los Tigres del Norte," is a composite formed of a profusion of illegal immigrant experiences and stories. In the eye of his character Mexican ballads will become blues, and blues will become nortenas.

Martinez lectures for Chicano Studies at UC Santa Barbara and he delivered an address at the Gould Center for the Humanities Seminar at CMC. In addition to the Emmy, he received a Freedom of Information Award from the ACLU and the Greater Los Angeles Press Club Award of Excellence for coverage of the Rodney King beating investigation and its aftermath.

Martinez will be teaching a course on literary journalism at CMC spring semester. Please join us as this accomplished journalist and artist performs his latest most interesting work.

Current Environmental Issues in Public Health

The keynote speaker for the November 17th meeting of the Scientific Review Panel is Professor John R. Froines, director of the UCLA Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. Froines has an extensive background in chemistry and toxicology, and has served on a number of boards concerned with both human and environmental health.

Froines received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963 and his Ph.D. in physical-organic chemistry from Yale in 1966. After completing his postdoctoral work with Nobel Laureate Sir George Porter, Froines began to focus on occupational and environmental health issues. From 1974-1977 he served as the director of the Occupational and Radiological Health Division of the Vermont Department of Health. In 1979 Froines moved to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, where he served as deputy director. After serving on a number of scientific boards on health and environmental issues, he returned to academics in 1981 as a professor at the UCLA School of Public Health. He has served as chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences for the past eight years. As an academic, Froines has also been able to develop his own research and is currently studying the health effects of airborne particulate matter and the biochemical mechanism that causes the carcinogenic effects of toxic air contaminants. Dr. Froines joins us as the chairman of California's Scientific Review Panel. The public is cordially invited to attend this all-day Athenaeum event beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Security Pacific Room.


Public Meeting, 9:00 a.m., Security Pacific Room

The Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants confronts a wide variety of environmental health issues facing society today including exposure to many toxic air contaminants which are emitted from motor vehicles, from stationary industrial facilities, or from other sources such as pesticide applications. The Scientific Review Panel advises the California Air Resources Board, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and the Department of Pesticide Regulation on the scientific adequacy of health risk assessments they prepare in the process of identifying substances as toxic air contaminants.

The panel is responsible for the independent, technical peer review of health risk assessments which detail the risk of adverse effects on human health resulting from exposure to toxic substances. By law, the panel must adopt written Findings that the risk assessment reports are based on sound scientific knowledge, methods, and practices after reviewing the supporting scientific data. Last year the Scientific Review Panel recommended to the Air Resources Board that diesel exhaust from diesel-fueled engines be identified as a toxic air contaminant. Among its Findings the panel concluded that existing epidemiological studies strongly suggest a causal relationship between occupational diesel exhaust exposure and lung cancer. Most recently, the panel concluded in Findings to the Department of Pesticide Regulation that methyl parathion should be identified as a toxic air contaminant.


Dr. John R. Froines, Chairman, Toxology
Dr. Roger Atkinson, Atmospheric Science
Dr. Paul Blanc, Occupational Medicine
Dr. Craig Byus, Biostatistics
Dr. Gary Friedman, Epidemiology
Dr. Anthony Fucaloro, Academic Administration
Dr. Peter Kennedy, Oncology
Dr. Hanspeter, Pathology


Review of a report on the adverse effects of methyl tertiary butyl ether ("MTBE")

Discuss how pesticides are monitored in the ambient air

Review of a guideline document containing specific noncancer chronic health values to be used by local air quality management districts in reviews of the potential health impacts of facilities that emit toxic substances

Managed Care Reform in California: What Happened and Why?

Walter A. Zelman is the president and chief executive officer for the California Association of Health Plans, a trade association which represents 38 healthcare service plans providing healthcare coverage to over 20 million Californians. He was deeply involved in political and policy debates that led to landmark managed healthcare reform legislation recently signed into law by Governor Gray Davis. His Athenaeum talk will focus upon the outcomes of these reform efforts as well as the processes and negotiations that brought them about.

Zelman has worked in a variety of academic and public policy settings. He earned his B.A. in political science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA. From 1970 to 1975 Zelman taught political science at several Southern California universities, including Pitzer College. Zelman was subsequently drawn into more direct involvement with public policy. He was executive director of California Common Cause for a dozen years. In the early 1990s he was special deputy in the California Department of Insurance where he was responsible for formulating and advocating health insurance policy in a several areas. Dr. Zelman then became Senior Health Care Advisor to President Clinton, where he had an active role in developing the administration's health care reform agenda.

Before joining CAHP, Zelman was Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard University's School of Public Health. He also worked as a special assistant to the administrator of the federal government's Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, studying trends in healthcare markets and the implications of those trends for public policy.

Dr. Zelman is the author of numerous articles and two books on managed care. The second book, The Managed Care Blues and How to Cure Them (NYU Press, 1998), focuses on the potential of managed care to improve healthcare quality.

The Future of Alternative Health Care
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1999 Lunch

Michael S. Goldstein is Professor of Public Health and Professor of Sociology at UCLA, where he is also associate dean of the School of Public Health. He holds a Ph.D. from Brown University and has written extensively on various aspects of alternative medicine, including homeopathy, chiropractic, and the personal and professional lives of holistic physicians. He was among the first researchers on alternative medicine whose research was supported by the U.S. government's National Institutes of Health. He is the author of The Health Movement: Promoting Fitness in America (Macmillan, 1992) and has just published Alternative Health Care: Medicine, Miracle, or Mirage? (Temple University Press, 1999), the first systematic account of the growing presence of alternative medicine in American society. Goldstein's expertise is on the clinical, economic, and political realities of the broad range of alternative care options and practices in the United States.

Goldstein is one of three speakers in the Athenaeum's Healthcare 2020 theme, offered in conjunction with the Government 105 course Organization of Health Care and Public Policy taught by Professor Fred Lynch and Professor Judith Merkle.

Lunch is served at 11:45 a.m. Professor Goldstein will speak at 12:15 p.m.


This is the last Fortnightly of the fall semester. The next issue will be sent to you on January 18, 2000 and will announce the events planned for the spring.

The Athenaeum will host an array of speakers and performers: poets, economists, musicians, politicians, psychologists, and more, covering a wide and diverse range of topics and points of view.

We look forward to seeing you in the new year.