2016 Events, Self-Driving Cars, Scandinavian Holiday
Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 449
- Dec 21, 2016
- 1:43:54 mins
2016 World Events in Review Guest: Quinn Mecham, Professor of Political Science, BYU Back in January, regular Top of Mind contributor Quinn Mecham made some predictions for the year and he’s back now to see how clear his crystal ball was. Syria’s Medical Crisis Guest: Dr. Zaher Sahloul, MD, Associate Clinical Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago, Senior Advisor and past President of the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and Founder of the American Relief Coalition for Syria Thousands of people who’ve been stuck in Aleppo, Syria amid intense fighting for months now, are being evacuated to safety under the supervision of UN monitors. But “safety” is a relative term in a country wracked by civil war and terrorism. The suffering in Syria is a humanitarian crisis of enormous scale. People lack shelter, food, clean water and medical care. For those looking to help, Dr. Sahloul says money and volunteers are desperately needed. He recommends the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the American Relief Coalition for Syria. Non-Traditional College Students are the Norm Guest: Julie Johnson, Vice President of Strategy at Complete College America Technically speaking, “traditional college students” are 18 to 20 years old and live on campus at a four-year institution. But in the US, that “traditional” student is becoming atypical. The majority of college students are pursuing something other than a four-year degree. Or they’re older than 25. Or they work full-time or have kids. These so-called “nontraditional students” make up as much as 70-percent of the college population, but universities have been slow to focus on their needs. In myriad ways, what works for a 20-year-old living on campus attending school full-time is completely wrong for a non-traditional student and might explain why graduation rates for non-traditional students are much lower. Tap the Brakes on Self-Driving Cars Guest: Aaron Renn, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Contributing Editor of City Journal, Economic Development Columnist for Governing Magazine The ride-sharing company Uber is currently in a standoff with California state regulators over whether it’s self-driving cars need special permits to run on San Francisco streets. Regulators in Pittsburgh, where Uber is also testing its automated cars, have been more friendly to the technology. This is just one example of the challenges ahead as cities and states adapt to the notion of a car driving itself – ultimately without even a human riding on standby to assist if the car has trouble. Putting computers and algorithms in charge of driving promises to make roads safer and less congested. But cities will have to do a lot of work on streets, parking lots and bridges in order to become “driverless-car-friendly.” In all that excitement, we’re at risk of making the same mistakes we made a hundred years ago, when we embraced automobiles as our transportation mode of choice. Scandinavian Holiday Traditions for Any Home Guest: Melissa Bahe, Blogger, Luluthebaker.com, author of “Scandinavian Gatherings.” December in Scandinavia is dark and cold. Today, there will be only about six hours of daylight in Stockholm, and on Norway North Cape, there is no daylight at all. In spite of its glum weather – or maybe because of it, Scandinavia offers enchanting Christmas traditions: candles, greenery, and lots of delicious pastries. Academia’s Ivory Tower Guest: Amy Schalet, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Director of the Public Engagement Project It’s a challenge for scholars to boil down their life’s work into a message that resonates with the rest of us – and do it in a language we’ll understand. Their professional success depends almost exclusively on scholarly publications. Writing an op-ed for the public or doing radio interviews typically won’t win them points in the Ivory Tower or help them get tenure. That’s where the Public Engagement Project at the University of Massachusetts Amherst comes in. It teaches academics how to be part of the public debate.