Thinking Out of the (Lunch) Box resumes after summer hiatus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The value of democracy in today’s scientific world, a discussion of why presidentialism is bad for U.S. democracy and the importance of choosing the right doctor are among topics for the fall 2005 “Thinking Out of the (Lunch) Box” series.

Vanderbilt Senior Lecturer in Earth and Environmental Sciences Jonathan Gilligan will discuss “Democracy in the Age of Science: Trust, Numeracy, and the Voice of the People” Sept. 7 at the Nashville Public Library at 615 Church St. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. with the program to begin at noon. Gilligan works primarily at the intersection of science, ethics and public policy with a focus on the ways in which scientific knowledge and uncertainty affect policy decisions about the government.

“Throughout history people have been divided about the value of democracy,” said Gilligan. “Using examples from history and from today’s headlines, with an emphasis on environmental issues, we will explore the problem of establishing trust both of expertise and of the people and the crucial role of respectful, civil discourse.”

David Wood, professor of philosophy and founder of the series will serve as moderator for all of the conversations, which include a question and answer session with the audience.

Upcoming speakers and topics for the (Lunch) Box series include:

* Dana Nelson, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English; “Why Presidentialism is Bad for the U.S. Democracy”

* David Johnson, Cornelius Abernathy Craig Professor of Medical and Surgical Oncology and Deputy Director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center; “Choosing your Doctor—A Matter of Life or Death!”

* Charles Scott, distinguished professor of philosophy and director of the Vanderbilt Center for Ethics; “Can Our Best Values Betray Us?”

All those planning to attend the conversations should call (615) 322-8585 or e-mail for more information.

Thinking Out of the (Lunch) Box, now entering its fourth year, is co-sponsored by Vanderbilt and the Nashville Public Library.

Media contact: Amber N. Sims, (615) 322-NEWS

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