The Bahá’í Chair for World Peace is pleased to announce the upcoming spring lecture series. All the lectures are open to the campus community and the public and are free to attend. These events bring leading thinkers to campus to examine obstacles to global peace, and solutions for overcoming those obstacles.
The series begins on February 20, 2018 with a lecture in the Human Nature series. The lecture will be presented by Dean Gregory Ball, Dean of the College of Behavioral andSocial Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park. In this lecture Dean Ball will focus on the topic of Aggression, Testosterone and the Biological Basis of Behavior. He will examine the assumptions many people hold about the biological determinants of behavior and the immutability of this. The focus of the lecture will be on exploring the notion of Human Nature as something that limits us, and how understanding the role played by biological variables can help think about behavioral change. Biological variables should not be viewed as impediments to facilitating behavioral plasticity or change, especially as it relates to issues such as aggression and competition.
On March 6, 2018 Audra Buck-Coleman will give a lecture entitled More than a pretty picture: The potential for art and design tocreate positive social change. This lecture will focus on the ways in which art and design have both the potential to communicate societal issues and prompt transformation in our social understandings and interactions. At times it can seem that the world is filled with seemingly endless conflict and deeply rooted problems. This presentation will use a social science research lens to show how a range of art and design projects are creating positive social change.
The series will conclude on March 28, 2018 with a conference on The Ethical Foundations of Human Rights. This conference will bring together leading thinkers from across disciplines to explore the ethical foundations of human rights in the 21st century. Underlying the discussion will be an exploration of some of the more challenging philosophical and practical questions that have come into view as human rights thinkers have sought to translate the ideals that are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into action. The speakers include, Dr. Raimond Gaita, Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Law School, University of
Melbourne, Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy, King’s College London who will discuss Human Rights and the Frail Idea of A Common Humanity. Dr. Karol Soltan, Associate Professor, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland, College Park, Looking for a deeper meaning of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Dr. Samuel J. Kerstein,Professor of Philosophy, University of Maryland, Treating Others Merely as Means. Dr. Alison Brysk, Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Professor of Global Governance, University of California, Santa Barbara, Why Rights are Right: The Politics of Persuasion. The conference will conclude with a roundtable discussion on The Ethical Foundations of Human Rights.