When facts and beliefs collide: let's talk about it.

Friday, February 15, 2019 10:10 AM

USFSP Student Center
USFSP University Student Center
200 6th Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Topic Panelists

Richard Briffault
Richard Briffault is the Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School. His research, writing and teaching focus on state and local government law, the law of the political process, government ethics and property. Since 2014 he has been the Chair of the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board. He was a member of New York's Moreland Act Commission to Investigate Public Corruption (2013-14). He served as a member of or consultant to several New York City and State commissions dealing with state and local governance including the New York State Commission on Local Government Efficiency & Competitiveness (2007-08), the Temporary New York Commission on Constitutional Revision (1993-95), the New York City Real Property Tax Reform Commission (1993), and the New York City Charter Revision Commission (1987-89). He is currently the Reporter for the American Law Institute's project on Principles of Government Ethics. He is co-author of the textbook State and Local Government Law (8th ed. 2016); principal author of Dollars and Democracy: A Blueprint for Campaign Finance Reform (Report of the Commission on Campaign Finance Reform of New York City Bar Association); and author of Balancing Acts: The Reality Behind State Balanced Budget Requirements as well as more than seventy-five law review articles. He is also vice-chair of Citizens Union of the City of New York. Professor Briffault joined the Columbia faculty in 1983. He received his B.A. summa cum laude from Columbia University and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard University. He was law clerk to the Honorable Shirley M. Hufstedler of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and was Assistant Counsel to New York Governor Hugh L. Carey.
William Dowell
William Dowell spent more than a decade as a foreign correspondent for TIME Magazine in Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Prior to that he worked for both NBC and ABC News on a wide range of foreign assignments that included the war in Vietnam, the revolution and post revolution in Iran, the civil war in Lebanon, the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, various conflicts in Africa and international terrorism, along with the impact of climate change on developing countries. In addition, he has published several books. He co-authored, In the Shadow of the Dragon, an account of private sector Chinese companies which now challenging the leading multinationals in the global market place and he did an English translation of leading French Arabist, Francois Burgat's The Islamic Movement in North Africa, which includes exclusive interviews with many of the leading thinkers of the Islamic movement. He also recently co-edited the 4th Edition of the Essential Field Guide to Afghanistan. Prior to that he worked on information management for an emergency response team at CARE International providing quick response to major disasters in the Third World. The areas covered in the field were drought in the Horn of Africa, earthquakes in the Northwest Frontier Province in Pakistan, floods and cyclones in Bangladesh. He also worked on assignment in Aceh Province in Indonesia for the Swiss-based Henri Durant Center for Humanitarian Dialogue where he organized town meetings throughout the province in an effort to arrive at a peace settlement between the Indonesian government in Jakarata and separatist rebel movement. He also carried out numerous reporting and writing assignments for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He had substantial editing assignments with the United Nations Environmental Program, and he worked on writing assignments for the International Trace Center, a bridge organization linking the United Nations and the World Trade Organization on developing export strategies for Myanmar (Burma), Kyrgyzstan, India, and the Horn of Africa.
Donald Morrison
In a long career at TIME magazine, he served as editor of its World section in New York, its Asian edition in Hong Kong and its European edition in London. He has taught at New York University's London Center, Tsinghua University in Beijing and the Institut d'etudes politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris. Mr. Morrison is the author, co-author or editor of books on subjects as diverse as Chinese democracy, the Obama presidency and photojournalism. His The Death of French Culture, a 2009 French best-seller, was published in the U.S. and the U.K. in 2010. He is currently Europe Editor of the London-based magazine PORT, as well as a columnist and advisory board member at The Berkshire Eagle. His weekly podcast commentary is featured on NPR's Robin Hood Radio, Podcasts.com and other news outlets. He has written for The New York Times, The Financial Times, Le Monde, Le Point, The New Republic, Smithsonian and Quartz. Mr. Morrison holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Economics. He is married to Ann Morrison, former Executive Editor of Fortune magazine and Editor of Asiaweek.
Ellen Prager
Dr. Prager is a marine scientist and author, widely recognized for her expertise and ability to make science entertaining and understandable for people of all ages. She currently works as a freelance writer, consultant, and science advisor to Celebrity Cruises in the Galapagos Islands. She was previously the Chief Scientist for the Aquarius Reef Base program in Key Largo, FL, which includes the world's only undersea research station, and at one time the Assistant Dean at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Dr. Prager has built a national reputation as a scientist and spokesperson on earth and ocean science issues and is a sought after speaker for public-oriented events. She has appeared on several shows such as: The Today Show and NBC News, Fox News, CNN, the Discovery Channel and was a consultant for the Disney movie, Moana. Dr. Prager has participated in research expeditions to places such as the Galapagos Islands, Papua New Guinea, Caribbean, Bahamas, and the deep waters of the Florida Reef tract. She obtained a BA from Wesleyan University, Connecticut, a MS from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and in 1992, a PhD from Louisiana State University. Dr. Prager has published several books such as Stingray City, The Shark Whisperer, Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter and Chasing Science at Sea: Racing hurricanes, stalking sharks, and living undersea with ocean experts and The Oceans. Dr. Prager has also published a series of children's books with the National Geographic Society, the first SAND received the 2000 Parents Choice Award, it was followed by Volcano and then Earthquakes.