The British Constitution
The fundamentals of British law reside in the American Constitution. Historian Nancy Milton describes the English influence.
The Town Before the Town
An early plantation slumbers beneath Williamsburg's streets and foundations.
How to Predict the Future(s)
Over the last century, there have been many spectacularly bad predictions of how technology will evolve and how it will be used—and a few almost clairvoyant forecasts of technology trends. This course will investigate both. By examining predictions made about the Internet, video on demand, cellular telephony, nuclear power, and other technologies, students will attempt to discern why some predictions work and most don’t. Much of the course will be devoted to techniques in scenario planning a
An introduction to sustainable energy
The search for sustainable energy will dominate the twenty-first century. This unit provides an introductory overview of the present energy systems and takes a brief look at where the world may find energy in the future – cleaner use of fossil fuels or renewable energy sources?
Zero chance? Aiming for zero in weapons control
These seminars were run by the Oxford Martin School (formerly the James Martin 21st Century School) in association with the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict. Three intersecting considerations will be examined for their relevance in assessing the wisdom of adopting 'zero' as the goal for an international initiative: 1) Tactics: Whether and how framing an issue in terms of getting to zero can be a successful technique for issue advocates? 2) Diplomatic strategy: What is the wisd
The Beginning of Earth History
Earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago with its initial condition greatly affected by the trauma of giant impacts. In this lecture, Professor David Stevenson discusses how this trauma affects the similarities and differences between Earth and Moon, the core, possible initial layering of the mantle and the conditions for the early evolution, including timing for the origin of life. This lecture was presented by The Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU College of Science.
The Kepler Mission: Searching for Other Earths in the Cosmos
Dr Fanson speaks about the Kepler project, NASA's first mission capable of discovering Earth-size planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy. Scheduled for launch in early 2009, Kepler seeks to answer an age-old question: Are there other habitable worlds in the cosmos? The centuries-old quest for other worlds like our Earth has been rejuvenated by the intense excitement and popular interest surrounding the discovery of giant planets like Jupiter orbiting stars beyond our solar system. With the e
The New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt
New Horizons is the first scientific investigation to obtain a close look at Pluto and its moon Charon. Scientists hope to find answers to basic questions about the surface properties, geology, interior makeup and atmospheres on these bodies, the last in our solar system to be visited by a spacecraft. The mission could also visit one or more Kuiper Belt objects. New Horizons launched on January 19, 2006. It will swing past Jupiter for a gravity boost & scientific studies in early 2007
Powering the Planet: The Challenge for Science in the 21st Century
The supply of secure, clean, sustainable energy is arguably the most important scientific and technical challenge facing humanity in the 21st century. Rising living standards of a growing world population will cause global energy consumption to increase dramatically over the next half century. Within our lifetimes, energy consumption will increase at least two-fold. This additional energy needed is not attainable from long discussed sources, the global appetite for energy is simply too much. Pet
The Eighth H.W. Arndt Memorial Lecture: Rehabilitating the Unloved Dollar Standard
The international dollar standard is an accident of history that greatly facilitates international trade and exchange. But erratic U.S. monetary and financial policies, have upset the U.S. and a world economy thus makes foreigners unhappy. Paradoxically, the asymmetrical nature of the dollar standard also makes many Americans unhappy because they cannot control their own exchange rate. Although nobody loves the dollar standard, it is a remarkably robust institution that is too valuable to lose a
President Obama’s ‘New’ Afghanistan-Pakistan Strategy: Why it is Unlikely to Work
Shifting resources from Iraq to the so called ‘war of necessity' in Afghanistan by President Obama, while significant, is unlikely to be effective. This is largely because the fundamental assumptions long held by the Bush administration policy makers about the nature of the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan, their conception of terrorism and how to defeat it, and how to reclaim American and global security remain unchanged. Without honest reconsideration of such assumptions within the b
Against the odds? Pathways to peace in East Timor, Aceh and West Papua
States rarely disintegrate in the way that former Yugoslavia did in the 1990s. Many thought Indonesia would disintegrate in the wake of a large number of violent internal conflicts at the turn of the century. East Timor was an exception that did break away to achieve independence. Aceh followed the more historically common path of reintegration after a peace process that made substantial concessions to separatists. West Papua is another Indonesian exception in failing to achieve positive peace a
The Defence White Paper and Australia’s Future in Asia: Will We Remain a Middle Power?
This year's Defence White Paper is more than a shopping list for the military. Behind the force priorities and budget estimates lie key judgments about the kind of regional we expect to live in, and the kind of role Australia expects to play in it. This lecture explored the underlying policy logic of the White Paper, and discussed where it might take Australia. Will it equip Australia to remain a middle power in the Asian Century, or mark our acceptance of a future as a small p
The Next 100 Years - A Forecast for the 21st Century
In his book The Next 100 Years, George Friedman offers a lucid, highly readable forecast of the changes we can expect around the world during the twenty-first century. He explains where and why future wars will erupt (and how they will be fought), which nations will gain and lose economic and political power, and how new technologies and cultural trends will alter the way we live in the new century. Drawing on history and geopolitical patterns dating back hundreds of years, Friedman shows that w
Climate Change and Global Health
Climate change raises a number of challenges to human wellbeing, among these is the threat to our health. In combination with climate change, large-scale global environmental changes such as loss of biodiversity, changes in fresh water supplies and stresses on food production systems, have the potential to cause systemic adverse alterations in patterns of health and disease. These can combine with many other specific challenges, including the emergence of new infectious diseases and the re-emerg
Obamarama & the audacity of evidence for health reform in the United States
Since President Barrack Obama took office early this year, Congress has proposed bold actions to address the ailing United States health care system. In a system that spends $2.4 trillion each year on health care with some of the worst outcomes in the western world, there is enthusiasm to revitalise primary care. Dr Andrew Bazemore, of the Robert Graham Center in Washington DC, will talk about health reform in the US and the renewed role for evidence-based policy making.
Jane Waldfogel - Early Years Child Development and Social Mobility
Social Mobility has become a major political discussion point in recent years, here Professor Jane Waldfogel from Columbia University, New York, a leading expert on early years child development, discuss the importance of the early years of childhood for life chances and the evidence that policy intervention can make a difference to poor children's development.
India and China: Can two tigers share a mountain?
To outsiders, India and China show some striking similarities. Both are ancient civilizations reincarnated as modern republics in the mid twentieth century, and are now rising powers. Both have nuclear weapons, burgeoning economies, expanding military budgets and large reservoirs of manpower, and seem to be vying for influence in the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, Africa, Central Asia and East Asia. Yet little attention is paid to the relationships between them. (From India and China: Conflict
The Missing Dimension of Stateness
While Professor Francis Fukuyama’s changing evaluation of the arguments of his one-time Neocon colleagues has illuminated major issues about American policy and the war in Iraq, his general thinking about weak states and foreign intervention has received less attention in Australia. In this lecture he continues his review of policies and practices on international aid and the rebuilding of weak, failing and failed states. As Professor Fukuyama has argued, “state-building is one
The Future of the United Nations Security Council
2008 has already brought major new challenges for diplomats. The situations in Kenya and Pakistan underline the depths of the problems in Africa and elsewhere. The Security Council and UN peacekeepers were already at historically high levels of activity in 2006-2007. Can they take on any more? NATO, the EU, the US, the Nordics, and Australia and New Zealand also seem to be stretched to the limit. Perhaps it is time for some searching analysis of whether the current machinery for international co