Brief conversations with the thinkers, artists, makers and shapers of our world. Their insights on dozens of different topics are enlightening, provocative, and always surprising. Listen and learn something new every episode.
Deke Sharon has made it his life’s work to bring vocals-only music to the masses. As director of the Tufts ensemble the Beelzebubs in the early 1990s, his experimental take on a Peter Gabriel song—with voices standing in for instruments—inspired a new era in a cappella performance. Sharon has also helped popularize a cappella through movies like Pitch Perfect, television, and even Broadway. Sharon sat down to talk about his career and his mission to create harmony through harmony.
Space wasn’t always on Dr. Ellen Ochoa’s radar. So how did this high school flute player make her way to outer space? In a conversation with Professor Karen Panetta of the School of Engineering, Ochoa discusses her love of music — she even played her flute in space — and how she navigated her path to NASA. She also gives advice to students and describes her own role models, while sharing her perspectives on the STEM disciplines — that’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014 under the Obama administration, shares in a wide-ranging conversation his view on Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election as well as his fears about a new arms race, and what it has meant for him to be banned from returning to Russia. McFaul is the author of From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador In Putin's Russia.
Documentary filmmaker and 1967 Tufts graduate David Sutherland's recent film, Marcos Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, shows the human cost of U.S. immigration policy by following Elizabeth Perez and her husband, Marcos, as they fight to reunite their family after Marcos is deported. In this episode, Sutherland talks about what he hopes viewers will take away from their story.
As America gets closer to the 2020 presidential election, everyone wants to know, "Who will run?" But there’s another important question to ask: "Who will turn out to vote?" There’s a gap in voter turnout between white people and people of color -- a gap that has an impact on election outcomes, and on our democracy. Indiana University’s Bernard Fraga explores this topic in his new book, The Turnout Gap: Race, Ethnicity, and Political Inequality in a Diversifying America. Here, Fraga talks about these disparities and argues that it’s up to politicians, parties, and us to fix them.