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In May 1968, 14-year-old Michael Polt arrived at New York Harbor via passenger ship after emigrating from Austria with his mother, sister and stepfather. Shortly thereafter, he developed a passion for America, leading to a lifetime career in U.S. international affairs and diplomacy. For the last eight years, Polt served as senior director at Arizona State University’s McCain Institute in Washington, D.C., where he shared his 35 years of diplomacy knowledge and experience with students and...
About 45 million people have now received one or both doses of a coronavirus vaccine in the U.S., according to The Washington Post’s coronavirus vaccine tracker , and a subset of that number — 18 million people — are fully vaccinated, representing 5.4% of the total population in the United States. Among the most challenging aspects of vaccine rollout have been decisions about which groups to prioritize for vaccination, and in what order those groups should be prioritized — and what an equitable...
Under the worst climate change scenarios, American cities, beginning with Miami, are already experiencing rising seawater levels that mirror Ernest Hemingway’s warning about bankruptcy: “At first you go bankrupt slowly, then all at once.” The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2016 and now with 195 signatories, had aimed to avert climate catastrophe by keeping long-term global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius compared to preindustrial levels. And on Jan. 20, 2021, as one of his first acts...
Along with hard facts and data, science and technology policymakers must also grapple with matters of public value, like concerns about who benefits from science or how safe a new technology is. But often, only a few — experts, interest groups and other highly engaged people — end up providing direct input on these policies. For more than 10 years, researchers at Arizona State University have been studying a different way of engaging the public — one that gives a voice to those who may not have...
In 2020, the world faced a severe rise in disinformation and misinformation. According to a study by Newsguard , nearly one-fifth of engagement among the top 100 news sources on social media came from sources deemed generally unreliable. The U.N. secretary-general and the director-general of the World Health Organization have declared that we are currently fighting an international “infodemic” — an overabundance of information, both online and offline, that includes deliberate attempts to...
Censorship. Denying free speech. Fomenting an insurrection. Deplatforming. These are just some of the recent accusations directed at social media platforms by lawmakers who either think these companies are doing too much — or aren’t doing enough — to stop problematic material from being circulated on their sites. Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, “interactive computer services” like Twitter and Facebook can remove or moderate user material that the platforms deem obscene or...
When Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes attended the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, the college’s Indian Legal Program was one of only a few of its kind that focused on enrolling and retaining Native American students, recruiting Native faculty and expanding the number of Indian law courses. “That commitment was the key to my success,” said Bledsoe Downes , who has been named deputy solicitor for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior. “Now, the Indian...
Arizona State University is pleased to announce that Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America, has joined ASU as a distinguished professor of practice. Slaughter, former director of policy planning for the U.S. Department of State, the first woman to hold that position, will be teaching a course based in Washington, D.C., on international organizations for the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU. Sanjeev Khagram , director general and dean of...
Over the past decade, authoritarianism has been slowly rising in the West, warns journalist and historian Anne Applebaum, who contends that democracy is under siege, and that defending it will be harder than most assume, as political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal, to the exclusion of everyone else. Applebaum’s observations are detailed in her newest book, “Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism,”...

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