Politics of the Present

Rhetoric and Evidence in a Polarized Society

Thursday, March 1, 2018  5:00pm Barnard Hall, Event Oval, Diana Center

Coming To Terms With A Polarized Society event.

Mario Small will discuss why the public discourse on poverty, inequality, and economic opportunity requires improving our qualitative, not just quantitative, literacy. He argues that the public discourse about these problems is undermined by an inability to communicate evidence about their causes and potential solutions. Some of this evidence is statistical, but much of it stems from qualitative studies about the lives and communities of the disadvantaged. He argues that an enhancement of qualitative reasoning would allow more serious consideration of the evidence, enhance public discourse, and lead to a more effective politics. ​

Robert Krulwich and Nick Lemann will provide commentary and perspective.

Register for the event here.


  • Speaker

    Mario Luis Small

    Grafstein Family Professor of Sociology

    Harvard University

  • Respondent

    Robert Krulwich

    Science correspondent for NPR; co-host of Radiolab

    National Public Radio

  • Respondent

    Nicholas Lemann

    Dean and Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism

    Columbia University


By Semester