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Director’s Book Forum

The aim of this forum is to provide opportunities for Princeton faculty working in international and regional studies to present their most recently published work to the Princeton community.

2013–14 Events

The series will be held at noon; lunch will be provided. Registration required. Contact Carole Frantzen, or 609.258.7497.

Spring 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The Ethics of Scientific Communication under Uncertainty
Robert O. Keohane, Professor of Public and International Affairs, WWS
Melissa Lane, Professor of Politics: Director, Program in Values and Public Life
Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School

219 Aaron Burr Hall

Communication by scientists with policymakers and attentive publics raises ethical issues. Scientists need to decide how to communicate knowledge effectively in a way that non-scientists can understand and use, while remaining honest scientists and presenting estimates of the uncertainty of their inferences.  They need to understand their own ethical choices in using scientific information to communicate to audiences.   These issues were salient in the Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with respect to possible sea-level rise from disintegration of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets.  Due to uncertainty, the reported values of projected sea level rise were incomplete, leading some relevant audiences to underestimate future risk. Such judgments should be made in a principled rather than ad hoc manner.  Five principles for scientific communication under such conditions are important: honesty, precision, audience relevance, process transparency, and specification of uncertainty about conclusions. Some of these principles are of intrinsic importance while others are merely instrumental and subject to trade-offs among them.  Scientists engaged in assessments under uncertainty should understand these principles and which trade-offs are acceptable. (Forthcoming, Politics, Philosophy and Economics.)


About the authors
Robert O. Keohane has served as editor of International Organization and as president of the International Studies Association and the American Political Science Association and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Much of his recent work has focused on issues involving uncertainty and risk in connection with climate change and how international institutions have been and could be designed to cope with these global issues. He is the author or coauthor of numerous publications including, Power and Interdependence (with Joseph S. Nye, 1977); After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy (1984); and Designing Social Inquiry (with Gary King and Sidney Verba, 1994). Ph.D. Harvard University.
Melissa Lane is also an affiliated faculty member in classics and in philosophy. Her interests include ancient Greek political thought and its modern reception as well as a broad range of topics in the history of political thought and in normative theory and public ethics. Her works include Eco-Republic (with Peter Lang, 2011, and with Princeton University Press, 2012); the introduction to Plato's Republic (Penguin Classics, 2007); Plato's Progeny: How Plato and Socrates Still Captivate the Modern Mind (2001); and Method and Politics in Plato's Statesman (1998). Since 2010 she has been a senior associate of the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, and served for many years previously as a faculty member for seminars run by the Prince of Wales' Business and the Environment Programme. She was awarded a Fellowship of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 2012, and was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, in 2012-13.    Ph.D. University of Cambridge
Michael Oppenheimer’s research interests include science and policy of the atmosphere, particularly climate change and its impacts. Much of his research aims to understand the potential for dangerous outcomes of increasing levels of greenhouse gases by exploring the effects of global warming on ecosystems such as coral reefs, on the ice sheets and sea level, and on patterns of human migration. He also studies the process of scientific learning and scientific assessments and their role in problems of global change. Ph.D. University of Chicago.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
How Societies Mind the Gap: Generating Comparative Data
Susan T. Fiske, Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs

219 Aaron Burr Hall

Fiske will speak on her coauthored paper, "Nations' Income Inequality Predicts Ambivalence in Stereotype Content: How Societies Mind the Gap," published in the British Journal of Social Psychology in 2013.

Global contact requires accurate cultural maps, just as much as accurate geographic maps. The Stereotype Content Model, already validated in more than three dozen samples across 25 countries, maps how groups in a society relate to each other, in terms of perceived alliances and status hierarchies. These two universal dimensions—a group’s perceived warmth (intentions, trustworthiness) and competence (status, capability)—describe shared cultural stereotypes, not only how groups think about each other but also how they feel and act. Mapping these groups is a useful, efficient way to acquire some rapid initial cultural insight. For example, more unequal countries identify more groups in ambivalent terms, high on either warmth or competence but not both. These mixed images help “explain” income inequality (for example, disabled but deserving, rich but cold). In recent data from six Middle Eastern countries, Fiske and her coauthors examined a new type of cultural comparison: degree of conflict within the country. What happens as groups polarize in a civil war? Indicators of societal conflict and disorder generate both general principles and case-study descriptions.

About the Author
Susan T. Fiske investigates social cognition, especially cognitive stereotypes and emotional prejudices, at cultural, interpersonal, and neuro-scientific levels. Author of over 300 publications and winner of numerous scientific awards, she has most recently been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Her most recent book, The HUMAN Brand: How We Respond to People, Products, and Companies, written with Chris Malone, was published in 2013.  She published Envy Up, Scorn Down: How Status Divides Us in 2011. With Shelley Taylor, she has written four editions of a classic text: Social Cognition (2013, 4th ed.) and, on her own, three editions of Social Beings: Core Motives in Social Psychology (2013, 3rd ed.). Her edited works include Beyond Common Sense: Psychological Science in the Courtroom (2008), the Handbook of Social Psychology (2010, 5th ed.), Social Neuroscience (2011), the Sage Handbook of Social Cognition (2012), and Facing Social Class: How Societal Rank Influences Interaction (2012). Currently an editor of Annual Review of Psychology, Proceedings of the National Association of Scientists, and Policy Insights from Behavioral and Brain Sciences, she is also president of the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Fall 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Itinerant Languages of Photography
Princeton University Art Museum (2013).
Eduardo Cadava, Professor of English
Gabriela Nouzeilles, Professor and Chair, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languagesand Cultures
106 McCormick

About the book:
 While photographs have been exchanged, appropriated, and mobilized in different contexts since the 19th century, their movement is now occurring at an unprecedented speed. The Itinerant Languages of Photography examines photography’s capacity to circulate across time and space as well as across other media, such as art, literature, and cinema. Taking its point of departure from Latin American and Spanish-Catalonian photographic archives, the volume offers an alternative history of photography by focusing on the transnational dimension of technological traffic and image production at a time when photography is at the center of current debates on the role of representation, authorship, and reception in a global contemporary culture.

Featuring a wide-range of photographs — images that converse across temporal, political, and cultural boundaries by artists such as Lola and Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Marcelo Brodsky, Joan Colom, Marc Ferrez, Joan Fontcuberta, Graciela Iturbide, Susan Meiselas, and Rosângela Rennó — the book argues that the photographic image comes into being only as a consequence of reproduction, displacement, and itinerancy.

Press Releases:

Additional Information:
Publisher's Web site: Princeton University Art Museum
Distributor's Web site:Yale University Press 
Available October 29, 2013

Princeton Art Museum Exhibit: September 7, 2013 - January 19, 2014

Fall 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirshman
Princeton University Press (2013).
Jeremy Adelman, Walter Samuel Carpenter III Professor in Spanish Civilization and Culture, professor of history, and director of the Council for International Teaching and Research and of the Fund for Canadian Studies
219 Aaron Burr Hall

About the book:
Worldly Philosopher chronicles the times and writings of Albert O. Hirschman, one of the twentieth century's most original and provocative thinkers. In this gripping biography, Jeremy Adelman tells the story of a man shaped by modern horrors and hopes, a worldly intellectual who fought for and wrote in defense of the values of tolerance and change.

Born in Berlin in 1915, Hirschman grew up amid the promise and turmoil of the Weimar era, but fled Germany when the Nazis seized power in 1933. Amid hardship and personal tragedy, he volunteered to fight against the fascists in Spain and helped many of Europe's leading artists and intellectuals escape to America after France fell to Hitler. His intellectual career led him to Paris, London, and Trieste, and to academic appointments at Columbia, Harvard, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He was an influential adviser to governments in the United States, Latin America, and Europe, as well as major foundations and the World Bank. Along the way, he wrote some of the most innovative and important books in economics, the social sciences, and the history of ideas.
Throughout, he remained committed to his belief that reform is possible, even in the darkest of times.
This is the first major account of Hirschman's remarkable life, and a tale of the twentieth century as seen through the story of an astute and passionate observer. Adelman's riveting narrative traces how Hirschman's personal experiences shaped his unique intellectual perspective, and how his enduring legacy is one of hope, open-mindedness, and practical idealism.
Adelman's other books include Worlds Together, Worlds Apart: A History of the World and Sovereignty and Revolution in the Iberian Atlantic.
"[A] biography worthy of the man. Adelman brilliantly and beautifully brings Hirschman to life, giving us an unforgettable portrait of one of the twentieth century's most extraordinary intellectuals. . . . [M]agnificent."--Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker
"[A] hugely engaging . . . epic."--Justin Fox, New York Times Book Review
"[An] astonishing and moving biography. . . . Hirschman's work is more than interesting enough to justify a book (or two, or ten), but Adelman's achievement is to demonstrate, in novelistic detail, that he also lived an astounding life, full of narrow paths and ridiculously improbable twists and turns."--Cass Sunstein, New York Review of Books
"[A] massive, erudite biography."--Roger Lowenstein, Wall Street Journal
"This is the book I have looked forward to most all year and so far it does not disappoint."--Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution
"Adelman's engrossing biography illustrates how Hirschman's global background, natural linguistic ability, education, and worldly experiences shaped his thoughts and enabled his thinking 'outside the box' to arrive at original and often provocative ideas. . . . Hirschman's story will appeal to many general readers, but especially to economists."--Library Journal
"Worldly Philosopher will be the definitive work on Hirschman for some time. . . . If you liked Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes, you will find Adelman's story of Hirschman's early life riveting--a book-club quality read. . . . Worldly Philosopher is a prodigious piece of research, lovingly told and immensely worthwhile for the new light it sheds on the odyssey of a writer whose small ideas add up to major insights."--Robert Kuttner, American Prospect

Press Release

Additional Information:
Publisher's Web site:Princeton University Press

How Societies Mind the Gap: Generating Comparative Data


The Ethics of Scientific Communication


The Itinerant Languages of Photography poster


Wordly Philosopher poster