“It's a real public service to have debates that bring top-tier participants together and add the sizzle of prize fight competition to a discussion of issues of first-order importance.”
- The Atlantic
Editor-in-Chief, Field & Stream
CEO & President, The Humane Society of the United States
COO, Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants
Former Lobbyist & Author, Capitol Punishment
Vice Chair of Climate & Sustainable Urbanization, Paulson Institute
Co-Founder, New America Foundation
Assoc. Prof., Fordham Law & Author, Corruption in America
Author, Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era
Executive Director, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
Transhumanist, Entrepreneur & Author, Virtually Human
Computer Scientist & Author, Who Owns the Future?
Writer & Lawyer
Exec. Dir., Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education, UPenn
Professor of Philosophy, Yale University
Professor of Linguistics, Columbia University
What if we didn’t have to grow old and die? The average American can expect to live for 78.8 years, an improvement over the days before clean water and vaccines, when life expectancy was closer to 50, but still not long enough for most of us. So researchers around the world have been working on arresting the process of aging through biotechnology and finding cures to diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. What are the ethical and social consequences of radically increasing lifespans? Should we accept a “natural” end, or should we find a cure to aging?
Philosopher & Lecturer, University of Newcastle
Chief Science Officer & Co-Founder, SENS Research Foundation
CEO & President, Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Director, Emory Center for Ethics
Since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, more than 4 million Syrians have fled the country, creating the greatest refugee crisis since World War II. Most have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, but many have risked death to reach Europe and the possibility of a better life. Unlike Europe and Syria’s neighbors, the United States has had the advantage of picking and choosing from afar, taking in just over 2,000 Syrian refugees since the war’s start. The Obama administration has pledged to take another 10,000 in 2016, but there are some who suggest that we are falling well below the number that we can and should accept. What are our moral obligations, and what are the cultural, economic, and security issues that must be taken into account? Should the U.S. let in 100,000 Syrian refugees?
Sr. Fellow, Middle East Inst. & Fmr. U.S. Ambassador to Syria
Senior Editor, The Atlantic
Dir. of Policy Studies, Center for Immigration Studies
President & CEO, International Rescue Committee & Fmr. U.K. Foreign Secretary
The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that: "No State shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Yet many state universities give substantial preferences to certain races in their admissions decisions. In Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978), the Supreme Court approved such preferences, but the case was close, and controversial, and the question will be back before the Supreme Court this term. One side may argue that these preferences level the playing field, remedy prior discrimination, and enhance diversity within the classroom, thus redeeming the true promise of equal protection. But the other may say that these preferences – in favor of some races, at the expense of others – are racial discrimination pure and simple, the precise evil that the Equal Protection Clause was intended to forbid.