Past Season 2009-2010

Friday, September 25th, Michael MacCracken, “Working Toward International Agreement and Climate Protection”. As greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue to increase, projections are that the rate of warming will accelerate if emission controls are not put in place. With fossil fuels providing over 80% of global energy, and increasing use apparently inevitable in many developing nations in order to raise the standard-of-living, formulating an international agreement that will sufficiently limit the increase in global average temperature is quite problematic, with neither developed nor developing nations ready to commit to an agreement without commensurate action by both sides. Michael MacCracken will discuss an approach that will bridge the differences in viewpoints to achieve the reduction necessary.


Thursday, October 29th, Colby’s 2009 Oak Fellow, Hadas Ziv, “Can Health be a Bridge to Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?” Ms. Ziv is the executive director of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel). She is responsible for guiding the mission of PHR-Israel and managing a full-time staff of 17 and over 1,500 members. Even as executive director, Ms. Ziv continues to be on the front line of human rights work, leading her team in their campaigns including helping Palestinians under siege in Gaza to gain access to health care, the promotion of health rights of Palestinian women married to Israelis but denied civil status, the promotion of the rights of migrants living with HIV/AIDS in Israel without health insurance, and perhaps most successfully, a campaign to pressure the Israeli Health Ministry to support health care provision for the influx of refugees and migrants from African conflict zones seeking asylum in Israel.

Ms Ziv’s presentation will be followed by discussion of her work with PHR and the difficulties in Israel today. For more information on Ms. Ziv and her work please see Colby Oak Institute-Hadas Ziv.


Wednesday, January 27th, Visiting Professor of Politics at Bates College, Eric Hooglund, “The Politics of Protest in Iran”. Professor Hooglund is an authority on the culture and politics of Iran, with 30 years experience in researching, teaching, and writing about the domestic politics and international relations of Middle Eastern countries, and U.S. foreign policy in the region. Since 1995 he has been editor of the internationally acclaimed journal Middle East Critique. He is the author of several books including Twenty Years of Islamic Revolution (2002), and is currently writing a book about Iran and the international community.


Wednesday, February 10th, Colby government professor, Walter Hatch, “The Party-State and Civil Society in China”. Western observers have long anticipated a political transformation in China, a change that would make that country more democratic, more pluralistic, more — that is — like the United States. Thirty years ago, they assumed that economic liberalization would transform the country. But the communist party-state accommodated those reforms and consolidated its power. Then they assumed the internet would transform the country. But the party-state responded by building a Great Firewall. Now observers have begun to assume that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will transform the country…


Monday, March 8th at noon at the Alfond Center (joint program with Rotary) – Dr. Joseph Tulchin, “Crime and Violence in Latin America”. An unanticipated consequence of the transition to democracy in Latin America in the 1980s and 1990s was a marked increase in violent crime, street crime, gangs, and organized crime — most notably drug cartels. This increase in crime and insecurity transforms the political debate into a race to the most undemocratic responses to crime, and puts enormous stress on the institutions of law and order that were not robust to begin. Now, in nations from Mexico to Argentina, the fragility of the rule of law threatens democratic governance. What is the appropriate response to this increase in crime? Does the United States have a role to play? Please join us for this wonderful opportunity to hear from a leading Latin Americanist.


Tuesday, April 6th, Col. Richard Klass and Dr. Ira Helfand, “A Fork in the Road on Nuclear Weapons: Which Path to Security?” Dr. Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Colonel Richard Klass of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation will help sort the facts from fiction in a broad discussion of U.S. nuclear weapons policy and the dangers of nuclear proliferation and potential use. With more than fifty years combined military and medical experience, they will address current nuclear weapons issues and legislation, the public health consequences of nuclear weapons use, and how Maine Senators may influence this critical debate.


Tuesday, May 11th, 9 am, Adam Cote, “Hands-On Help in Haiti” at the Williamson Center Multi-Purpose Room, Lawrence Junior/Senior High School, Fairfield.

Though he had seen the streets of Bosnia and Iraq as a soldier, the devastation in Haiti was unlike anything Adam Cote of Portland had ever encountered. Mr. Cote will recount his experiences in Haiti in the aftermath of the disastrous January 12th earthquake. Working for Global Relief Technologies, he hit the ground running in his quest to gather data on amputees who needed artificial limbs, and on the structural integrity of buildings in the wake of the earthquake. Mr. Cote’s team worked with New England Brace, a New Hampshire-based maker of prosthetics, gathering names, measuring limbs, and collecting photos for a medical database. The company will use the amputee data to begin crafting artificial limbs and will share the data with other prosthetics manufacturers to speed up the process. It’s estimated that at least 2,000 people had amputations after the earthquake. Global Relief Technologies also examined building destruction, to help the Haitian government plan reconstruction.


Monday, August 16th, Annual Dinner at Colby’s Schair-Swenson-Watson Alumni Center, with Keynote address by Erik Peterson: “Addressing the Global Challenge of Water.” 6:15 Wine/Beer Reception, 7:00 Dinner. Peterson’s topic is timely and critical. If oil is the key geopolitical resource of today, water will be as important, if not more so, in the not-so-distant future. Registration details, etc., to follow.