Talk Shows

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LexMedia 2013 Talk Shows

E.O. Wilson

Video (Mar 17; 57 min.)

E.O. Wilson on LexMedia

The celebrated sociobiologist, author and Lexington resident E. O. Wilson talks about his life and his his work. Some of the topics he discussed are:

  • How humans compare to ants, and about breaking the Pheromone code that ants use to communicate with each other
  • The protests in Harvard Square against his theory of sociobiology, calling for him to be removed from the faculty of Harvard University[1].
  • His work on biodiversity, island biogeography and on setting up an online Encyclopedia of Life, developed with funding from the MacArthur Foundation, where one can find "at a keystroke" any species found on Earth. There are 2,000,000 species mapped in the Encyclopedia, with about 5,000,000 remaining species to go.
  • His first book written for a larger audience, On Human Nature, ISBN 978-0674016385, written to respond to his critics, talking about the three main misconceptions about human nature: the Blank Slate, which claims that the mind is perfectly malleable and anything can be learned, the Noble Savage, and the Ghost in the Machine, which holds that we'll never be able to locate free will in the mechanisms of the brain.

E. O. Wilson's most recent book is called Letters to a young scientist, ISBN 978-0871403773.

Jay Kaufman's Open House: Citizens United Decision

Video (Jan 17; 84 min.)

Citizen United Decision on LexMedia

With guests Jeff Clements and Wendy Kaminer.

  • Jeff Clements is a co-founder of Free Speech for People, and an advocate for a Constitutional amendment that plans to overturn Citizens United, to "take back our government and Bill of Rights for people"[2].
He is a co-author, with Bill Moyers, of Corporations Are Not People: Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do About It, ISBN 978-1609941055.
Jeff Clements lives and works in Concord, Massachusetts.
She was a member of the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts from the early 1990s until June 2009. She was a national board member of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1999 until her term expired in June 2006. In 2003, during her tenure on the national board, she became a strong critic of the ACLU leadership and was centrally involved in a series of controversies that culminated in a highly publicized effort to prohibit board members from criticizing the ACLU[3][4][5].
Kaminer is an author of Worst Instincts: Cowardice, Conformity, and the ACLU (2010), ISBN 978-0807044360, and of several other books and newspaper articles.
She writes for the Atlantic Magazine. She is a former contributor to the Huffington Post and a former senior correspondent for The American Prospect.


League of Women Voters: The Carbon Tax

Video (Dec 6, 2013; 70 min.)

The Carbon Tax on LexMedia

Will Massachusetts be the first state to have a carbon tax? What is a carbon tax? Is it an effective tool to reduce carbon emissions? What are the prospects for adoption in Massachusetts?

Forum guests are Gilbert Metcalf, Chris Knittel and State Sen. Mike Barrett. Moderator: Jeanne Krieger.

  • Gilbert Metcalf is Professor of Economics at Tufts University and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.
  • Christopher Knittel is Professor of Energy and of Applied Economics at Sloan School of Management, MIT.
  • Senator Barrett represents Lexington, Concord and a number of other surrounding towns. He is co-author of a bill to create a carbon tax which is now working its way through the state legislature.
  • Jeanne Krieger is former Lexington Selectwoman.


  1. These protests are described for example in Steven Pinker, The Blank Slate, ISBN 978-0142003343, p. 110.
  2. Jeff Clements' Amazon Author page, accessed Jun 22, 2013.
  3. The New York Times: A.C.L.U. Will Consider Disciplining 2 Officials, by Stephanie Strom (Jan 21, 2005)
  4. The Huffington Post: How the ACLU Lost its Bearings, by Wendy Kaminer (Nov 7, 2006)
  5. The Nation: ACLU v. ACLU, by Scott Sherman (Jan 18, 2007)