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Watson Institute launches new political podcast

Faculty, students discuss research, current events in policy-focused podcast “Trending Globally”

The voices of Brown’s most renowned scholars have broken out of the classroom and into the airwaves. As part of a larger effort to make research from scholars of different disciplines more accessible to the community, the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs launched its podcast “Trending Globally” November.

The new biweekly podcast is part of a larger effort to make Watson accessible through a variety of channels, said Kathryn Dunkelman, director of communications and outreach at Watson.

The podcast will provide analysis of global current events through discussions held by scholars, practitioners and students who are studying politics and policy, said Director of the Watson Institute Edward Steinfeld. It will hopefully provide a space for “intimate conversation,” he added.

“I hope the listener feels that he or she is sitting around a table and having a conversation that wouldn’t happen in an audience of 50 or 100” people, Steinfeld said.

Michelle Jurkovich, a postdoctoral fellow in international and public affairs, said she feels the podcast embraces this casualness, Steinfeld said. Jurkovich described her experience on the podcast as a “conversation over coffee” with podcast host Sarah Baldwin, a writer for the Watson Institute, as she discussed hunger and food security domestically and internationally.

In deciding which topics  to discuss on the podcasts, coordinators “look at the news of the day and how visitors or faculty can provide a unique angle and provide in-depth information,” Steinfeld said.

The podcast creators also look for faculty members or scholars outside of the community who are engaging with global issues. The podcasts are intended to bring together “interesting combinations” of scholars and thus develop “new frameworks for understanding” issues, Steinfeld added.

One episode of “Trending Globally” brought together Adam Levine, assistant professor of emergency medicine and director of the Brown Global Emergency Medicine Fellowship at the Alpert Medical School, and Anthony Bogues, director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, to discuss humanitarian aid in Haiti. Both scholars have worked on issues in Haiti, but each brought their own approach  — Levine has engaged in humanitarian emergency medicine in Haiti, Bogues studies Haitian society and art.

Looking forward, “Trending Globally” hopes to increasingly bring people outside of the University community, including policy-makers, to participate in the podcasts, Dunkleman said.


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