Category: Education

#R2XNYU Guest Spotlight 7: Jason Gregory King

Jason King is currently an associate professor and academic director of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Read King’s bio from the Tisch department webpage:

“Jason King is a cultural critic & journalist, musician (performer, vocal arranger, producer, musical supervisor), manager, strategist & consultant to artists and labels, and live event producer. Founding full-time faculty member of the department; served as interim chair in 2002; and associate chair from 2003-2006, and Artistic Director from 2006-2012. He teaches classes on: record producing, music entrepreneurship, branding, rock music, hip-hop, r&b, soul, jazz, Asian American and African American culture.

Read more

Unity in Diversity Global Mayor’s Conference Featured speakers

By Palak Mistry, NYU Florence student

Shirin Ebadi

Shirin Ebadi, named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world in 2004, is an Iranian lawyer, a former judge and human rights activist and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. She was awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to promote human rights, in particular, the rights of women, children, and political prisoners in Iran. She is the first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, and only the fifth Muslim to receive a Nobel Prize in any field. Read more

Unity in Diversity Global Mayor’s Conference Featured Projects

By Palak Mistry, NYU Florence student

The Protection of Iraq’s Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage

The City of Florence is undertaking a new initiative, ‘High training for the protection and valorisation of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Iraq’, endorsed by the Foreign Affair Ministry, which consists of several activities among Baghdad and Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan. This collaboration between Italy and Iraq aims to protect the cultural heritage of Iraq. There are two main components of the initiative; digitalization of the books contained the Iraqi National Library and Archives (INLA) of Baghdad in order to protect the national literary heritage, and the collaboration with the High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalization  to enhance the Citadel staff’s competence in managing and promoting an UNESCO website through training courses and study visits that will be held in Iraq and Italy. This peace-building strategy is undertaken by the City of Florence to foster the mediation process in conflict areas such as Iraq. Read more

Alternative Nicotine Delivery Systems

The upcoming conference on Tobacco and Public Health will bring together top tobacco control experts from countries all over Europe. The conference is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), a philanthropy organization which has granted hundreds of millions of dollars towards tobacco research and is credited as a major contributor to the awareness campaigns that have considerably shifted American social attitudes towards tobacco. Health policy work to reduce the harm of tobacco is fought on two fronts. The cheapest and most politically attractive option is prevention policies, which are policies aimed at stopping young people from using tobacco in the first place.  The second and more complex policy issue is harm reduction, which is aimed at finding the most cost effective way to reduce the health burden of people who are already using and are addicted to tobacco. As action continues to be taken to prevent new people from picking up a cigarette, the health community is still faced with the question of how to decrease the health burden of millions of tobacco users today whose smoking continues to have important social consequences. Read more

NYU Professor Richard Sennett on the Greek Crisis in Italy’s La Repubblica

NYU Professor of Sociology Richard Sennett was interviewed by Italian journalist Giulio Azzolini on the Greek crisis for an article published in Italy’s La Repubblica on July 5, 2015. Professor Sennett was in Italy to receive the 2015 Hemingway Prize in Lignano for his lifetime work. The Hemingway prize “recognises writers, thinkers, artists and journalists whose contemporary work captures the spirit and culture of Hemingway’s work as a novelist and journalist.

On the eve of the Greek referendum Professor Sennett supported the holding of the vote and added that, if he were Greek, he would vote No. “Better poor than subjects,” he added.  But there are also risks for Europe: “The European Union is meaningful only if it is a political project deeply rooted in a shared culture. The roots of that culture could only be Greek and the democratic idea. If Europe forgets it, it will fatally end up in the hands of bankers and bureaucrats”.

See the full article in Italian below. Learn more about the European Union in LPD’s Fall 2015 EU in Focus series.

Sennett's interview_La_Repubblica

Higgs Boson: A Breakdown


(The above video explains the function of the Higgs Boson)

By Blair Simmons, NYU ’16

The 2013 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to Peter Higgs and François Englert for the theorization of the Higgs Boson particle. So…what exactly is it (for us laymen)?

Ernest Rutherford discovered protons, neutrons and electrons (the most basic elements of the atom, which is the most basic element of matter) when he boldly shot radioactive materials through a sheet of gold in 1907. It has turned out that over the years, what makes up matter is a tad more complicated. There are tons of other particles in existence, even one that humorously goes by the name of ‘charmed’. So what is next? Twelve particles have now been discovered, are there more or is that it? There are atomic behaviors that still need to be accounted for. One such behavior is the existence of mass. Why does a bowling ball have more mass then a balloon?

The Higgs Boson particle is what gives other seemingly massless elementary particles their mass. On the surface, the way in which all the different particles “appear” is symmetrical. There is nothing that apparently distinguishes different masses. This symmetry is broken down when particles interact differently with the Higgs Boson. Some have more and less interaction, which determines the mass of a particle.

John Ellis (his video is linked here) explains the function of the Higgs Boson as a field of snow that covers the entire universe. Particles without mass are like skiers who skim across the snow without any resistance. A particle with mass is like a person with snowshoes, they walk slowly across the field of snow with effort. A particle with extremely high mass is a person with only boots on. They sink and have extreme difficulty moving about. When the Higgs Boson is put this way, it can be both a comical visual and more easily understood.

NYU’s very own Professor Nemethy, who was on CERN’s team that discovered the Higgs, will present a digestible presentation on what went into one of the biggest scientific discoveries of the century. This dialogue takes place on March 26 at 6:00 pm at NYU Florence, Villa La Pietra.

Millennials: Politics No, Community Service Yes.

Interesting article from today’s Atlantic about Millennials negative attitude towards political engagement and positive attitude towards volunteering and community service.

The Outsiders: How Can Millennials Change Washington If They Hate It?

Young people are eager to serve and to change the world. They just have no faith that public service or elected office are the way to get it done.

Forget what you’ve read about the “Me, Me, Me Generation.” Here are four things you probably don’t know about the 95 million Americans born between 1982 and 2003:

  1. Millennials, in general, are fiercely committed to community service.
  2. They don’t see politics or government as a way to improve their communities, their country, or the world.
  3. So the best and brightest are rejecting public service as a career path. Just as Baby Boomers are retiring from government and politics, Washington faces a rising-generation “brain drain.”
  4. The only way Millennials might engage Washington is if they first radically change it.

The first three conclusions are rooted in hard data I’ll share below. For a least a decade, experts have struggled to understand why civic-minded Millennials are rejecting public service and politics. Beyond the why, I wanted to understand what it means: What happens to U.S. politics over the next two or three decades if the best and bright of the next generation abandon Washington? So I talked to them — at elite public high schools in suburban Washington and Boston, at Harvard University’s Kennedy School for Government, and on Capitol Hill. In all, I conducted more than 80 interviews with Millennials as well as pollsters, demographers, and generational experts. They brought me to my fourth conclusion: What Millennials have in store for the political system is revolutionary. Maybe worse.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.  Read the full article here.

LPD Gets a Virtual Home

By Ellyn Toscano, Executive Director NYU Florence

I am pleased to launch La Pietra Dialogues’ new website, an on-line community where you – whether you are in New York, Florence, Italy, Europe, the U.S. or around the world – can join our Dialogues. Here you will find information about upcoming events, an archive of past events, and enjoy the writing of participants and students. There is a special section where students can learn about how to get involved in LPD. Throughout the website you will see images from the extraordinary grounds of La Pietra and pieces from the Acton art collection and photo archive, a glimpse into the special place that is La Pietra. Whether you participate in our Dialogues virtually or sitting across the table, we look forward to continuing the Dialogue for many years to come.

La Pietra-Wagner Partnership

By Rogan Kersh, Professor, The Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University

The La Pietra Policy Dialogues are designed to foster cross-continental debate and discussion on prominent issues of interest to leaders and thinkers across the globe. With a regular stream of Wagner School visitors joining the network of European experts—especially those at the nearby European University Institute—La Pietra is perfectly positioned both geographically and substantively to convene an expanding set of vital conversations. Along with the Fall Politics Dialogue at La Pietra, the Wagner-La Pietra partnership has fostered activities in New York as well. A jointly-sponsored July 2009 event on the Tuscan health care system brought together Wagner health faculty and students, other interested NYUers, and a distinguished set of experts from Tuscany to discuss the region’s advances in health care: the OECD ranks Italy’s health system third in the world on a quality/cost index. And recently-elected Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi will, thanks to his close connections with La Pietra, be a Visiting Fellow at Wagner for a short term this fall. As NYU continues to develop as a global network university, the Wagner-La Pietra relationship is a cornerstone. Few other U.S.-based academic institutions regularly address policy issues from a genuinely international perspective—even as the relentless spread of globalization demands collaborative, creative analysis and solutions. Focusing transatlantic attention on issues from immigration to energy to economic revitalization, the La Pietra Policy Dialogues are an essential foundation for such work.