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AN AMERICAN HIROSHIMA: Preventing Nuclear Terrorism

with Graham Allison, Scott Saganvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, September 20, 2004

Many experts believe that it is almost inevitable that terrorists will soon have the ability to detonate a nuclear weapon in the heart of a major American city. How can we stop them? What are the specific threats that we face and how should we respond to them? Do we face a greater danger from nuclear weapons that may have been stolen from the former Soviet Union or from the clandestine efforts of rogue nuclear scientists? And if the threat has increased since 9/11, why hasn't the United States done more to contain it? Peter Robinson speaks with Graham Allison and Scott Sagan.

A LINE IN THE TEST TUBE: The Debate over Stem Cells

with Ramesh Ponnuru, Irving Weissmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, September 20, 2004

Proponents of embryonic stem cell research proclaim the potential of the research to find cures or treatments for many diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Opponents say the use and destruction of human embryos in the conduct of this research are immoral. In 2001, President Bush announced a ban on federal funding involving any new lines of embryonic stem cells. But calls to lift the ban continue, as do movements to increase funding at the state level. Which side of the debate is right? Is embryonic stem cell research ethical or not? Peter Robinson speaks with Ramesh Ponnuru and Irving Weissman.

VIVE LA DIFFERENCE: Gender Differences and Public Policy

with Steven Rhoads, Deborah Rhodevia Uncommon Knowledge
Friday, August 27, 2004

When it comes to public policy, is it time to take sex differences seriously? There is no disputing the biological differences between men and women. But how do or should these biological differences influence the roles that men and women play in modern society? Are efforts to create equality in every venue of life—from sports, via programs such as Title IX, to the working world, via the pursuit of subsidized child care and maternity leave—ultimately beneficial for women or harmful? Peter Robinson speaks with Steven Rhoads and Deborah Rhode.

SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY: The Global AIDS Crisis

with Carol Adelman, Greg Behrmanvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, August 26, 2004

The global AIDS pandemic is now in its third decade. Although treatments have improved and infection rates have slowed in the West, AIDS continues to take a staggering toll in Africa. And experts believe that Eurasia, particularly Russia, China, and India, may be next. Is the United States doing enough to combat the global AIDS crisis? Should the United States continue its current policy, which includes an emphasis on getting antiretroviral drugs to millions who can't now afford them? Or does the United States need to focus more on pressuring affected countries to reform their inadequate social and economic institutions? Peter Robinson speaks with Carol Adelman and Greg Behrman.

WHAT, U.S. WORRY? Is the United States Losing Its Competitive Edge?

with Craig Barrett, Stephen Moore, Peter A. Thielvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

In the last decade and a half, India and China have both engaged in extensive economic reforms, in effect bringing their joint population of some 2.3 billion into the worldwide system of capitalism and free trade. Those 2.3 billion people, many of whom are extremely well educated, are by and large willing to work harder and for less pay than are Americans. Are India and China's expanding and modernizing economies threatening America's long global dominance of science, technology, and industry? If so, what should we do about it? Peter Robinson speaks with Craig Barrett, Stephen Moore, and Peter A. Thiel.

UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM: Torture and the War on Terror

with Peter Berkowitz, Jenny Martinezvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Before September 11, we took it for granted that only nations or states could wage war on the United States. After 9/11 it became obvious that war could also be waged by terrorists operating anonymously and in the shadows. Are the laws of war—the Geneva Conventions, the International Convention on Torture—suited to this new reality of war? Whom may we detain? How may we interrogate those we detain? In the war on terror, do the laws of war permit us to be as tough as we need to be? Peter Robinson speaks with Peter Berkowitz and Jenny Martinez.

TIME HAS COME TODAY: Global Population and Consumption

with Paul Ehrlich, Steven Haywardvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

In 1990 the United Nations forecast that world population would peak at around 11 billion by the middle of this century. Now many experts believe the peak will be closer to 8 or 9 billion people. Is this slowing of global population growth good news for the earth's environment? Or do we still need to worry about the dangers of overpopulation and overconsumption? Peter Robinson speaks with Paul Ehrlich and Steven Hayward.

IS THE NEW LEFT HISTORY? The Past, Present, and Future of the Left

with Anne Applebaum, Christopher Hitchensvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, July 15, 2004

In 1960, John F. Kennedy ran to the right of Richard Nixon, arguing that under Republicans, the United States had become too weak in the cold war. A dozen years later, the Democratic presidential candidate was George McGovern. How did the Democratics go from hawks to doves in just twelve years? And what does the history of the Left imply for John Kerry, the Democratic Party, and the war on terror today? Peter Robinson speaks with Anne Applebaum and Christopher Hitchens.

THE NEXT GREAT LEAP: China and Democracy

with William McGurn, Orville Schellvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, July 15, 2004

It has been more than fifteen years since the People's Liberation Army crushed the prodemocracy rallies in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, killing hundreds of students and workers and wounding thousands more. Since then, although stifling political dissent, China has continued to liberalize its economy and is rapidly becoming an economic superpower. Will the explosion of new wealth in China lead to new pressures for democratic reform? And just what is the legacy of Tiananmen? Peter Robinson speaks with William McGurn and Orville Schell.

A SPACE CASE: The Future of NASA

with Sean O'Keefevia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, July 15, 2004

In January 2004, President George W. Bush announced a plan for a manned mission to Mars in the first half of the twenty-first century. Is NASA up to the task? Given the recent failures of NASA's manned space program, from Space Shuttle disasters to the overbudget and barely functional International Space Station, should NASA even be running a manned space program? If so, what can be done to revitalize NASA and restore both its sense of purpose and the public's excitement for space exploration that has been missing for twenty years? Peter Robinson speaks with Sean O'Keefe.

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For more than a decade the Hoover Institution has been producing Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, a series hosted by Hoover fellow Peter Robinson as an outlet for political leaders, scholars, journalists, and today’s big thinkers to share their views with the world. Guests have included a host of famous figures, including Paul Ryan, Henry Kissinger, Antonin Scalia, Rupert Murdoch, Newt Gingrich, and Christopher Hitchens, along with Hoover fellows such as Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.

“Uncommon Knowledge takes fascinating, accomplished guests, then sits them down with me to talk about the issues of the day,” says Robinson, an author and former speechwriter for President Reagan. “Unhurried, civil, thoughtful, and informed conversation– that’s what we produce. And there isn’t all that much of it around these days.”

The show started life as a television series in 1997 and is now distributed exclusively on the web over a growing network of the largest political websites and channels. To stay tuned for the latest updates on and episodes related to Uncommon Knowledge, follow us on Facebook and Twitter