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PATENT ON THE FRITZ: Patenting the Internet Economy

with Margaret Jane Radin, Seth Shulman, David Weitzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, July 13, 2000

Is our patent system failing the new information economy? Critics say that the way that patents are being granted on computer software and on Internet business methods threatens to impede technology and commerce rather than encourage it. Can industry resolve intellectual property problems on its own? Should we overhaul the patent system or just the U.S. Patent Office?

CORPORATE U: Corporate Funding Of Academic Research

with Mildred Cho, Donald Dahlsten, Chris Scottvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Spurred in part by a Congressional Act which allowed universities to patent the results of federally-funded research, corporate contributions to academic research programs grew from $850 million in 1985 to over $4 billion by the early 1990s. In return corporations receive licenses to the patents generated by that research. Do these new academic-corporate relationships threaten the traditional functions of our universities to educate and to serve the public good? Or does corporate funding serve the public good by bringing the fruits of research to the public sooner and more efficiently?

MAKING THE GRADE: Charter Schools

with Don Shalvey, Lauren Dutton, Luis Huertavia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Charter schools are public schools that are allowed to operate outside of the normal education bureaucracy. Do charter schools work? We examine this growing movement and look at the evidence: do charter schools out-perform normal public schools? If so, why? Who goes to charter schools? And what happens when for-profit companies run charter schools?

PEEPING COMS: Internet Privacy

with Glee Harrah Cady, Karen Coyle, Deborah Piercevia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Congress is considering legislation that establishes a legal right to Internet privacy. Many feel, however, that the issue is already settled and that it is impossible to guarantee privacy on the net. How is our privacy compromised when we surf the web? How is the Internet industry responding to demands for privacy? Can individuals protect their own privacy online or is government regulation needed?

TERMS OF ENDOWMENT: Government Funding and the Arts

with John Kreidler, Alonzo King, John Podhoretzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, May 25, 2000

In 1965, Congress established the National Endowment for the Arts, declaring that it was "necessary and appropriate" for the government to fund the arts. We examine the question of whether the NEA really is "necessary and appropriate." What are the consequences of the government awarding money to individual artists? What role does the NEA play in arts education? In short, has the NEA been a success or not?

DON'T IT MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE: Ethics of Human Genetic Engineering

with Raymond Dennehy, Hank Greely, Michael J. Wernervia Uncommon Knowledge
Saturday, April 29, 2000

We are in the midst of a revolution in medicine: human genetic engineering. Like earlier revolutions in health care, such as surgery with anesthesia or the use of antibiotics, genetic engineering has the potential to greatly advance the health and wellbeing of mankind. Yet unlike earlier innovations, human genetic engineering raises serious ethical questions. It may be one thing for an adult to undergo gene therapy to cure a disease, but what about modifying human embryos to prevent that disease? And if embryos can be altered to improve health, what about to improve intelligence or to select physical characteristics such as hair or eye color?

FEAR OF INTERNATIONAL TRYING: The International Criminal Court

with Abraham D. Sofaer, Diane Marie Amann, William Schabasvia Uncommon Knowledge
Saturday, April 22, 2000

In 1998, at an United Nations conference in Rome, 120 nations voted in favor of creating the International Criminal Court. Following the model of the Nuremburg and Tokyo war crimes tribunals after WWII, the ICC would hold individuals responsible for their roles in grave human rights violations, war crimes and genocide. Why was the United States one of only seven nations to vote against the ICC? Does the ICC go against American principles of international law or is the United States trying to hold itself above the law? What is the risk that American leaders will be tried before the Court?

RUSSIAN TO JUDGEMENT: Russia After the Soviet Union

with Condoleezza Rice, David Holloway, Gail Lapidusvia Uncommon Knowledge
Saturday, April 15, 2000

It's been nearly a decade since Boris Yeltsin brought seventy years of Soviet rule to an end in 1991. Unfortunately, an era that began with high hopes for the new Russia has become a nightmare for the Russian people. One indicator of the troubles in Russia: life expectancy is now lower than during the Soviet era. What went wrong in Russia under Yeltsin? What does the future hold now that Russia has a new leader? Finally, what direction should U.S. relations with Russia take in the next decade?

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS: The Spanish Civil War

with Ronald Radoshvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, March 29, 2000

In 1937, thousands of Americans from all walks of life volunteered to fight in a poorly equipped army overseas, with no support from their own government. What was it about the Spanish Civil War that inspired such idealism and courage? And was the fight to defend the Spanish Republic against General Franco and the powers of international fascism as pure and noble as it seemed to these Americans? We examine the role that Soviet aid and influence, under Stalin's direction, played in supporting or undermining the Republican cause.

THE RAVAGED CENTURY: A Look Back at the Twentieth Century

with Robert Conquestvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, March 28, 2000

For much of the one hundred years just past, the forces of freedom and democracy found themselves at war with two books, Das Kapital, by Karl Marx which, of course, gave rise to communism. Mein Kampf, by Adolph Hitler which gave rise to Nazism. Nazism and communism, how is it that these two totalitarian ideologies gained such a hold on tens of millions of people. If you had to decide the matter as a historical question, which one, Nazism or communism, did more damage to the fabric of our civilization?

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For more than two decades 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.”

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