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Suggestions for PL

This thread is for suggestions for PL.


11 Comments so far ↓

  • Sam Wang

    Hi Sam:

    I am pasting in below the recent New York Times profile of Mark Schleifstein, who I believe, would be one of the best, most knowledgeable, and most authoritative speakers on Katrina…both the storm itself, its aftermath, and its consequences for both emergency response, urban development, and environmental concerns.

    This story mentions the salient points: Mark co-wrote the series that explained the dangers New Orleans faced from a catastrophic hurricane; has covered both New Orleans politics and environmental issues; he reported on the storm, first taking refuge at the Times Picayune building, then evacuating with the staff as the building flooded and participated in maintaining publication of the paper during the crisis (it had to be electronic) all the while his own home was washing away, and has since written one of the best books examining the events and their implications.

    His contact information is: mschleifstein at or (504) 826-3327.

    I am happy to loan you a copy of his book if you want to read it.



    Leslie E. Gerwin
    Associate Director
    Program in Law and Public Affairs
    Princeton University

    An article on Schliefstein is here.

  • Sam Wang

    Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2008 13:21:11 -0400
    From: Robert P. George
    Subject: FW: Panel on what’s next for the Republican Party

    Dear Sam:

    It was good meeting you at the brunch with Justice Ginsburg.

    I certainly like the idea of including Ross Douthat on the panel. Here are some additional possibilities: Jean Bethke Elshtain of the University of Chicago, Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard, Yuval Levin of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and syndicated columnist Mona

    Best wishes,


    —–Original Message—–
    From: Sam Wang [mailto:sswang@Princeton.EDU]
    Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2008 6:12 AM
    To: Robert P George (rgeorge@Princeton.EDU)
    Subject: Panel on what’s next for the Republican Party

    Dear Robby, it was a pleasure to meet. In regard to the panel idea, how many panelists and how long an event? Who would be a better guest,
    Reihan Salam or Ross Douthat? Would David Frum be good?

    In re Conor Friedersdorf, I am relying on this:

    For that matter, what about Andrew Sullivan? Can he get into the US these days?


  • Sam Wang

    From: Karla Cook
    To: Sam Wang
    Subject: possible speaker
    1 OK 4 lines Text
    2 Shown ~31 lines Text

    could your group persuade Bill McKibben to come & speak?

    karla cook

  • Sam Wang

    > Email:
    > Message:
    > I’m not sure if you take suggestions for speakers, but I would highly
    > recommend you look into Greg Mortenson. He builds schools in Pakistan
    > and Afghanistan and has an incredible story to tell. His web sites are
    > at and
    > He would be very inspirational to the entire community.
    > Thank you.
    > Joe Karam
    > OIT Enterprise Infrastructure Services

  • Sam Wang

    Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 10:07:26 -0500
    From: Leslie E. Gerwin
    To: Sam Wang
    Subject: RE: Katrina – couple of more thoughts

    Hi Sam:

    When you invite two white guys to talk about New Orleans I would suggest that you consider having someone like Val Smith, head of AA studies, or Melissa Harris-Lacewell as moderator…the story is as much about poverty,
    discrimination, urban decline (There was a really good, honest piece about New Orleans decline, before as well as after K) on the front page of Sunday’s Times-Pic. I brought it back with me (I was there this weekend)

    Timing: It might be worth trying to schedule the lecture on an anniversary (or quasi-anniversary date, since the school term does not
    permit: The start of hurricane season: June 1; anniversary of levees breaking Aug. 29)
    Two possibilities are the date that the city “officially” reopened for residents return following Katrina, which was late September; or
    (although it may be too far off) Mardi Gras 2010–Feb. 16…Mardi Gras
    2009 is February 24, which might be too soon? [Carville spoke at Harvard on Mardi Gras 2006, he threw beads afterwards then hurried off
    to his beloved Celtics game]

  • Susan Jennings

    This is one of the two Mt. Everest climbers we talked about–the youngest to succeed. They just won the National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year Award.

    Seems like something that might attract the students.

  • Sam Wang

    Joe Wilson (husband of Valerie Plame) – maybe try to get both?

  • Sam Wang

    Autism panel, Amanda Peet – or her by herself.

  • Sam Wang

    From Peter Dougherty: MIT economist Andrew Lo on the future of Wall Street. Here’s his webpage:
    …and a recent WSJ article about him:
    Andrew is also author of three PUP books, with a fourth (on adaptive markets) on the way.

    SW: In the same general category would be Nouriel Roubini or Robert Shiller. We need information on what any of these people would say, and whether they’re good speakers. There is also the question of attracting a good general audience.

    Shiller: a PUP author several times over (beginning with
    IRRATIONAL EXUBERANCE). He’s learned to speak well to general audiences, and could talk about ideas for financial market reform or the importance of psychology in the economy, the subjects of his two recent PUP books.

    Roubini: very good and could talk about the likely depth and extent of the recession. I don’t know how good a speaker he is.

    Lo: In addition to his duties at MIT he runs an investment fund and can talk about the economic value of financial innovation. He can discuss the financial markets from the inside out, explain the murkier aspects of derivatiove securities, and I think can defend Wall Street, at least after a fashion. This is important because there is a school of thought that holds that Wall Street has been tremendously creative in the past generation and it would be ruinous to over-regulate this otherwise dynamic sector of the economy. If you read Paul Krugman this morning, you know that he does not subscribe to this view, but that’s what would make an evening with Andrew Lo so interesting. Andrew is a very good speaker.

  • Sam wang

    From BWK:

    1. Simon Winchester, author of (among many other books)

    The Professor and the Madman
    The Man Who Loved China
    A Crack in the Edge of the World
    The Map that Changed the World
    The Meaning of Everything

    Lives in New York, is a good speaker. He gave a *free* talk at Google
    NYC a short while ago, on “the man who loved china”, so presumably the
    offer of real money for flogging his book(s) would be appealing.

    2. I can make yet another run at Eric Schmidt. My last email exchange
    with him was in February on an unrelated topic; it took him a month to
    reply, so I’m not super optimistic. But it would be interesting to get
    him to say more about Google’s relationship to old books and other
    topics of interest to the academy.

    3. Les Norford, Professor of building technology, MIT architecture. A
    friend heard him talk in Boston and was very impressed with the content
    and style. We could consult with people here for an independent
    opinion. He received his PhD from MAE here in 1984, so there is
    probably other info as well. Web page:

    4. Include by reference the names I suggested the last time that did not
    make the cut then; of those, the ones I would find the most interesting

    Steven Johnson, author of The Ghost Map (who I think did not
    reply to our advances)

    Richard Primack, BU, on global warming, especially as noticed
    by Thoreau at Walden Pond. There’s an article about him at
    and his own web page is

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