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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Metcalf Institute Lecture: American Politics and the Environment—Who Cares?

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Narragansett, R.I. -- September 9, 2004 -- American voters rank the environment as one of the most important issues to them, yet in the 2004 presidential race, the environment has had little traction. The advisor on environment to both the Dean and Kerry campaigns, Roger Kennedy, will put this issue in context in a lecture entitled “The Environment in American Politics and Who Cares?” on Sunday, September 19, at 4 p.m. in Smith-Buonanno Hall, Brown University, Providence. The lecture is sponsored by the URI Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in partnership with The Providence Journal and Brown University.

Cornelia Dean, senior writer for The New York Times, will introduce Kennedy and lead a brief discussion following his talk. Director emeritus of the National Museum of American History, Kennedy will discuss land use and its consequences, including who owns the land, how the national interest relates to private interests, which voters care about what, and the silent religious majority. As the former director of the National Park Service during the Clinton Administration, Kennedy will draw on his 50 years in and around politics and as author of more than a dozen history books.

The lecture will kick off the second annual Science Seminar for Editors on September 20. The seminar will focus on the politics and the environment and will feature speakers, including Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) and New York Times editorial writer Robert B. Semple Jr. Other sponsors of the seminar include the Society of Environmental Journalists, the New England Newspaper Association, the New England Society of Newspaper Editors, and The Standard Times, New Bedford.

The Metcalf Institute was established in 1997 at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography with funding from Belo Corp., owner of the Dallas Morning News and parent company of The Providence Journal, The Providence Journal Charitable Foundation, the Philip L Graham Fund, and the Telaka Foundation. The Metcalf Institute was established to help journalists become better informed about science and to strengthen communication between journalists and scientists.

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