NEW YORK, Dec. 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Influential public policy debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US) announces its 2013 spring season with five new debates. Beginning January 16th at Kaufman Center, this season will take up some of the most provocative topics of the year while continuing to provide a forum for intelligent, informed discussion. With topics from genetically engineered babies to the FDA's controversial policies for approving drugs and devices and Israel's position on Iran's nuclear program, IQ2US continues to encourage respect for opposing viewpoints. Confirmed debaters include New York Times political and cultural commentator David Brooks and national correspondent for The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg.
Here's how IQ2US has grown:
* Nationwide NPR audience: IQ2US has gone from broadcasting on 40 stations to 220+ and has become one of NPR's most popular public affairs podcasts praised by Forbes with over 120,000 monthly subscribers.
* TV syndication: Debates can be watched nationally on PBS.
* Expansion outside of New York: The series reaches thousands around the world via live online stream in partnership with Fora.tv. IQ2US recently hosted debates in Washington D.C., Aspen, and Chicago.
In 2012, debates were featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Men's Health, Forbes, and panelists appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe and WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show to discuss some of the series' timely propositions.
The IQ2US Spring 2013 season will feature debates on the following motions:
January 16--Israel can live with a nuclear Iran
Over the summer of 2012, despite increased international pressure and economic sanctions, Iran doubled the number of nuclear centrifuges installed in its underground Fordow site, stopping just short of the capacity to produce nuclear fuel. President Obama has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's call to draw a "red line" that would trigger U.S. military action. What are the costs and benefits of military action? Can Israel live with a nuclear Iran, or could the time be near for a pre-emptive strike?
James Dobbins, Director of the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center.
Reuven Pedatzur, former Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Senior Military Affairs Analyst for Ha'aretz and Director of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Strategic Dialogue.
Jeffrey Goldberg, National Correspondent for The Atlantic and recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting
Shmuel Bar, Director of Studies at Israel's Institute of Policy and Strategy and former IDF Intelligence officer.
February 13--Prohibit genetically engineered babies
Imagine a world free of genetic diseases, where parents control their offspring's height, eye color and intelligence. The science may be closer than you think. Genes interact in ways that we don't fully understand and there could be unintended consequences, new diseases that result from our tinkering. But even if the science could be perfected, is it morally wrong? Would it lead to eugenics and a stratified society where only the rich enjoy the benefits of genetic enhancement? Or would the real injustice be depriving our children of every scientifically possible opportunity?
Sheldon Krimsky, Professor of Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning in the School of Arts & Sciences and Adjunct Professor in Public Health and Family Medicine in the School of Medicine at Tufts University, also Chair of the Center for Responsible Genetics
Lord Robert Winston, Professor of Science & Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College
Nita Farahany, Professor of Law and Professor of Genome Sciences & Policy, Duke Law
Lee Silver, Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, and author of Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World
March 13--America needs a strong dollar policy
(Sponsored by the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law and Public Policy at Columbia Business School)
It's often taken for granted that America needs a strong dollar. When the value of the U.S. dollar is strong relative to other currencies, it becomes attractive to investors and allows Americans to buy foreign goods and services cheaply. But in times of recession, are we better off with a weak dollar that stimulates U.S. manufacturing by making our goods cheaper and more competitive? Or will the loss of purchasing power and currency manipulation abroad, offset the potential gains?
Frederic Mishkin, professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business and former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
John Taylor, chairman & founder of FX Concepts, the world's largest foreign exchange hedge fund
Sean Fieler, President of Equinox Partners LP and chairman of the American Principles Project
James Grant, editor and founder of Grant's Interest Rate Observer
April 17--The GOP must seize the center or die
2012 was a disappointing year for Republicans. The failure to win key swing states in the presidential election and surprising losses in the House and Senate has prompted some reflection. Was their embrace of small government, low taxes, and a strong conservative stance on social issues at odds with shifting American demographics? Or did the GOP embrace the right platform, but the wrong candidates?
David Brooks, political and cultural commentator for the New York Times
Laura Ingraham, radio host, best-selling author and political commentator
OTHER PANELISTS TBA
May 8--The FDA's caution is hazardous to our health
The Food and Drug Administration, the oldest comprehensive consumer protection agency in the U.S. federal government, is charged with protecting the public health. Under this mandate, it regulates drugs and medical devices for their safety and effectiveness. But is it a failing mandate? It's long been argued that the FDA's long and costly approval processes stifle innovation and keep life-changing treatments from the market. But the question remains: when it comes to public health, is it ever okay to sacrifice safety for speed?
Tickets are on sale now through the Kaufman Center at http://bit.ly/HE1QgB
To view transcripts and videos, download audio or video clips or learn more about Intelligence Squared U.S. please visit: http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org
ABOUT INTELLIGENCE SQUARED DEBATES (IQ2US)
Named One of "Five Podcasts that Will Change the Way You Think" by Forbes, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in New York City in 2006 by Robert Rosenkranz, and has grown into an internationally syndicated series heard and watched by millions. The debates have attracted some of the world's top thinkers including Paul Krugman, Karl Rove, Malcolm Gladwell, Alan Dershowitz, Peter Thiel and Arianna Huffington. Intelligence Squared U.S. has presented almost 70 debates on a wide range of provocative topics including global warming, the financial crisis, the marketing of organic foods, and the death of mainstream media. ABC News correspondent John Donvan is the moderator, and the executive producer is Dana Wolfe.
For more information about Intelligence Squared U.S., please contact Andrea Bussell (firstname.lastname@example.org), Rebecca Shapiro (email@example.com) or Mark Satlof (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Shore Fire Media, 718.522.7171.
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Source: Intelligence Squared