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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

The Elephant in the Room

Kristen Lukas, Ph.D. - Director of Conservation and Science, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology at Case Western Reserve University
Friday January 15, 2016
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

Elephants are some of the world's most intelligent, emotional, and social creatures. When a herd passes a deceased elephant's bones, they stop to mourn their departed sister or brother. When a calf falls, not just his mother but his aunts and cousins come to help him up. They communicate over miles through vibrations in the ground, love to play, and humans love them for the ways in which they relate to each other and to us.

Humans have lived and worked with elephants for centuries. And now humans are destroying them. Poaching for elephants' ivory tusks has reached epic proportions. From 2011 to 2014, 100,000 African elephants were slaughtered. Asian elephants are also threatened by poaching, and on both continents habitats are continually contracting. Many experts fear wild elephants could be extinct within decades.

Humans in western societies know elephants from circuses and zoos. But critics argue that those environments too are depressing and unhealthy for elephants. In response, zoo managers especially have worked to fit their habitats to elephants' social needs – as in the Cleveland Zoo's African Elephant Crossing. So the fate of elephants is in the balance, and that involves issues both about their lives in the wild and their lives with humans. Join us to discuss the future of one of the most magnificent and wonderful of our fellow-creatures.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Dr. Kristen Lukas is director of conservation and science at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. She oversees a large and diverse international conservation program and is especially committed to the study and conservation of African apes. She works with staff of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International’s Karisoke Research Center™ to train future conservation scientists in Rwanda and co-founded the Bwindi Apes Conservation Education Partnership in Uganda. As adjunct assistant professor in biology, Dr. Lukas serves as primary advisor to Ph.D. and M.S. students conducting research at the Zoo. She works with curators and other Zoo staff to improve scientific animal management and conducts research on the behavior, health, and welfare of a variety of vertebrate species at the Zoo. Her primary research interests include environmental and behavior, the etiology of abnormal behavior, and factors influencing conservation attitudes. Within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, she currently serves as Chair of the Gorilla Species Survival Plan®, Vice Chair of the Field Conservation Committee, and a member of the Research and Technology Committee.

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Our programs are open to all and no registration is required. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Provisional Schedule of Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

We have a provisional, almost-complete schedule for this semester's discussions. Please check each week's newsletter or the website to confirm the topic and speaker. Every semester there is at least one change.

January 22: The Use and Abuse of Arbitration Clauses in Contracts. With Wilbur C. Leatherberry, J.D, Professor Emeritus of Law, and Spencer Neth, Professor Emeritus of Law at Case Western Reserve University.

January 29: What Should Be Expected of Accountable Care Organizations? With Elizabeth R. Hammack Esq., Associate General Counsel, University Hospitals Health System.

February 5: China’s One Child Policy. With Lihong Shi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University.

February 12: Let's Talk About Lincoln. With Joseph White, Ph.D., Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy at Case Western Reserve University.

February 19: Criminal Justice Reform in Cuyahoga County. With Lewis R. Katz, John C. Hutchins, J.D., Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University.

February 26: Update on the Presidential Campaign. With Justin Buchler, Associate Professor of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University. ***Alternate Location: Kelvin Smith Library, Room LL06***

March 4: Why Is There a Heroin Epidemic? With Lee Hoffer, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University.

March 11: Spring Break

March 18: E-Cigarettes: Problem or Solution? With Scott H. Frank MD MS, Associate Professor and Director, Master of Public Health Program, and Director of Health for the City of Shaker Heights.

March 25: Hosting the Super B**l of Politics. With Brittany Williams, Senior Project Manager, Cleveland 2016 Host Committee.

April 1: TBA

April 8: TBA

April 15: Money, Happiness, and Redistribution. With David Clingingsmith, Associate Professor of Economics. ***Alternate Location: Baker-Nord Center, Room 206, Clark Hall***

April 22: Germany, Asylum and the Future of Europe. With Kenneth F. Ledford, Associate Professor of History and Law and Chair, Department of History at Case Western Reserve University.
January 12, 2016

If you would like to reply, submit items for inclusion, or not receive this weekly e-mail please send a notice to:

Upcoming Events

The Right to Be Different: LGBTI Rights in South Africa

Thursday January 14, 2016, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Moot Court Room (A59), Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106. Sponsored by the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center.

Professor Pierre de Vos, University of Cape Town, will hold a one hour lecture on LGBTI rights in South Africa, including same sex marriage. He will provide an overview of the South African Constitutional Court’s conceptualization of the LGBTI community’s “right to be different”, and will reflect on the court’s non-normative conception of equality.

Edge of Disaster–Vaccines and Epidemics

Thursday January 21, 2016, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Clark Hall Room 206, 11130 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106. Co-sponsored by the Dittrick Medical History Museum and the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University.

The recent outbreak of Ebola in parts of Africa–and the frightened posts and live-tweets that accompanied two infected health workers as they returned to the US–give us a glimpse not only of an epidemic’s power but of our private terrors. Self-preservation, fear of the unknown, and a desire to protect the boundaries of nations, persons, bodies and cells brings out the best and worst in us. History provides both sides; the uninfected locked up with the infected in 14th century plague houses, left to starve and suffer in the dark–or doctors like Cleveland’s Horace Ackley, who personally combated and contained an outbreak of Asiatic cholera in Sandusky in 1849. What finally stopped deadly scourges like smallpox, which brought Cleveland to its knees in 1903, or Diphtheria, once a death sentence for young children, or even Polio, the great crippler? Vaccines. And yet, vaccines remain a hotly debated topic even today. What motivates people to vaccinate–or not? How prepared are we for the next “disaster”? And what can history tell us about the fight to end outbreak?

Brandy Schillace, Dittrick Research Associate, author and recent TEDx speaker will present a short historical talk about vaccines and epidemics (then and now), followed by a discussion with W. Henry Boom, MD, Professor, Vice Chair for Research, CWRU Department of Medicine and Director, Tuberculosis Research Unit, and Andrew Heffron, RN, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, and an open dialogue for and by the public.

January 2016







































About the Friday Lunch Newsletter

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