June 2010

Merchants of Doubt

Fri, Jun 11 2010 - 12:00pm

Merchants of Doubt

Note new time!

Erik Conway, Historian, California Institute of Technology    

What do tobacco and fossil fuels have in common? A handful of scientists were able to obscure the truth about both threats to public well-being, according to author Conway. “Doubt is our product,” one tobacco executive reportedly said. Oil and coal companies borrowed a page from that playbook and have used it effectively to cast a cloud over climate science. The result? Read more »

William Perry: The Nuclear Tipping Point

Published in:
Wed, Jun 9 2010 - 12:00pm

The Nuclear Tipping Point

William Perry, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Perry will discuss how we must reframe the global debate to eliminate nuclear weapons and keep them out of the hands of terrorists. Perry will provide an overview and further thoughts on changes in the U.S. nuclear doctrine and the new START treaty. 

Location: Fourth Street Summit Center, 88 S. Fourth St., San Jose
Time: 11:45 a.m. check-in/lunch, 12:15-1:30 p.m. Read more »

David Breashears: Rowell Memorial Lecture

Published in:
Wed, Jun 9 2010 - 7:30pm

David Breashears: Rowell Memorial Lecture

Adventurer; Mountaineer; Filmmaker

Doug McConnell, Host, "Open Road TV" - Master of Ceremonies

Breashears is an accomplished filmmaker, adventurer, author, mountaineer and professional speaker. Since 1978, he has combined his skills in climbing and filmmaking to complete more than forty film projects. In 1983, Breashears transmitted the first live television pictures from the summit of Mount Everest, and in 1985 became the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest twice. Read more »

Tom Killion: Walking Tamalpais

Tue, Jun 8 2010 - 6:00pm

Tom Killion: Walking Tamalpais

Tom Killion, Co-author, Tamalpais Walking

Killion, who together with Gary Snyder co-authored Tamalpais Walking, will give an illustrated lecture on the history and poetry of Marin County’s Mt. Tamalpais, from the mid-19th century through the 1960s. The book contains more than 60 of Killion's Japanese-style woodcut prints as well as cultural history, and Snyder's poems and essays. Read more »

Corporate Sustainability: Sprint or Marathon?

Tue, Jun 8 2010 - 6:00pm

Corporate Sustainability: A Sprint or Marathon?

Dan Hesse, CEO, Sprint
When every company claims to be a green leader, how can consumers know which ones really are? Hesse will share his insights on why sustainable growth is sound business and can offer a competitive edge in an industry expanding rapidly around the world. What are the energy and environmental impacts of the global wireless revolution? Sprint has introduced eco-friendly phones and placed in the top 20 of Newsweek magazine’s 2009 Green Rankings of 500 U.S. Read more »

Epicurus: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times

Mon, Jun 7 2010 - 6:00pm

Epicurus: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times

Tom Merle, Founder, The Epicurus Society

Monday Night Philosophy explores the enduring relevance of this eminent Greek philosopher’s simple but profound ideas. Merle will explain why he believes Epicurean principles that go well beyond “wine, women and song” provide a superior framework for leading the happy life. He will discuss the Epicurean emphasis on frugality, friendship and opting out of the fray in the pursuit of tranquility. Read more »

Congressman John Garamendi: On Health Care Reform and Offshore Oil Drilling

Published in:
Mon, Jun 7 2010 - 6:30pm

Congressman John Garamendi: On Health-Care Reform and Offshore Oil Drilling

John Garamendi, Member of Congress, California’s 10th Congressional District
Lisa Vorderbrueggen, Political Reporter and Columnist, Contra Costa Times, Bay Area News Group and MediaNews - Moderator

Garamendi is a strong advocate of two hot-button topics: health-care reform and banning offshore drilling. Arguments over the pros and cons of the recently passed health-care reform bill continue. Read more »

Miracle Cures: Saints, Pilgrimage, and the Healing Powers of Belief

Fri, Jun 4 2010 - 12:00pm

Miracle Cures: Saints, Pilgrimage and the Healing Powers of Belief

Robert A. Scott, Associate Director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; Author, The Gothic Enterprise and Miracle Cures

From Chaucer’s time to today’s pilgrimage to Lourdes, people have traveled great distances to pray to saints for healing. Read more »

79th Annual California Book Awards

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Thu, Jun 3 2010 - 6:00pm

The 79th Annual California Book Awards

With author and Litquake Co-director Jane Ganahl as master of ceremonies

Please join The Club for a fun and exciting evening honoring California's best writers. Through the California Book Awards, an 80-year tradition, The Commonwealth Club celebrates the state's top authors with an awards ceremony and gala reception. This year's winners include Yiyun Li (The Vagrants), Rebecca Solnit (A Paradise Built in Hell) and William T. Vollmann (Imperial) as well as many others. Read more »

Myths and the U.S. Intelligence Community

Wed, Jun 2 2010 - 6:00pm

Myths and the U.S. Intelligence Community

Paul Clarke, Educator; Air Force Intelligence Officer (retired)

The 9/11 attacks, the assessment of Iraqi WMD and the failed Christmas Day attack have shaken confidence in the intelligence services, while the scope of intelligence has expanded to include new issues. To meet these new challenges, the intelligence bureaucracy has been reorganized and expanded. But are we any safer? Clarke will analyze U.S. Read more »