Upcoming Events: All

Sun 6/7

Image - A Sunday with Judy Blume

A Sunday with Judy Blume and Molly Ringwald

Date: Sun, June 07, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Called "the queen of YA" by The Washington Post

Judy Blume, Author

In conversation with Molly Ringwald, Actress, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink; Judy Blume Enthusiast

“My only advice is to stay aware, listen carefully, and yell for help if you need it.” – Judy Blume

Judy Blume, called “the Queen of YA” by The Washington Post, releases her first novel for adults in 16 years, In the Unlikely Event, this June. Blume — prolific, controversial, beloved — is a literary iconoclast whose novels have been among the first to discuss teen sex, masturbation, menstruation and divorce. For three generations of pre-teen girls, Blume’s books have answered the most intimate questions of love, loss, and growing up.

Blume’s latest book, In the Unlikely Event, is based in the supernatural early 1950’s, when three generations of New Jerseyans encounter a fateful string of airplane crashes. Judy Blume will discuss her latest book, her career spanning nearly five decades of writing, children empowerment, and her favorite stories about the young and young at heart.

Mon 6/8

Image - A God That Could Be Real

A God That Could Be Real

Date: Mon, June 08, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
A fresh approach to an ancient topic.

Nancy Ellen Abrams, Author 

Many people find it hard to put their faith in a god that is based upon their own beliefs, without any external evidence. As a philosopher of science, lawyer, atheist, environmental activist and wife of the astrophysicist Joel Primack, Nancy Ellen Abrams was one of them – until she surprised herself by asking the question: "Could anything actually exist in our strange and counterintuitive universe that is worthy of the name God?" Shedding traditional religious conceptions, she builds on the idea of emergence, a powerful new scientific concept that cuts across many fields and hones in on the complex relations inherent in our universe. Come experience a fresh approach to an ancient topic that has intrigued scientists and theologians.

Image - Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 6/8/15

Week to Week Political Roundtable and Member Social 6/8/15

Date: Mon, June 08, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Engaging commentary on political and other major news.

Carson Bruno, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Specializing in California's Political and Policy Landscape; Twitter @CarsonJFBruno 
Melissa Griffin Caen, Contributor, CBS SF (“Mornings with Melissa”) and San Francisco Magazine; Attorney; Twitter @melgriffincaen 
Doug Sovern, Political and Investigative Reporter, KCBS Radio; Twitter @sovernnation 

Join us as we explore the biggest, most controversial, and sometimes the surprising political issues with expert commentary by panelists who are smart, are civil, and have a good sense of humor. Join our panelists for informative and engaging commentary on political and other major news, audience discussion of the week’s events, and our live news quiz!

And come early before the program to meet other smart and engaged individuals and discuss the news over snacks and wine at our member social (open to all attendees).

Tue 6/9

Image - Avoiding the End-of-Life Medical Conveyer Belt

Avoiding the End-of-Life Medical Conveyor Belt

Date: Tue, June 09, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
The seemingly contradictory specialties of critical care and palliative care.

Jessica Nutik Zitter, M.D., Contributor, The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly and Huffington Post

In conversation with Mark Zitter CEO, Zitter Health Insights

Thirty percent of Americans die in ICUs hooked up to machines, despite their preferences to the contrary. Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter practices the seemingly contradictory specialties of critical care and palliative care. She sees a medical system geared toward treating individual organ systems rather than caring for whole patients. Dr. Zitter’s New York Times columns illustrate the challenges patients and their families face and provide specific steps individuals can take for better end-of-life experiences. She will be interviewed by Mark Zitter, who co-founded a telephone counseling service for patients with life-limiting illnesses.

Image - Gen. Stanley McChrystal

Gen. Stanley McChrystal

Date: Tue, June 09, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
Leadership in our changing world.

General Stanley McChrystal (Ret), Author, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World

U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal is a unique leader with an impressive list of credits, including the 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein and the 2006 location and killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Widely praised for revolutionizing warfare that fused intelligence and operations, he also created and put into place the counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan and an extensive counter-terrorism organization that changed how military agencies interact and operate with each other. His leadership credits during his 34-year career include serving as a four-star general, former leader of the Joint Special Operations Committee and a former Green Beret. Come hear him speak about leadership in our changing world.

Wed 6/10

Hayes Valley Sweets Tour

Date: Wed, June 10, 2015
Time: 2:00 PM
Cupcakes, ice cream, macarons, chocolates!

Assisting Organization: Gourmet Walks

Join Gourmet Walks on a 2.5-hour exploration of Hayes Valley's sweetest shops. You'll learn about the latest San Francisco dessert trends while sampling fresh-baked cupcakes, gourmet ice cream, Parisian macarons, artisan chocolates and more. This easy walking tour will make six tasting stops in the Hayes Valley neighborhood.

Image - Forgive for Good: The Research, Value and Practices of Forgiveness

Forgive for Good: The Research, Value and Practices of Forgiveness

Date: Wed, June 10, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With Dr. Fred Luskin with the Stanford Forgiveness Project

Fred Luskin, Ph.D., Director, Stanford Forgiveness Project, Forgive for Good

Dr. Luskin says the need for forgiveness is a universal concept in all faith traditions and an important psychological healing process. He will share his research on this topic and help us understand the Nine Steps he has developed to better address forgiveness for our health and well-being. The practice of forgiveness has been shown to reduce anger, hurt, depression and stress, leading to greater feelings of hope, peace, compassion and self-confidence. An individual, guided practice will be part of the program.

Image - Video Games and Neuroscience: A Vision of the Future of Medicine and Edu

Video Games and Neuroscience: A Vision of the Future of Medicine and Education

Date: Wed, June 10, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM

Adam Gazzaley, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Director, Neuroscience Imaging Center and Associate Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry, UCSF

Brain training games offered by companies like Lumosity and Fit Brains are rapidly gaining popularity, but how do we know if we’re truly able to keep our brains healthy? At the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Adam Gazzaley and his team focus on furthering our understanding of aging, neurological disease and the ways in which we can harness brain plasticity and improve cognitive function. Come hear the latest in neuroscience as Gazzaley explores how video games can train our brains, fend off mental decline and reduce our reliance on medication to treat neurological and psychiatric conditions.

Thu 6/11

U.S.-Japan Ties: Image and Reality

Date: Thu, June 11, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
An expert panel discusses the latest research

Satu Limaye, Director, East-West Center in Washington
Bruce Stokes, Director of Global Economic Attitudes, Global Attitudes Project, Pew Research Center
The Honorable John V. Roos, Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan
Dan Bob, Director of Programs and Senior Fellow, Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA – Moderator

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, an expert panel will examine the depth and strength of U.S. ties with Japan based on public opinion and statistics.

The panelists will examine the results of a few different studies. The first two are projects commissioned by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA in Washington, D.C. Then they’ll look at a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in early 2015 on U.S. public attitudes toward Japan and Japanese public attitudes toward the United States. Finally they’ll read through the East-West Center’s “Japan-Matters for America” project tracking national, state and congressional district-level data on Japan’s footprint in the United States.

Image - Chinatown Walking Tour
This event is Postponed

Chinatown Walking Tour

Date: Thu, June 11, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
A neighborhood adventure with Rick Evans
Enjoy a Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure. Join Rick Evans for a memorable midday walk and discover the history and mysteries of Chinatown. Explore colorful alleys and side streets. Visit a Taoist temple, an herbal store, the site of the first public school in the state, and the famous Fortune Cookie Factory.
Image - The Panama Canal: The Next 100 Years

The Panama Canal: The Next 100 Years

Date: Thu, June 11, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
How did the canal shift California's fortune?

Gene Bigler, International Consultant; Former U.S. Diplomat
Michael Conniff, Professor of History, San José State University
Herman Boschken, Professor Emeritus, College of Business, San José State University

As part of the Club's celebration of the centennial of the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, our panel will focus on the role the Panama Canal played in shifting California's fortunes and opportunities for Pacific Rim trade, will review its tremendous geopolitical impact on California's economy, and will imagine its continuing effects for the next century as trade across the Pacific reassumes its customary prominence in the world economy.

Although the U.S. Administration of the canal always emphasized its military-strategic concerns, the new all-water transportation that it provided also helped integrate the U.S. economy and transform global commerce. In more business-oriented Panamanian hands since 2000, with plans to double its capacity by the end of 2016, the canal could become the global logistics hub for the Western Hemisphere, raising expectations and concerns about the impact the canal will have during the Pacific Century.

Image - A Spirited Evening with Adam Rogers

A Spirited Evening with Adam Rogers

Date: Thu, June 11, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM

Adam Rogers, Articles Editor, Wired; Author, Proof: The Science of Booze

A special thanks to our reception sponsors St. George Spirits, Big Dog Vineyards, Hermitage Brewing Company and Red Branch Cider Company.

In a spirited tour across continents and cultures, Rogers puts our alcoholic history under the microscope.

From our ancestors’ accidental discovery of fermented drinks to the cutting-edge laboratory research, Rogers offers a unique glimpse inside the barrels, stills, tanks and casks that produce some of our most iconic beverages. He uncovers alcohol’s deepest mysteries and the subtle mixture of psychology and neurobiology that fuels our taste for such drinks.

If you’ve ever wondered how your drink of choice arrived in your glass, or exactly what happens once you empty it, Rogers reveals the answers.

 

Tue 6/16

Trans Pacific Partnership: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

Date: Tue, June 16, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM

Demetrios Marantis, Head of International Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Square; Former Acting U.S. Trade Representative and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative

The controversial trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which the United States is currently negotiating with 11 other Asia-Pacific countries, will open markets and promote jobs and growth in the United States, according to the Obama administration. However, it is opposed by many Democrats and their traditional allies, including organized labor. Ambassador Marantis will clear up misconceptions about the agreement and uncloak the forces behind the Congressional approval process. He will also comment on whether the TPP will give the California economy a boost as well as how it will affect the global expansion of U.S. technology companies, such as Square Inc., the successful, start-up credit card payment and financial services company based in San Francisco.

Christiana Figueres: The Road to Paris

Date: Tue, June 16, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Can world leaders cut a climate deal when they meet in Paris in December? Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama have energized the negotiations with their pact to grow the two biggest economies while cutting carbon pollution. Other countries are advancing their plans to do the same. California is out front and upping its game. One big question is how fossil fuel companies flex their clout. What are the prospects for an agreement with teeth? Can any deal survive being dragged into the U.S. presidential election? A conversation about the politics of a global economic treaty.

Wed 6/17

Image - World Wide Challenges and the Environment: Difficult Necessary Dialogues

World Wide Challenges and the Environment: Difficult Necessary Dialogues

Date: Wed, June 17, 2015
Time: 6:00 PM
With SF State president Leslie E. Wong.

Leslie E. Wong, Ph.D., President, San Francisco State University

In a world with increasingly fractured political discourse, public universities are poised to play a critical role in modeling democratic discourse and debate. Institutional commitments to academic freedom, freedom of expression and a respect for divergent points of view allow political and ideological passions to be tempered enough for productive dialogue. As students and faculty pursue knowledge, the debates on some of our most challenging political questions start on campus. Indeed, testing ideas on our campuses and highlighting the best practices of intellectual engagement can play a crucial role in advancing our prospects for Middle East peace, combating the effects of climate change and securing social justice for all.

Wong is working to encourage these conversations. For example, to stimulate discussions about climate change and sustainability with local and global implications, San Francisco State University is hosting the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference this July. We hope you will join us at building the dialogue of a global sustainable future.

Thu 6/18

Image - Chinatown Walking Tour

Chinatown Walking Tour

Date: Thu, June 18, 2015
Time: 1:45 PM
A neighborhood adventure with Rick Evans.
Enjoy a Commonwealth Club Neighborhood Adventure. Join Rick Evans for a memorable midday walk and discover the history and mysteries of Chinatown. Explore colorful alleys and side streets. Visit a Taoist temple, an herbal store, the site of the first public school in the state, and the famous Fortune Cookie Factory.
Image - Larry Gerston: Reviving Citizen Engagement

Larry Gerston: Reviving Citizen Engagement

Date: Thu, June 18, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Professor Emeritus at San Jose State University

Larry Gerston, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, San Jose State University; Author, Reviving Citizen Engagement: Policies to Renew National Community

"America is going backwards," says Gerston, citing an increasingly detached electorate, a lack of public investment, and corporate abandonment. Yet, Gerston remains optimistic that all of this can change. His solutions include longer school days, second languages for everyone, a mandatory two-year national service and a more progressive tax system. Come hear his thoughts on how we all can and should re-engage. Gerston is professor emeritus of political science at San Jose State University, where he taught for more than 40 years. Professor Gerston has authored 12 books and serves as the political analyst for NBC Bay Area, where he appears twice weekly.

Fri 6/19

Image - The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Date: Fri, June 19, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
With Scott Dodson, Professor of Law

Scott Dodson, Professor of Law, College of Law, UC Hastings; Editor, The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Barbara Babcock, Crown Professor of Law, Stanford University Law School; Author, Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz – Moderator

A Good Lit program sponsored by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Dodson, an expert in civil procedure and federal courts, is the editor of The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which chronicles and evaluates the remarkable achievements Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made over the last half-century. He will discuss how Justice Ginsburg, a legal icon, has greatly influenced law and society through her work on gender equality, racial equality and international law.

Mon 6/22

Cell Phones & Wireless Technologies: Should Safety Guidelines Be Strengthened?

Date: Mon, June 22, 2015
Time: 11:30 AM
The science of cellphone risk.

Cell Phones and Wireless Technologies: Should Safety Guidelines Be Strengthened to Protect Adults, Children and Vulnerable Populations – and Should Parents, Teachers and Schools Restrict Technology Overuse among Children?

Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D., Psychiatrist; Author, Reset Your Child's Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time
Martin L. Pall, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences, School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University
Beatrice Alexandra Golomb, M.D., Ph.D.; Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego
Suleyman Kaplan, Ph.D.; Professor in Medicine and Vice Rector, Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey
Mary Redmayne, Ph.D.; Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Population Health Research on Electromagnetic Energy, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Nesrin Seyhan, Ph.D., Professor, Faculty of Medicine, and Biophysics Dept. Head, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey 
Devra Davis, Ph.D., MPH; Founder, The Environmental Health Trust; Author, Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Is Doing to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family
Karl Maret, MD, M.Eng., President Dove Health Alliance; Senior Research Fellow, National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy.
Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director, Center for Family and Community Health at the School of Public Health, UC Berkeley
Camilla Rees, MBA, Founder ElectromagneticHealth.org; Co-author, Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution – Moderator
Lloyd Morgan, Lead Author, Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern; Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Health Trust – Moderator

In the wireless generation, people have embraced and accommodated the cellphone, but how much physical harm could a tiny wireless device cause? A panel of distinguished researchers will review the science of cellphone risk, mechanisms of action, new genetic questions, and whether the IARC warning should be upgraded to "probable carcinogen" – or even "carcinogen." Special focus will be put on risks to children and the role overuse of wireless technologies may be playing in attention, functional and relational difficulties and risk to the elderly, where cognitive decline might be misconstrued as dementia. The program includes a light lunch.

Socrates Café

Date: Mon, June 22, 2015
Time: 5:00 PM
Discussion of philosophical issues.

On one Monday evening of every month the Humanities Forum sponsors Socrates Café at The Commonwealth Club. Each meeting is devoted to the discussion of a philosophical topic chosen at that meeting. The group's facilitator, John Nyquist, invites participants to suggest topics, which are then voted on. The person who proposed the most popular topic is asked to briefly explain why she or he considers that topic interesting and important. An open discussion follows, and the meeting ends with a summary of the various perspectives participants expressed. Everyone is welcome to attend.