Secretary John Kerry Conversation at Yale

Educators teaching about current events, world affairs, government, politics or having an interest in those areas will want to see the inaugural Conversations with John Kerry- part of a series of initiatives occurring at Yale featuring Yale alum and former Secretary of State John Kerry.

In a lovely wood-panelled auditorium, Kerry hosts a wide ranging, insightful, and refreshingly candid conversation with students about issues as diverse such as Syria, the influence of Citizens United on current political discourse, and campus politics at Yale.

It is a reminder of the importance of citizen engagement, civil dialogue, accountability, and full engagement in thinking deeply about critical issues, including emphasizing the importance of “facts” as a foundational element in political dialogue.

Watching this reminds one of the importance of the university and how fortunate we are to be able to connect with these important initiatives wherever we are.

Please click here to watch the Yale News posting of Conversations with John Kerry. Please note it is approximately 80 minutes long. After the first approximately 15 minutes, you can break it up into small segments as he responds to the questions of the Yale students.

Questions for Discussion

  1. What does Secretary Kerry say is his biggest regret about his time as Secretary of State?
  2. What does he say about the impact of Citizens United?
  3. Why is it important to establish a certain agreed upon set of “facts?”
  4. Why is it important for citizens to keep politicians accountable? What does he say is the best way to do so?
  5. What does John Kerry say about his vision for a new Marshall Plan as an important tool for establishing peace in the 21st century?
  6. Why are we called the “indispensable nation?”
  7. What does John Kerry say might be the “life or death” issue of our time?
  8. What does he suggest is the solution to climate change?
  9. How many states have passed climate change portfolios?
  10.  How does Secretary Kerry describe the essence of diplomacy?

March for Science Educator Resources

Educators and parents looking to help provide resources to enrich their discussions regarding the March for Science might want to consider the following:

Yale News: Truth in the Internet Age-Science Under Siege While the title is quite stark, this link takes you to a brief (about 3 minutes) video highlighting a series of symposia Yale has been offering regarding the issues related to science in our “post-truth” climate.

University of Michigan News: Stand Up for Science-Teach Out UMich wants to extend the conversation beyond today’s march. They are offering a free online “teach-out” on May 5 on the edX platform to help provide additional information. This link features a video and information about their intentions to help scientists and science supporters engage in effective communication and dialogue about science and its fundamental importance in a civil society.

March for Science Principles and Goals: The website for the organization has a list of their principles and goals, with a special emphasis on diversity and inclusion.

Harvard Gazette: Harvard Gazette features an interview with the European Union Science Commissioner regarding the role that scientists can play in being vocal about science, telling the story about the myriad ways in which our lives are enhanced by science and technology.

University of Alabama- Adam Jones wrote an informative article about how University of Alabama engineering students created a car for a child with special needs. The video is inspiring and at a great inspiration and reminder of why we believe in education and science.