Forum Summaries:

Meridian 180 publishes summaries of the central themes and ideas discussed in our online forums. Forum summaries are drafted by students and interns (and occasionally by Meridian members).

The Changing Politics of Central Banking
Summary by Annelise Riles (Cornell Law School) and Jonathan Miller (Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Cornell University)

In the 2016 forum, Riles encouraged members to revisit these questions as part of a larger investigation: “how to understand the place of the state in the market and, in particular, the place of the central bank in relationship to politics in all the senses of the term.” She asked participants to present what they considered the most compelling intellectual questions and political issues surrounding central banks. (read more)

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Nuclear Energy and Climate Change
Summary by

The Fukushima accident has brought new data and new urgency to the linked debates over the future of nuclear power and the need to decarbonize energy production. Yet five years after the disaster there remains no clear public consensus on either issue. Despite the burgeoning costs of the Fukushima crisis, many governments (including Japan’s) have committed to constructing new nuclear power plants or extending the life of existing ones. At the same time, many prominent environmentalists have embraced nuclear power as a sensible (or even crucial) part of a low-carbon energy mix. In the forum, moderator Rebecca Slayton (assistant professor of science and technology studies at Cornell University) invited Meridian 180 members to identify key issues that could benefit from further analysis. (read more)

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Theologies and Ecologies for the Twenty-First Century
Summary by Vincent Ialenti

In September 2015, Meridian 180 brought together anthropologists, legal scholars, a literature scholar, a futurist, a geographer, a corporate lawyer, and philosopher for a lively conversation about Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home. Some key insights emerged from their discussion: (read more)

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Law as Translation in the Complex Making of Divergent Legal Systems
Summary by Jiaxin Zhou, Nimrah Alvi, and Damian Holden-Smith

Translation is one of the most powerful tools in cross-cultural legal scholarship, yet it is also one of the most difficult to use.  As today’s legal challenges have become increasingly more complex, this difficulty is highlighted by the inability of many scholars to accurately convey their ideas across different languages.  Law as Translation (“LaT”) is one new legal perspective that helps address this growing problem.  LaT is important because it examines not only the translational connections between legal norms and values, but also the connections between cultural and societal orders across East Asia.  This two-pronged approach addresses the very nature of interpretation and translation in legal thinking across divergent societies in ways that previous legal theories have not. (read more)

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What is a Book? Experiments in Idea Dissemination
Summary by Mary Picarella, Andrew Lai, Owen Yisoo Kim, and Solene Fanny Alexia Balaguette

The book, a “form for producing knowledge . . . since the European Middle Ages,” has played a crucial role in fostering scholarship and disseminating ideas.  But, as Professor Annelise Riles (Cornell Law School) noted, printed academic works—and the publishing industry that produces them—face “new ‘threats’ in the digital age.”  Modern, digitally-connected audiences expect quick and efficient access to new ideas, a demand that traditional books, still a mainstay in academia, may not be able to satisfy. (read more)

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