Cover art for podcast Key Conversations with Phi Beta Kappa

Key Conversations with Phi Beta Kappa

22 EpisodesProduced by Lantigua Williams & CoWebsite

Key Conversations with Phi Beta Kappa is a podcast from The Phi Beta Kappa Society's Visiting Scholars program, featuring leading scholars across multiple disciplines in conversation with Fred Lawrence, PBK's Secretary and CEO.

episodes iconAll Episodes

College Admissions Field Welcomes a New Leader, Dr. Angel B. Pérez, Who Sees Its Strengths and Faults

June 26th, 2020

28:05

As a high school student, a college counselor created what Dr. Angel B. Pérez calls his “pivotal moment”—one that would set him on a path to college, …

Math Professor Ken Ono Is Connecting Swimming, Ramanujan, and Hollywood

May 28th, 2020

23:58

He got a call to consult on the Hollywood film The Man Who Knew Infinity, starring Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel. The director was so impressed with his …

Dan Simon on the Intersection of Law and Psychology

April 24th, 2020

25:02

While writing his dissertation, Dan Simon began to wonder how judges make decisions not from a legal, sociological, or economic perspective but …

Middle East Scholar Jamsheed Choksy Retraces the Roots of the Western Belief in Good and Evil

March 27th, 2020

26:31

Much of Western culture and religious beliefs are grounded in a bifurcated notion of an epic power struggle between dueling forces, often defined as …

Laura Brown Traces Our Love of Animals Through Literature

February 28th, 2020

24:26

Professor Laura Brown’s endeavors as a literature reader and critical writer have provided a window into humans’ relationships with various species throughout history. She reveals to host Fred Lawrence what alterity, …

Alfred Spector: Envisioning the Synergies between the Liberal Arts and Computer Science

January 31st, 2020

28:31

In this episode, Dr. Alfred Spector offers an optimistic take on the evolving relationship between the liberal arts and computer science. Reflecting …

2019 Book Awards Dinner Keynote Roundtable

January 3rd, 2020

36:43

The Phi Beta Kappa book awards are given annually to three outstanding scholarly books published in the United States. 2019’s winners are Imani Perry …

Why Dr. Dava Newman Will Be Among the People to Get Humans to Mars

November 29th, 2019

27:28

Dava Newman has spent her career figuring out how to get humans to space, and helping them not only to survive there, but also to thrive. She is the …

Two Philosophers Ponder What It Means to Act Together

November 1st, 2019

30:10

Philosophers Michael E. Bratman, from Stanford University, and Margaret P. Gilbert, from UC Irvine, are this year’s recipients of the Lebowitz Prize for Philosophical Achievement and Contribution, presented by the Phi …

Celebrated Author Edwidge Danticat Retraces the Arc of Her Literary Genius

October 4th, 2019

29:47

While promoting her new book, an accomplished short story collection called Everything Inside, the PBK member and noted writer talks about her …

How Neuroscientist Susan Birren Is Mapping New Pathways from the Brain

August 29th, 2019

22:58

The human brain has 100 billion cells, and there’s still so much to discover about it. Brandeis University neuroscientist Susan Birren has dedicated her distinguished career to decoding the mysteries of how the brain …

REPLAY: Economist Paula Stephan on Incentives and Gender Biases

August 2nd, 2019

25:21

As a college student, Professor Paula Stephan fell in love with economics as a way to understand and influence systems that impacted many people's …

REPLAY: We Ask Literature Professor Ayanna Thompson “What Would Shakespeare Say?”

June 28th, 2019

25:07

Fred Lawrence, Secretary and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, welcomes professor Ayanna Thompson.  Professor Thompson specializes in Renaissance drama and issues of race in performance. She discusses the universality …

REPLAY: Former Diplomat Harold Koh Is Worried

May 31st, 2019

32:01

In our first episode, Fred Lawrence, Secretary and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, chats with his longtime friend, professor Harold Hongju Koh

Middle East Scholar Lisa Anderson on Leading a University in Cairo During the Arab Spring

May 3rd, 2019

28:40

Her passion for Middle East studies was ignited during a college course with an intense teacher. She immersed herself in the region’s history and …

SPECIAL EXTENDED EPISODE: What Should We Make of the College Admissions Scandal?

April 1st, 2019

41:06

In this special extended episode, Phi Beta Kappa Secretary and CEO Fred Lawrence invites two experienced colleagues to a frank discussion about the …

Historian Ed Larson Takes a Critical Look at the Presidency

February 25th, 2019

19:41

Jefferson, Adams, Washington. Their names are synonymous with the bold experiment that was the United States in the late 1700s. But there is so much …

Economist Paula Stephan on Incentives and Gender Biases

January 14th, 2019

25:30

As a college student, Professor Paula Stephan fell in love with economics as a way to understand and influence systems that impacted many people's …

Amy Cheng Vollmer: The Unofficial Ambassador for Good Bacteria

December 3rd, 2018

23:25

In this episode, Fred Lawrence, Secretary and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, welcomes professor Amy Cheng Vollmer from Swarthmore College. A …

We Ask Literature Professor Ayanna Thompson “What Would Shakespeare Say?”

October 22nd, 2018

24:37

Fred Lawrence, Secretary and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, welcomes professor Ayanna Thompson. She specializes in Renaissance drama and issues …

Legal Scholar Harold Hongju Koh Talks International Law and College Cafeterias

September 10th, 2018

27:39

In our first episode, Fred Lawrence, Secretary and CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, chats with his longtime friend, professor Harold Hongju Koh

Key Conversations with Phi Beta Kappa Trailer

August 30th, 2018

3:04

The Phi Beta Kappa Society presents Key Conversations with Phi Beta Kappa, a podcast that features intimate and in-depth conversations with scholars …

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