August 9 - August 31
Ideas from Aspen
Aug. 9 & 10: Choosing Judges With U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter leaving the bench, the next person to fill his seat could affect the course of the country. President Obama's opportunity to influence the make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court and the confirmation hearings of his nominee, Sonia Sotomayor, have spotlighted questions about the qualities we seek in judges and the role of judges in a democratic society. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Georgetown University law professor Viet Dinh offered their insights into these questions at this summer's Aspen Ideas Festival.
Aug. 16 & 17: Moving Toward Mideast Peace Within the first six months of taking office, President Obama has signaled he's serious about making significant progress towards Mideast peace. Obama has pressed for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, asking Palestinians to recognize Israel's right to exist and calling on Israel to freeze Jewish settlements on the West Bank. He's also renewed diplomatic relations with Syria by sending an American ambassador to Damascus after a four-year absence. At this year's Aspen Ideas Festival, Ambassador Michael Oren of Israel and Ambassador Imad Moustapha of Syria discussed the relationship between the U.S. and their countries as well as what it will take to reach peace in the Middle East.
Aug. 23 & 24: The Pursuit of Happiness The idea that all Americans have a right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is perhaps the most significant legacy of the Declaration of Independence. But, actually experiencing happiness is something Harvard psychology professor Dan Gilbert argues eludes people. During the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival, David Rubenstein, who once served in the Carter administration and owns one of the 17 surviving copies of the Magna Carta, tells the story of the Declaration of Independence -- how it was written and how the ideas in it are central to American life, and while Americans may have the right to pursue happiness, "Stumbling on Happiness" author Dan Gilbert explains why achieving it isn't as clear-cut as it seems.
Aug. 30 & 31: Morals, Markets and the View from Google Harvard University professor Michael Sandel argues that one question has been lost over the past few decades: are there moral limits to markets? Sandel explored this question with an audience at the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival. Also at this summer's festival, Kai Ryssdal, host of American Public Media's Marketplace, talked with Google chairman and CEO about his business strategy in a rapidly changing economy.
Ideas from Aspen, distributed by American Public Media, is part of the weekly documentary series Showcase, Sundays at 2pm and Mondays at 9pm. , Sundays at 2pm and Mondays at 9pm.