Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Next Up: The Fed Chief and the 'Cosmos' Host

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Next Up: The Fed Chief and the 'Cosmos' Host

Article excerpt


A scientist People magazine dubbed the "sexiest astrophysicist alive" and the former head of the Federal Reserve demonstrate the futuristic sweep of the Ringling College Library Association's Town Hall lecture series for 2015.

Announced at Thursday's final lectures of the 2014 series, the 2015 lineup includes speakers who reflect the "paramount interests" of subscribers, according to 2015 chairman Nancy Morgan.

World affairs, the government, economics and social welfare top the list. "To that end, we have selected speakers who will delve into those subjects, with a focus on the future as the unifying thread," she said.

In addition to scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ben Bernanke, the lineup includes a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, an expert on U.S.-China relations, a longevity authority and a Somali activist.

"I think it's a terrific lineup," Morgan said. Jay Logan, chairman of the 2014 series, "has left large shoes to fill, and you know, we're fresh out of former presidents that we could get."

This year's series was heavy on international affairs and international politics, with speakers including President George W. Bush and Leon Panetta, onetime defense secretary, who spoke Thursday.

The 2015 series will open on Jan. 13 with Pulitzer-winning commentator Charles Krauthammer, whose Washington Post column appears Saturdays in this paper. He is the author of "Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics," which has been at or near the top of The New York Times nonfiction bestseller list for 20 weeks.

"If you take a walk with him down his thought path, the man is so brilliant and so logical it's really hard not to come to the same conclusions he leads you to," Morgan said. "He is, I think, one of the most intellectual and honest commentators out there today."

On Feb. 2, Jon Huntsman Jr., former U.S. ambassador to China and ex-governor of Utah, will discuss what the future holds for China politically, economically, demographically and socially.

Dan Buettner, author of "The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who have Lived the Longest," will speak on Feb. 23.

'Cosmos' host

Born in Somalia in 1969, Ayaan Hirsi Ali underwent female genital mutilation, routine in her society, as a young girl. …

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