Update on Cardinal Conversations

A fifth session in the Cardinal Conversations series has now been scheduled, and discussions are under way about the next phase of the initiative.

The final Cardinal Conversation of the year has been set for the evening of Wednesday, May 30, focusing on the tension between free expression and diversity.

Provost Persis Drell will moderate the conversation among three panelists: Danielle Brown, vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer at Google; John Etchemendy, professor of philosophy and provost emeritus of Stanford University; and Claude Steele, professor emeritus of psychology and dean emeritus of Stanford Graduate School of Education.

“The intersection of free speech and an inclusive culture has been the subject of many challenging discussions this year, both across the country and in our own university community,” Drell said. “This final Cardinal Conversation of the academic year will give students and other members of the Stanford community an opportunity to explore the nuances with three leaders who bring deep and varied experience in these issues.”

The Cardinal Conversations series was launched earlier this year to expose the campus community to a range of perspectives and views on complex contemporary issues.

The sessions are open to members of the Stanford community. Ticket information for the May 30 event will become available as the date approaches. As with other campus events, information will be available on the Stanford Event Calendar.

Drell said discussions also are under way about the next phase of the Cardinal Conversations initiative.

Niall Ferguson, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, has informed Drell that he is stepping down from his co-leadership role in the initiative. Ferguson said he is proud to have helped launch Cardinal Conversations but believes it is time to step aside and let others take over planning the events for the next academic year.

On an interim basis, Tom Gilligan, director of the Hoover Institution, will join Mike McFaul, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, as co-leaders of Cardinal Conversations. They are joined by a student steering committee.

The composition of both the student steering committee and the overall leadership for Cardinal Conversations will be reviewed and discussed in advance of the 2018-19 academic year, Drell said. “I welcome input from the community as we work to continue refining the best possible structure for initiating and executing these conversations,” she said.

There have been three Cardinal Conversations so far this year, focusing on the subjects of technology and politics, inequality and populism, and real and fake news.

A fourth Cardinal Conversation, on sexuality and politics, will occur on Wednesday, May 23, featuring Christina Sommers, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and Andrew Sullivan, contributing editor at New York magazine.