In the News

A Voice from the American Wilderness

April 12, 2017  |  The Lancet

Writing in The Lancet, one of the oldest and best known medical journals, Editor-in-Chief Richard Horton gives a detailed analysis of the recent Dartmouth and Dickey Center symposium on global health, held on April 12, 2017. 

At an inspiringly timed conference held last week—Global Health in the Era of De-Globalisation—Dartmouth academics and alumni gathered to discuss what Ambassador Daniel Benjamin called “the great unravelling."

...Dartmouth is on the front lines of what might turn out to be one of the greatest acts of civil protest since the Vietnam War—a rebirth of the social role of the American university, triggered by the values of public, global, and planetary health.

Just What Is Trump Trying to Do in Syria?

April 14, 2017  |  POLITICO MAGAZINE

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin, writing in POLITICO Magazine with co-author Steven Simon, asks what foreign policy objective President Trump's limited raid on the Syrian air base on April 6, 2017, was meant to deliver. 

Let’s start with the the scale of the air raid itself. In the annals of pinprick strikes, Trump’s Tomahawk attack now stands as the pinprickiest. 

Read the entire article in POLITICO.

Racism Thwarts Global Public Health

April 16, 2017  |  The Valley News

By EmmaJean Holley, Valley New Staff Writer

Hanover — Global health leaders grappled with the irony of gathering at Dartmouth College to discuss the urgent situations faced by some of the poorest populations in the world.

How, attendees of the Leila and Melville Straus 1960 Family Symposium asked, could health care providers surmount barriers of privilege and racism by learning from the errors of a global health regime that went hand-in-hand with imperialism? The day-long event on Wednesday, titled “Global Health in an Era of De-Globalization,” offered no easy answers.

In fact, the roots of the global health movement are inextricably linked to imperialism itself, said Nils Daulaire, a distinguished visiting scholar in global health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and senior fellow at the Harvard Global Health Institute who participated in one of the symposium’s panel discussions.

Ross Virginia Reflects on His 27-Year Antarctic Research Project

April 20, 2017  |  Dartmouth News  |  Bill Platt

Just back from his final trip to Antarctica as an investigator for the Long Term Ecological Research Program, Professor Ross Virginia breaks off a conversation and strides across his office to pull out a hundred-year-old volume of Robert Falcon Scott’s The Voyage of the Discovery.

“This is his first expedition. It’s just a treasure,” says Virginia, the Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science.

“I’m just amazed and fascinated by all of this,” he says as he thumbs through the collected journals of the British explorer who, in 1912, was the second man to reach the South Pole (achieving the feat just 34 days behind Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen).

Why Steve Bannon Wants You to Believe in the Deep State

March 21, 2017  |  POLITICO Magazine

Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin writes in POLITICO Magazine online that the so-called Deep State does not exist. It is merely in the imagination of President Trump and his allies, "the convenient enemy from within that they blame for their frustrations."

As Trump takes a wrecking ball to the federal bureaucracy—what Steve Bannon has called “the administrative state”—an illusory enemy like the Deep State is exactly what is needed to justify the destruction. 

Read the article in POLITICO by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, who was National Security Council senior director for the Middle East and North Africa from 2011 to 2012, is the John J. McCloy ’16 visiting professor at Amherst College. 

The Creeping, Quiet Gaslighting of the EPA

March 9, 2017  |  Wired

In a Wired magazine article about attempts by the Trump Administration to lessen the effectivenss of the Environmental Protection Agency, Melody Brown Burkins (A&S '98, PhD), Associate Director for Research and Programs at the Dickey Center, questions the purpose of legislation introduced by Representative Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and climate skeptic.

“[The act] is effectively saying that the practice of peer review, the gold standard of how science moves to policymakers, is secretive and can’t be trusted.”

Dr. Burkins is an adjunct professor of environmental studies and science policy at Dartmouth and chair of the US National Committee for the Geological Sciences, and a member of the National Academies' Board on International Scientific Organizations (BISO).

The Feud that Sank Saigon

March 3, 2017  |  The New York Times

In a New York Times op-ed, U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security Postdoctoral Fellow Sean Fear explains the showdown between two rival generals -- Nguyen Cao Ky and Nguyen Van Thieu -- that ended the hope of democratic stability in South Vietnam.

Both men were young and ambitious, and both were shrewd navigators of the internecine schemes and coups plaguing South Vietnam’s ruling military. And after years of jousting and coalition building, they were headed for a confrontation in South Vietnam’s 1967 presidential election. At stake was the political legitimacy of the South Vietnamese state itself, critical to turning the tide in the protracted struggle against the Communists.

Read the entire op-ed. 

Donald Trump Changed His Tone But Not His Message: Be Afraid

March 2, 2017  |  Time

Following President Trump's address to Congress on February 28, 2017, Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin writes in Time magazine that Trump "gave a ray of hope that even the most incorrigible might have their moments of presentability."

Through the Trumpian lens, you would have to count the speech a success of sorts. A spot poll by CNN after the speech found 70% of viewers said that it made them more optimistic about the direction of the country. TV commentators, desperate to find something to praise after months of exasperated head-shaking and slack-jawed incomprehension, were only too glad to retrieve forgotten adjectives and hail a “presidential” president.

Meanwhile, Benjamin says, Trump ignored issues that should have been addresse: Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and terrorism. 

Read more at Time

Next of Kin: Seeing Extinction Through the Artist's Lens

May 2, 2017 |  Dartmouth Press Release  

Exhibition by Christina Seely with the Canary Project at the Harvard Museum of Natural History Through July 16, 2017.

The Islamophobic Huckster in the White House

February 24, 2017  |  The New York Times

The following story, written by Dickey Center Director Daniel Benjamin and Stephen Simon, a professor at Amherst College, appeared in The New York Times on February 24, 2017.

The Islamophobic Huckster in the White House

The new point man for the Trump administration’s counter-jihadist team is Sebastian Gorka, an itinerant instructor in the doctrine of irregular warfare and former national security editor at Breitbart. Stephen K. Bannon and Stephen Miller, the chief commissars of the Trump White House, have framed Islam as an enemy ideology and predicted a historic clash of civilizations. Mr. Gorka, who has been appointed deputy assistant to the president, is the expert they have empowered to translate their prediction into national strategy.

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