Lund Critical Debates Series

The Lund Critical Debates Series brings to campus speakers of prominence in international affairs who can address topical issues from a variety of perspectives. The series hosts a debate each academic year, typically with two to three outside experts and a Cornell faculty member as moderator. Topics and speakers are selected by the Foreign Policy Network.

The Einaudi Center is deeply grateful to Judith Lund Biggs ’57 for her generosity and foresight in creating this series, which serves to strengthen academic discourse at Cornell and enhance the student experience.


Is Nuclear Power the Answer to Climate Change? (2015-2016)

The 2015-16 Lund Critical Debate between renewable energy expert Daniel M. Kammen and Finnish nuclear advocate Lauri Muranen was held on May 3, 2016 at Klarman Auditorium. The debate was moderated by Annelise Riles of Cornell Law School. 

Daniel M. Kammen is the Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at UC Berkeley and founding director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL). He was named the first Environment and Climate Partnership for the Americas Fellow by then-Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton. A native of Ithaca and a graduate of Cornell, Kammen has authored or co-authored 12 books, has written more than 300 peer-reviewed articles, and has been a contributing or coordinating lead author on several reports of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is a frequent contributor to or commentator in international news media, including NewsweekTimeThe New York TimesThe Guardian, and The Financial Times.

Lauri Muranen heads the World Energy Council, Finland, a chapter of the UN-accredited global energy body that aims to be a leading platform for discussion of the future of the nuclear energy sector. He is a co-founder of the Ecomodernist Society of Finland and is the secretary of the Energy Committee of Finland's Social Democratic political party. Lauri has served as secretary general of the Finnish Energy Council and as a nuclear energy advisor to the Finnish Energy Industries trade association. He is known in Finland for his public engagement with energy issues, debating the merits of nuclear energy with parliamentarians, professors, nuclear industry insiders, renewable energy industry insiders, and anti-nuclear activists at film festivals, bookstore events, and on television.

Media Coverage: 

Lund debate focuses on nuclear power, climate change (Cornell Chronicle)

Panelists Consider Potential of Nuclear Power as a Solution to Climate Change (Cornell Sun)

Debate: Is Nuclear Power the Answer to Climate Change? (video on CornellCast)


American Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Success or Failure? (2014-2015)

Lund Debate Moderated by Cornell Law Professor, Aziz Rana, the Einaudi Center organized the 2015 Lund Critical Debate, “American Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Success or Failure?” on March 3, 2015,  in Statler Auditorium. The debate’s two panelists were Bassam Haddad and Ambassador Dennis Ross. 

Bassam Haddad is currently Director of the Middle East Studies Program and Associate Professor at the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs (SPGIA) at George Mason University, a Visiting Scholar at Stanford's Program for Good Governance and Political Reform in the Arab World, Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute, Founding Editor of the Arab Studies Journal, author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience, co-producer/director of the award-winning documentary film, About Baghdad, and director of a critically acclaimed film series on Arabs and Terrorism.

Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and author of Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East, coauthored with Institute peace process expert David Makovsky. 

Aziz Rana is an Associate Professor of Law at the Cornell Law School, where he specializes in American constitutional law and political development.

Media Coverage: 

American Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Success or Failure? (video on CornellCast)

Views diverge on U.S. Middle East policy in Lund Debate (Cornell Chronicle)


For previous years, please visit our Lund Critical Debate Series archive in Cornell's eCommons.