City of Madison Logo
Academy Evenings bring the public together with our state's leading experts, researchers, scholars, and artists to share cutting-edge knowledge in a wide range of fields, highlight our achievements, and address our common problems. These free, public forums are intended to encourage interaction with these leaders in an intimate atmosphere designed to build community. Academy Evenings enlighten and engage the public on important issues of our times, offering everyone a chance to learn from and interact with our state's most noted thinkers. Each presentation includes a question and answer session and offers audience participation through interaction with the presenters.

Academy Evenings take place regularly in the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison and travel to other venues throughout Wisconsin. Academy Evenings presentations are free of charge and open to the public, although donations are very much welcome.

For More Information: http://www.wisconsinacademy.org/

Watch Online

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory: Unveiling the Secrets of the Universe

Episode first aired on 2/23/2014

Wisconsin Academy of Arts and Sciences presents: "The IceCube Neutrino Observatory: Unveiling the Secrets of the Universe"
Watch Online

Wisconsin Academy presents: The Enduring Effects of the Great Recession

Episode first aired on 2/27/2013

UW economist Timothy Smeeding discusses the "Great Recession" and its implications for employment, poverty, and inequality in the U.S. Timothy Smeeding is the Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty.
Watch Online

Social Media and Political Organizing: “Slacktivism” or Game-Changer?

Episode first aired on 9/29/2012

Lewis Friedland, a professor and director of the Center for Communication and Democracy at UW-Madison, and Michael Xenos, associate professor of communication science at UW-Madison, discuss the role that social media plays in political organizing these days. Used across the political spectrum and by a range of age groups, social media has become a growing force in American politics.
Watch Online

Dr. Richard Davidson on “The Emotional Life of Your Brain”

Episode first aired on 4/10/2012

Dr. Richard Davidson discusses his new book, "The Emotional Life of Your Brain," co-authored with Sharon Begley. The brain-research pioneer and Wisconsin Academy Fellow offers a new model for our emotions: their origins, their power, and how we can change them if we wish. Dr. Davidson gives us a new and useful way to look at ourselves, develop a sense of well-being, and live more meaningful lives.

Watch Online

Global Journalism Ethics in a Post-9/11 World

Episode first aired on 11/20/2011

As part of its theme of "Perspectives on a Post-9/11 World," the Wisconsin Academy presents Stephen J.A. Ward, James E. Burgess Professor of Journalism Ethics in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison and director of the school's Center for Journalism Ethics. Ward is also the author of the award-winning The Invention of Journalism Ethics: The Path to Objectivity and Beyond (2005) and Global Journalism Ethics (2010).
Watch Online

Wisconsin Academy presents: The Post-9/11 Economy: Getting ”Civilized” About Deficit Reduction

Episode first aired on 10/21/2011

As part of its theme of "Perspectives on a Post-9/11 World," the Wisconsin Academy presents Diane Lim Rogers, Chief Economist of The Concord Coalition in Washington DC, to discuss realistic, bipartisan approaches to tackling the nation's debt and deficit.
Watch Online

Wisconsin Academy presents: Perspectives on a Post-9/11 World: Making Art, Making War

Episode first aired on 9/18/2011

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters will observe the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on Sunday, September 11, 2011, with an afternoon of discussion and reflection. "Perspectives on a Post-9/11 World" brings together a diverse group of distinguished historians, political scientists, artists, musicians, and writers to reflect on questions surrounding who we have become as a nation and as a people in an age of global terrorism, liberation movements, technological upheavals, economic insecurity, and fractious politics. "Making Art, Making War" features John
DeMain, music director of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Wisconsin Academy Fellow; Jane Simon, curator at the Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida (who until recently was curator of exhibitions at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art); and Valerie Laken, assistant professor of English at UW-Milwaukee and author of "Separate Kingdoms: Stories" considering how the arts can provide new ways of understanding tragedy.
Watch Online

Perspectives on a Post-9/11 World: Islam and America: Citizenship and Democracy

Episode first aired on 9/17/2011

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters will observe the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on Sunday, September 11, 2011, with an afternoon of discussion and reflection. "Perspectives on a Post-9/11 World" brings together a diverse group of distinguished historians, political scientists, artists, musicians, and writers to reflect on questions surrounding who we have become as a nation and as a people in an age of global terrorism, liberation movements, technological upheavals, economic insecurity, and fractious politics. "Islam and America: Citizenship and Democracy" features Charles Cohen, UW-Madison professor of history and religious studies and director of the Lubar Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Religions; Louise Cainkar, associate professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences, Marquette University, and author of Homeland Insecurity: The Arab American Experience after 9/11; and Asifa Quraishi, assistant professor of law at UW-Madison, reflecting on the meaning of citizenship in America.
Watch Online

Perspectives on a Post-9/11 World: The U.S. at Home and Abroad

Episode first aired on 9/13/2011

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters will observe the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on Sunday, September 11, 2011, with an afternoon of discussion and reflection. "Perspectives on a Post-9/11 World" brings together a diverse group of distinguished historians, political scientists, artists, musicians, and writers to reflect on questions surrounding who we have become as a nation and as a people in an age of global terrorism, liberation movements, technological upheavals, economic insecurity, and fractious politics. "The U.S. at Home and Abroad" features John W. Hall, UW-Madison Ambrose-Hesseltine Professor in U.S. Military History and UW-Madison professor of political science Jon Pevehouse discussing the American military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond since 9/11.
Watch Online

Getting to A+: Wisconsin's Education Challenges

Episode first aired on 5/12/2011

Wisconsin's top education administrators, in a no-holds barred evening, confront educational issues facing the state--everything from school financing and student achievement scores to teacher hiring and firing. The panel--consisting of Daniel Nerad, Joan Wade, and Michael Thompson, and moderated by Dean of the UW-Madison School of Education Julie Underwood--will tackle such questions as: Is Wisconsin serious about school reform? Why has the state failed to secure funds from the Obama administration's Race to the Top national grant competition? Should there be mayoral control of our public schools? Has the state legislature been less than forthcoming in enacting educational reform measures? How do we reduce the achievement gap between majority and minority students? Who is accountable for academic failure in our schools?
Watch Online

Educational Inequality in the Aftermath of No Child Left Behind

Episode first aired on 4/1/2011

Adam Gamoran, professor of sociology and educational policy studies in UW-Madison's School of Education and Director of the Wisconsin Center on Education Research, discusses the impact of No Child Left Behind and recent alterations to methodologies of measuring student performance.
Watch Online

What Jobs, What Works? A Conversation on the Wisconsin Economy

Episode first aired on 2/18/2011

Two of Wisconsin's best minds on jobs and the economy assess the current situation in Wisconsin and the prospects for economic growth and development in the state. Don Nichols, emeritus professor of economics at UW-Madison and the former director of The La Follette School of Public Affairs, and John Torinus, Chairman of Serigraph Inc. of West Bend and a founder of BizStarts Milwaukee will discuss several recent plans and proposals offered by business associations, think tanks, and government offices on how best to revitalize the state's economy and generate jobs.
Watch Online

Eureka Moments: A Conversation on Scientific Breakthroughs and Discoveries

Episode first aired on 11/20/2010

Paul Ahlquist and Thomas Rockwell Mackie, two of Wisconsin's top researchers discuss their careers and how their current work at the interdisciplinary Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery make collaborative brainstorming and breakthrough more exciting and valuable for humanity. Ahlquist and Mackie will give us progress reports from several campus labs and reveal how sustained, intense scientific effort pays off in important ways.
Watch Online

Fuels Paradise: A Conversation on Nuclear and Renewable Energy Technologies

Episode first aired on 10/24/2010

Michael Corradini, chair of Engineering Physics and the Wisconsin Distinguished Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics at UW-Madison, and Jane Davidson, chair in Renewable Energy and director of the Solar Energy Laboratory at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, discuss how the science surrounding nuclear, solar, and wind technologies has developed over the last several decades, and what science tells us about the pros and cons of these energy systems.
Watch Online

Talking Resolution: A Conversation on Violence, Restorative Justice and Human Rights

Episode first aired on 9/24/2010

Janine Geske, a Distinguished Professor of Law at Marquette University and former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, and Scott Straus, associate professor of political science at UW-Madison and coordinator of the university's Wisconsin Human Rights Initiative, consider the role of restorative justice in the U.S., emphasizing reparation to victims and community members, and justice after atrocity in Africa. Geske and Straus discuss how these and other approaches to violence and oppression may be going beyond our traditional understanding of crime and punishment.
Watch Online

What's Driving My Car? 2050 Biofuels and Other Sustainable Energy Sources

Episode first aired on 3/19/2010

Tim Donohue, professor of Bacteriology, head of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center at UW-Madison, discusses the growing field of bioenergy, the production of energy from such renewable sources as plants, trees, and agricultural waste. With fears of global warming and increased pressure to reduce America's dependence on fossil fuels, Wisconsin's pioneering efforts in bioenergy may transform the way we live a generation from now.
Watch Online

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: The Nature of Tolerance in 2050

Episode first aired on 3/1/2010

With an African American president and Latina supreme court justice, it would seem that America is on its way to becoming a more pluralistic place. But what about here in Wisconsin, where minorities today comprise only 15% of the state population? University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers and Academy Evenings panel participants Michael Thornton, Lynet Uttal, and Kathleen Cramer Walsh, along with moderator Emily Auerbach, will explore our shifting demographics and changing attitudes in this program.