University of Minnesota Offers Course On "The Science Of Cannabis"

Guests: Department of Agronomy & Plant Genetics Assistant Teaching Professor Mary Braake & Associate Professor Peter Morrell

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (DFL) is ordering state agencies to prepare for the potential legalization of marijuana for recreational use. During the last legislative session, the Republican-controlled Senate rejected a bill that would have legalized recreational marijuana in 2022, and Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says he has no interest in revisiting the issue. Marijuana use for medical purposes is currently permitted in the state. The controversy over legalization is sparking greater interest in cannabis. This semester, the University of Minnesota is offering a course on cannabis, focusing on its scientific properties, societal impact and the state and federal regulation of the crop. The course is being offered by the U’s Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. This week on Dialogue Minnesota, we chat with the faculty members who are co-teaching the class, titled “The Science of Cannabis.”

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Pro-Democracy Demonstrations in Hong Kong

Guest: University of Minnesota Professor & History Department Chair Ann Waltner

Authoritarian governments are on the rise throughout the world. But organized resistance to the policies these governments are implementing are underway. This week on Dialogue Minnesota, a look at the protest movement in Hong Kong, and how it may signal a growing pushback to authoritarian leaders and governments. Ann Waltner, a professor and chair of the English Department at the University of Minnesota and an expert on Chinese history, shares her insights.

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Aquatic Invasive Species Threaten Minnesota's Waters

Guest: University of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Center Extension Educator Megan Weber

One of Minnesota’s most valued resources are our lakes, rivers and streams. But those waters are increasingly threatened by aquatic invasive species…living things that are not native to our state. Aquatic invasive species include fishes, plants, invertebrates and microbes that can harm our health, environment and economy. The University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center has identified roughly three dozen such species. This week, a look at a program offered through the Center that trains citizen scientists to monitor aquatic invasive species. We’ll learn how these volunteers are providing researchers with the necessary data to help prevent the spread of these harmful animals and plants. We chatted with Megan Weber, an extension educator at the Center.

 

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The Four Horsemen of the Economic Revolution

Guest: University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs Senior Fellow Art Rolnick

Fifty years ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota created a partnership that continues to have a profound impact on economic theory and policy. Several young economics professors were instrumental in forging this partnership and became known as the Four Horsemen of the Economic Revolution. U of M Humphrey School of Public Affairs Senior Fellow Art Rolnick discusses The Four Horsemen, their enduring impact on economics, and an upcoming event he’s moderating on the U of M campus where all four will discuss contemporary economic issues.

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News Media Coverage of Racial Issues

Guest: Veteran journalist and former executive director of the Minnesota News Council Gary Gilson

In mid-July, President Donald Trump unleashed a Twitter tirade directed at the so-called Squad—four Democratic US Congresswomen who are also people of color. His Tweets have been characterized by some as racist in content. Several prominent news outlets have taken the unusual step of labeling the president’s Tweets as racist, and this has triggered a broader discussion about how the media approaches issues of race. Veteran journalist and former executive director of the Minnesota News Council Gary Gilson offers his insights.

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Building Renaming Controversy at the University of Minnesota

Guests: University of Minnesota History Department Chair Ann Waltner & Adjunct Professor Joseph Haker

The student government at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus recently led a charge to rename four campus buildings whose namesakes were accused of racism, anti-Semitism and promoting eugenics. Former U President Eric Kaler, who stepped down on July 1, created a task force to research the actions of the men after whom the buildings are named. The panel released its findings earlier this year, and recommended that the buildings be renamed. In late April, the University’s Board of Regents voted against renaming the buildings. This fall semester, a class titled Prejudice and Protest at the U of M will take a critical look at the University’s history. History Department Chair Ann Waltner and course instructor Joseph Haker discuss the renaming controversy and the challenges of dealing with past injustices.

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Democratic Presidential Candidate Debates Analysis

Guest: University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Political Science Kathryn Pearson

Twenty Democratic presidential contenders squared off in two debates late last month in Miami. University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Political Science Kathryn Pearson analyzes the candidates’ performances during the forum and what will likely be the key issues in the Democratic presidential primary campaign. Also, a look at Minnesota’s legislative session that adjourned in May and the controversy surrounding 5th District Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

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End-of-Term Analysis of Key US Supreme Court Decisions

Guest: University of Minnesota Morse Alumni Professor of Political Science Timothy Johnson

This past week, the U.S. Supreme Court wrapped up its term and delivered several significant decisions. Among them was a ruling that federal courts cannot intervene in gerrymandering disputes and another that prevents the Trump administration from including a question regarding citizenship on the 2020 Census. University of Minnesota Morse Alumni Professor of Political Science Timothy Johnson discusses some of the key Supreme Court decisions this past term, and how the ideological leanings of the justices can influence their opinion

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Nuclear Opportunism

Guest: University Assistant Professor of Political Science Mark Bell

During the Cold War, the Soviet and American nuclear arsenals served largely as a deterrent to an all-out military confrontation. Both countries possessed enough weapons to effectively destroy each other. This concept of mutually assured destruction made nuclear war unthinkable. But as more nations have acquired nuclear capability, the purposes these weapons serve in international politics has changed. Each country uses its nuclear arsenal in its own unique way to establish its place in the world order. This week on Access Minnesota, University of Minnesota Assistant Professor of Political Science Mark Bell discusses his concept of nuclear opportunism.

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University of Minnesota's Bell Museum Celebrates "The Year of Apollo"

Guest: Bell Museum Director of Public Engagement & Science Learning Holly Menninger

This summer marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing. The Bell Museum on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus is celebrating this historic first through a series of exhibits, events and educational programs. We chatted with the museum’s Director of Public Engagement and Science Learning Holly Menninger about this ongoing commemoration called The Year of Apollo: To The Moon and Beyond.

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"Encore Adulthood" and the University of Minnesota Advanced Careers Initiative, Part 2

Guests: Phyllis Moen, Kate Schaefers, Jeff Buchanan, Andy Taylor, Arbresha Ibraimi, Max Peterson

An increasing number of Baby Boomers are approaching traditional retirement age but have no intention of segueing to a life of leisure. A University of Minnesota program offers experienced professionals an opportunity to transition to a so-called “encore career”, often at a community-based non-profit. The University of Minnesota’s Advanced Careers Initiative or UMAC is the brainchild of Phyllis Moen, a McKnight Presidential Chair and professor of sociology. UMAC is a multigenerational learning experience, where a group of late-career professionals called fellows team up with undergraduate students to work on a variety of challenges facing society. We sat down with Moen and her colleague, UMAC Executive Director Kate Schaefers to discuss this new life stage and also chatted with some of the fellows and undergraduate students involved in the program. This is part 2 of a two-part series.

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"Encore Adulthood" and the University of Minnesota Advanced Careers Initiative, Part 1

Guests: UMAC Founding Director Phyllis Moen & UMAC Executive Director Kate Shaefers

An increasing number of Baby Boomers are approaching traditional retirement age but have no intention of segueing to a life of leisure. A University of Minnesota program offers experienced professionals an opportunity to transition to a so-called “encore career”, often at a community-based non-profit. The University of Minnesota’s Advanced Careers Initiative or UMAC is the brainchild of Phyllis Moen, a McKnight Presidential Chair and professor of sociology. UMAC is a multigenerational learning experience, where a group of late-career professionals called fellows team up with undergraduate students to work on a variety of challenges facing society. We sat down with Moen and her colleague, UMAC Executive Director Kate Schaefers to discuss this new life stage. This is part 1 of a two-part series.

Gun Violence as A Public Health Issue

Guest: University of Minnesota Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Bioethics Dr. Steven Miles

Mass shootings reignite the ongoing debate over gun rights in America. The American Medical Association has declared that gun violence is a public health crisis. University of Minnesota Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Bioethics Dr. Steven Miles discusses a public health approach to reducing the number of deaths and injuries from firearms in the U.S.

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The News Media Under Pressure

Guest: Veteran Journalist and former Executive Director of the Minnesota News Council Gary Gilson

The news media is facing significant challenges: declining advertising revenue, stinging criticism from the White House and an American public with a low level of trust in the press. Veteran journalist and former Executive Director of the Minnesota News Council Gary Gilson discusses these troubled times for the news media.

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Severe Weather Awareness

Guest: Twin Cities National Weather Service Forecast Office Warning Coordination Meteorologist Todd Krause

The arrival of spring ushers in the severe weather season in Minnesota. Tornadoes, lightning and flash flooding pose significant dangers for those who are unprepared and unprotected.  April 8th-12th is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Twin Cities National Weather Service Forecast Office Warning Coordination Meteorologist Todd Krause has tips on how to stay safe when storms threaten.

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Designing For Climate Change

Guest: Dr. Jesse Keenan, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Climate change is leading to more extreme weather events, forest fires and rising waters along our coastlines. Recently, a conference was held in Duluth to discuss these and other climate-related issues. Dr. Jesse Keenan is a social scientist on the faculty of the Harvard University School of Design and is an expert on the impacts of climate change on property and infrastructure. His keynote presentation at the conference was titled Destination Duluth: The Fact and Fiction of a Shared Climate Future. Keenan believes that Duluth may be a potential refuge for people leaving other parts of the country due to climate change.

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Tough Boss or Abusive Boss?

Guest: University of Minnesota Assistant Professor of Human Resource Development Joshua Collins

Senator Amy Klobuchar is facing accusations from some former staffers that she mistreated them. Other former staffers have expressed support for the Senator. What differentiates a tough boss from an abusive boss? And are women held to a different standard than men when it comes to their management style?

University of Minnesota Assistant Professor of Human Resource Development Joshua Collins shares his insights on managers’ expectations of their employees.

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The Bail Bond Industry's Impact on Marginalized Communities

Guest: University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Sociology Joshua Page

In the American criminal justice system, a person suspected of committing a crime can be released from custody pending a trial if they post bail, a monetary payment that will be refunded if they make their court appearances. Suspects often turn to a bail bond company if they or their relatives and friends are unable to come up with the money required by the court. New research is pointing out flaws in the bail bond system that can adversely impact low-income communities. University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Sociology Joshua Page discusses his study of the bail bond industry.

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Estate Planning and End-of-Life Decision-Making

Guest: University of Minnesota Family Social Science Professor Marlene Stum

People often avoid the topic of mortality and how their affairs should be managed following their death. Nearly three years ago, the news that music legend Prince died without a will served as a wakeup call for many Minnesotans.  University of Minnesota Family Social Science Professor Marlene Stum discusses the estate planning process and the importance of preparing in advance for end-of-life decisions.

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Creating Pollinator-Friendly Landscapes

Guest: University of Minnesota Assistant Professor of Entomology Vera Krischik

Scientists are expressing concern about the declining numbers of pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies. Urbanization, the loss of prairie land and the use of pesticides have all contributed to the problem. But there are things that land owners and homeowners can do to make their properties more pollinator-friendly.  University of Minnesota Associate Professor of Entomology Vera Krischik discusses the role of these beneficial insects.

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