The Health of Democracy: A Polarized People

WED, APR 22, 2015 (1:22:22)

Can a polarized public maintain a healthy democracy? It’s not just the Congress that is ideologically divided. The Pew Research Center recently documented how the American people have become polarized over the past 50 years. Michael Dimock, President of the Pew Research Center, discusses this ground-breaking study and its implications for the health of our democracy with Ted Landsmark. What can citizens do to create and support effective community dialogues aimed at strengthening social bonds?

+ BIO: Michael Dimock

Michael Dimock is president of Pew Research Center. A survey researcher and political scientist by training, he oversees the center’s overall operations and research agenda, including research on politics, religion, demographics, media, technology and international issues.

Dimock has worked at Pew Research Center for more than a decade. He was first hired by the center’s founding director, Andrew Kohut, in 2000, became associate director for research in 2004 and then succeeded Kohut as director of the center’s political polling unit in 2012. He has been the co-author of several of the center’s landmark research reports, including its studies of long-term trends in American political and social values and its polling reports from the last several presidential cycles. In 2014, as vice president of research, he oversaw the execution and analysis of the largest U.S. political survey that the Pew Research Center has conducted, an in-depth examination of the nature and scope of political polarization within the American public.

+ BIO: Theodore C. Landsmark

Theodore "Ted" Carlisle Landsmark is the former President of the Boston Architectural College (BAC) and was previously the Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education at the Massachusetts College of Art. He also served as the Director of Boston's Office of Community Partnerships.

Landsmark has received fellowships from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts and the National Science Foundation, and he served on the editorial board for Architecture Boston. Landsmark also serves as a trustee to numerous arts-related foundations including Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He is widely recognized as an important advocate of diversity and of the African American cause in schools of architecture. He is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, and also serves on the organization's Executive Board.

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