Capps Forum on Ethics and Public Policy

Several times each year, the Capps Forum on Ethics and Public Policy brings to the campus and the community distinguished speakers who address major social and ethical issues. The purpose of the forum is to engage students, faculty, and local residents in conversation about public concerns important to the nation and the world. Originally called the Capps Forum on Ethics, in 2010 the series became the Capps Forum on Ethics and Public Policy and began to coordinate public lectures to coincide with the Capps Center's undergraduate courses in ethics. The forum series programs quarterly lectures on environmental ethics, biomedical ethics, and the ethics of diversity and social justice. These events are free and open to the public. 


Fall, 2010

Holly Lohuis, Education/Research Associate, Ocean Futures Society

"BP’s Oil Spill in the Gulf"


Winter, 2011

Dr. David Gollaher, Chief Executive Officer and President, California Healthcare Institute

"Life in the Balance: Perspectives on Stem Cell Research"


Spring, 2011

Kevin R. Johnson, Dean, School of Law, UC Davis

“Opening the Floodgates: Why America Needs to Rethink Its Borders and Immigration Laws”


Fall, 2011

Daniel Hirsch, Lecturer on Nuclear Policy, UC Santa Cruz, and former Director of its Adlai Stevenson Program on Nuclear Policy

"Nuclear Power: Ethical and Policy Implications"


Winter, 2012

Kathleen Sharp, award-winning investigative journalist

"Blood Feud: The Man Who Blew the Whistle on One of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever"


Spring, 2012

Linda Gordon, Florence Kelley Professor of History and University Professor of the Humanities, New York University

"Contraception at the Tea Party: The Politics of Women's Health"


Fall, 2012

Peter Gleick, Co-founder and President, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, CA

"The Science and Ethics of 21st Century Climate and Water Challenges"


Winter, 2013

Stefan Timmermans, Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, UCLA

"Saving Babies? The Consequences of Newborn Genetic Screening"


Spring, 2013

Eboo Patel, Founder and President, Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) in Chicago, Illinois

"Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America"


Fall, 2013

Rinaldo Brutoco, Founding President, World Business Academy, Santa Barbara, CA

"Nuclear Power: A Mistake in Search of a Mission"


Winter, 2014

Stuart J. Youngner, M.D., Chair, Department of Bioethics, Susan E. Watson Professor, and Professor of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University

"Decisions at the End of Life: The Illusion of Control and Sense of Responsibility"


Spring, 2014

Paul R. Abramson, Research Professor, Department of Psychology, UCLA

"Sex, Sex, and More Sex: Ensuring Sexual Rights While Preventing Sexual Harm"


Fall, 2014

Peter Barnes, entrepreneur, journalist, and author

"Fixing Capitalism's Deepest Flaws"


Winter, 2015

Anna Lappé, bestselling author of Diet for a Hot Planet and Grub, and co-founder of the Small Planet Institute

"Ethics at the End of a Fork"


Spring, 2015

California State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and State Assemblymember Das Williams

"Sexual Assault on College Campuses"


Fall 2015

Mark Schapiro, investigative journalist, and Lecturer in Earth Journalism, Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley

"Carbon Shock: Seeking Equilibrium in the Climate-Disrupted Economy"


Fall 2017

Robert Bullard, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University

"Environmental Justice for All: Why Equity Matters"


Winter 2018

Charis Thompson, Chancellor's Professor, UC Berkeley, and Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science

"Strategies for Surviving Negative Emotions in a Time of Augmentation and Polarization"


Fall 2018

Sara Wylie, Associate Professor, Departments of Sociology and Health Sciences, Northwestern University

"Fractivism: Corporate Bodies and Chemical Bonds"


Winter 2019

Scott A. Scherr, M.D., Regional Medical Director, TeamHealth; Medical Director, Sunrise Hospital Emergency Department; Medical Director, Clark County Fire Department

"Active Shooter Preparedness and Response Training"


Spring 2019

Robyn Thomas, Executive Director, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

"How to Win the Fight against Gun Violence in America"


Fall 2019

Sarah Jaquette Ray, Professor and Program Leader, Environmental Studies, Humboldt State University

"Coming of Age at the End of the World: An Existential Toolkit for the Climate Generation"


Winter 2020

Michael Kalichman, Director, Research Ethics Program, UC San Diego

"Research Ethics: Uncertainty, Reproducibility, and Truth in Science"


Spring 2021

Felicia Cohn, Clinical Professor of Bioethics, Department of Medicine, UC Irvine School of Medicine

"Death, Dying, and Medical Ethics in the Time of COVID"


Fall 2022

Erica Gies, climate journalist and author

"Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge"


Winter 2023

Stuart Finder, Director, Center for Healthcare Ethics, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

"Grounding Ethics in Clinical Practice: What Matters to Patients, Families, and Health Providers"