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. 


Winter 2024

Khiara M. Bridges, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law

"Race in the Roberts Court: Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization"


Fall 2023

Patricia Sekaquaptewa, Chief Justice, Hopi Appellate Court, and Chair of the Board, The Nakwatsvewat Institute; Ethan Elkind, Director, Climate Program, Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment, UC Berkeley School of Law, and Executive Director, The Nakwatsvewat Institute; Justin B. Richland, Professor and Chair of Anthropology, Professor of Law, UC-Irvine, and Associate Justice, Hopi Appellate Court

"Wildfire Management, Native Nations, and the Ethics of Consultation and Collaboration"


Spring 2023

erin Khuê Ninh, Associate Professor and Chair, Asian American Studies, UCSB; Ariana Alvarez, Director & Title IX Officer, Office of Title IX and Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance, UCSB; Cierra Sorin, PhD candidate, Sociology, UCSB; Leila Loose, Co-Chair, Students Against Sexual Assault (SASA), UCSB; and Briana Conway, Director, Campus Advocacy, Resources, & Education (CARE), UCSB

"Ending Sexual Violence on Campus: A Holistic Approach"


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"


Fall 2022

Erica Gies, climate journalist and author

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


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"


Winter 2020

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

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


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"


Spring 2019

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

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


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"


Fall 2018

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

"Fractivism: Corporate Bodies and Chemical Bonds"


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 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"


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"


Spring 2015

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

"Sexual Assault on College Campuses"


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"


Fall 2014

Peter Barnes, entrepreneur, journalist, and author

"Fixing Capitalism's Deepest Flaws"


Spring 2014

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

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


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"


Fall 2013

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

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


Spring 2013

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

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


Winter 2013

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

"Saving Babies? The Consequences of Newborn Genetic Screening"


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"


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"


Winter 2012

Kathleen Sharp, award-winning investigative journalist

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


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"


Spring 2011

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

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


Winter 2011

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

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


Fall 2010

Holly Lohuis, Education/Research Associate, Ocean Futures Society

"BP’s Oil Spill in the Gulf"