The Conversations on Morality, Politics, and Society (COMPAS) program for 2013/14 focused on the distinction between Public and Private. This theme connects a wide range of pressing policy questions and fundamental scholarly problems across seemingly disparate domains. Movements for social justice often press their cases by arguing that supposedly personal matters are in fact political and that the structure of public spaces often limits private choice, thereby reducing the impact of individual responsibility. Conversely, governments have experimented with privatizing a variety of previously public functions and services such as prisons, roads, schools, and the military. Developments in information technology, genetics, and neuroscience raise new moral, legal, and practical questions about personal privacy. And the ubiquity of internet use and social media have changed the way we conduct our personal and social lives in respects that invite reflection on the distinction between public and private activity. Thus, in addition to being a matter of enduring political and academic interest, the way in which societies define issues as public or private has important implications for the fundamental ethical question of how to live a good human life. Our year-long program explored the many facets of these complex and critical issues and mobilized Ohio State’s multiple disciplinary perspectives and diverse resources to promote informed, civil discussion of the ever-shifting relationship between the public and the private.
Each COMPAS program is able to support two conferences, one in the fall and one in the spring.
- October 3-4, 2013
Fall COMPAS Conference
Keynote: "Deciding by Default," Cass Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University
- April 4, 2014
Spring COMPAS Conference
Keynote: "The Age of Sustainability," Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, Columbia University
This year's COMPAS program was able to bring a number of individual speakers to campus to present their own research relating to the Public/Private theme.
- September 13, 2013
"Transparency, Corruption, and Democratic Institutions"
Speaker: Graham Hubbs, Philosophy, University of Idaho
- September 20, 2013
"Public Reason Liberalism and its Unfortunate Insulation Claim"
Speaker: Gerald Gaus, James E. Rogers Professor of Philosophy, University of Arizona
- April 14, 2014
"Globalization of University Education and the Contribution of Public and Private Non-Profit Universities in Developing the Work Force of the Future"
Speaker: Richard Freeman, Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University
- April 17, 2014
"The Health Impact Fund: enhancing justice and efficiency in global health"
Speaker: Thomas Pogge, Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs and Director of the Global Justice Program, Yale University
COMPAS Sponsored Events
The Public/Private COMPAS program sponsored a series of events organized by faculty from across the University. The competitive call for proposals resulted in the following exciting events:
- October 16, 2013
"What's the Big Deal? The Ethics of Public Private Partnerships Related to Food and Health"
Speaker: Jonathan Marks, Pennsylvania State University, Bioethics, Humanities, Law, and Philosophy; Director, Bioethics Program; Associate Director, Rock Ethics Institute
Comentator: Jill Clark, OSU, John Glenn School of Public Affairs
Moderator: Neal H. Hooker, OSU, Food Policy, John Glenn School of Public Affairs
Professor Marks' paper is freely available here, on the Social Science Research Network, and a related blog post is available here, on the website of the Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics.
- November 8-9, 2013
"Women in Bollywood: Tradition and Transition"
Keynote Address: Wendy Singer, Roy T. Wortman Distinguished Professor of History, Kenyon College
Panel Members: Wendy Singer, Abhijit Varde, Mytheli Sreenivas, and Andrew Phillip
Moderator: Ila Nager
- March 27, 2014
First Annual COMPAS Photo Contest
Speakers and Judges: Richard Radstone, Photographer; Nick Fancher, Photographer
Public/Private related university events
Throughout the university, many events were held related to the COMPAS theme of Public/Private. COMPAS regularly co-sponsored and advertised these events in an effort to bring further University resources to the forefront of the COMPAS conversation.
- September 11, 2013
Speaker: Reza Aslan
Buckeye Book Club and OSU First Year Experience Event
- October 1, 2013
Author of The Submission Visits
Speaker: Amy Waldman
Buckeye Book Club and OSU First Year Experience Event
- November 14-16 & 17, 2013
Play depicting Supreme Court Case: Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc.
Post-play panel discussions
- January 16 & 18, 2014
"Let the Fire Burn"
- September 19, 2013
"Bars and Digits: Liberal Democracy in the Digital Age of Security"
Speaker: Bernard Harcourt
Humanities Institute Event
- September 26, 2013
"Do Partisan Primaries Serve the Public Interest?"
Panel Discussions Co-sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center
- October 3, 2013
"Cybersurveillance, Privacy, and Security"
Mershon Center for International Security, panel discussion
- October 10, 2013
"Is Library User Privacy still Paramount in the 2.0 Era?"
Speaker: Michael Zimmer
- October 24, 2013
"Big Brother is Watching (Out For) You?"
Batelle Center Tech Talk
- March 19-21, 2014
"Big Data Future"
Interdisciplinary Big Data Conference