Tag Archives: 2013

2013 Week Nine looks into the future of unsustainable health care crisis

By this time next summer, if the Affordable Care Act proceeds as planned, big changes will be in effect.

Standardized billing and electronic records will become mandatory; increased funding will be provided to the Children’s Health Insurance Program and state Medicare programs that offer preventative health services; hospital performance statistics and evaluations will be publicly reported; and a tax hike of 0.9 percent on those earning more than $200,000 annually will be earmarked for health care costs.

That is if everything goes according to plan, which may be unlikely. A presidential election, along with other political movements in favor of and against the act, will likely modify, transform, or even render irrelevant that timeline.

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Becker previews 2013 Season at final Porch Discussion

For the final Porch Discussion of the season, the board of trustees fittingly invited Institution President Thomas M. Becker to speak during Week Nine’s presidential-themed week.

The discussion took place on the Hultquist Center porch Wednesday morning and covered the weekly themes and committed speakers for the 2013 Season.

Audience members then asked about the process of selecting topics and speakers and whether Chautauquans are involved.

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2013 Week Eight examines Turkey

“Turkey: Model for the Middle East?” is the 2013 theme for Week Eight, and the Interfaith Lecture theme is “Turkey: Crossroads of Many Faiths.”

Slightly larger than the state of Texas, Turkey occupies a key geopolitical position in terms of energy and trade, and it has played an essential role in the history of the Western world.

Ninety-seven percent of Turkey’s territory is in Asia and three percent is in Europe, placing it at the crossroads of the two continents, strategically controlling the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, which link the Black and Aegean seas. A large portion of its southern coastline borders the Mediterranean Sea.

Chautauqua President Tom Becker sees the location of Turkey as a measure of its utmost importance.

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Chautauqua spends Week Seven 2013 examining history, practice of diplomacy

During Week Seven of the 2013 season, Chautauquans and visitors can look forward to a week devoted entirely to the theme of diplomacy, or the art and skill of conducting negotiations among states, groups or organizations.

“At a time when America’s place in global affairs is changing daily and becoming increasingly complex, Chautauqua will look into diplomacy as a central activity of global citizenship,” said Institution President Tom Becker. “We will look at the history of diplomacy, key dates and individuals in its development and hear from contemporary practitioners.”

Sherra Babcock, director of the Department of Education, said the inspiration for the theme stems from the overwhelming interest in foreign affairs on the part of Chautauqua.

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Week Five in 2013 dissects Jefferson’s ‘pursuit’

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Jefferson’s immortal words penned in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence have been repeated endlessly, and at present, their meaning has become numbed, if not warped. Life seems to be within our grasp, liberty more or less achieved. But, the pursuit of happiness is more elusive than ever.

Week Five’s theme for the 2013 season is “The Pursuit of Happiness” and will ask Chautauquans to revisit Jefferson’s intended meaning of the phrase, how we can define and measure happiness, and whether American optimism persists.

The week will focus on the theme of happiness from a variety of angles. It will kick off with the establishment of a historical context on the topic, then shift to current sociological trends, touch on the latest neurological studies, and wrap up by putting America’s gauge of happiness in a global perspective.

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Lecture platform revisits Civil War sesquicentennial for Week Three 2013

As the United States continues its sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War, Chautauqua in Week Three 2013, titled “America, 1863,” will examine its legacy in the context of a pivotal year in the country’s history.

“We keyed in on 1863 specifically, not just because it’s 150 years later, but because it’s a year in which the leaders of the Union showed optimism for the future of United States,” said Sherra Babcock, director of Chautauqua’s Department of Education. “They were planning for the long-term — creating land-grant universities and new governmental organizations, expanding the railroad system — in the middle of a war, when it wasn’t clear if there would even be a country when the war was over.”

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‘Our Elegant Universe’ connects quantum mechanics and relativity

Next summer at Chautauqua, it’s not rocket science — just particle physics, a few mathematical models that try to connect quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity, and perhaps a splash of microbiology.

“Our Elegant Universe,” the theme for Week One of the 2013 Season, takes its name from the book and television series by Brian Greene, who will keynote the week with a lecture on Monday, June 24. The theoretical physicist and Columbia professor is at the forefront of his field in research, but also a popular speaker, host of his own PBS special and the author of many books, including the young adult science fiction novel Icarus at the Edge of Time. He even made a featured cameo on the CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory.”

Greene’s skills at communicating complicated topics to audiences of all scientific backgrounds have won him the admiration of many, including Chautauqua Institution President Tom Becker.

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