Seminars at Steamboat 2017 lineup announced | SteamboatToday.com

Seminars at Steamboat 2017 lineup announced

— Fake news, the future of the economy and climate change are among the timely topics experts will discuss during the 15th annual Seminars at Steamboat talks, slated to begin July 10.

Seminars at Steamboat board chair Bob Stein said board members outdid themselves in August by identifying topics and potential speakers who would have relevant presentations nearly a year later.

"The board last August really aced it, I think, in coming up with five topics and speakers that would be fresh, topical and important this summer," Stein said. "To do it that far ahead of time is very foresightful, and they did it."

The season of Monday-evening talks kicks off July 10 with factcheck.org founder and operator Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who also is a professor and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Jamieson will present "Fact Checking, Fake News and the Roles of the Press."

Stein said Jamieson analyzes the media but is not part of it, which could offer a unique perspective.

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"She is both a good speaker and a keen analyst," Stein said.

On July 24, former British Labour politician Douglas Alexander will look at the future of Britain in relation to Brexit in a talk called "Brexit: What Lies Ahead for Britain and Europe."

"To have a former labor politician talk about Brexit, I think, will be interesting and stretch us a little bit," Stein said.

The future of the United States economy will be the topic July 31, in a talk by Northwestern University economics and social science professor Robert Gordon.

Gordon's presentation, "Growth and the Economy: Where is it Headed?" could provide a "sobering analysis of where our economy is headed," Stein said.

On Aug. 7, journalist and attorney Marcia Coyle, who covers the Supreme Court for the National Law Journal, will present "The Nation's Highest Court: On the Cusp of Change."

Stein said Coyle, who regularly appears on PBS' NewsHour with Supreme Court analysis, would likely discuss potential big Supreme Court cases on the horizon.

"She explains things better than any Supreme Court reporter I've heard," Stein said.

The season is scheduled to wrap up Aug. 14, with The New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert's talk, "Climate Change Policy and the Future of Biodiversity."

Kolbert is a two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and author of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction book "Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History."

"It's a very timely and important subject, where we will find out what are facts and what are alternate facts," Stein said.

Donors are able to keep the seminars free to the public, Stein said, under a model he acknowledges he wasn't sure would be so successful.

"We're so happy that the seminars have become a summer fixture in Steamboat," Stein said.

Stein said the organization is likely to organize an additional summer event to specifically celebrate 15 years of seminars, but details are still being worked out.

Seminars are held at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays at the Strings Music Pavilion, 900 Strings Road.

Each summer presentation will be videotaped and later posted at seminarsatsteamboat.org. The seminars will also broadcast through a partnership with KUNC radio.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow