Brandywine Distinguished Professor to discuss the 21st century's "new normal

Penn State Brandywine will host its first Common Read event of the 2015 spring semester as Stephen Cimbala, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, discusses "Is the World Going to Hell?" on Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 12:30 p.m. in Main Building classroom 203.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to this thought-provoking dialogue about political, economic, social and cultural turbulence in the 21st century. Cimbala will argue how post-Cold War optimism of the 1990s has been replaced by expectations of continuing terrorist attacks, failed states, economic and social inequality, human rights violations and troubled police-community relations. This discussion will consider some of these issues and more within the context of the capacity of the U.S. and other governments to preserve national security, promote economic growth and provide for social welfare, given the challenges posed by the new world order and by their own domestic politics.

This dialogue will also mirror the theme of this year's Common Read book, "What Should We Be Worried About?"

"What Should We Be Worried About?," edited by John Brockman, is a collection of short essays revealing the planet's most hidden threats. The essays are written by some of the world's most influential scientists who were asked to disclose unknown situations that worry them. The result was a book that changes the way people view biology, economics, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, psychology, war, technology and much more.

The campus Common Read was created to provide an opportunity for the entire Brandywine community to participate in knowledgeable conversation about a shared text, allowing the campus to develop a dialogue focused on one central idea or question.