Penn President Amy Gutmann Convenes Panel Examining the State of Public Discourse in America



University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, a political scientist and philosopher, will moderate the David and Lyn Silfen University Forum panel, whose members include:

  • Jim Leach, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and former U.S. Congressman
  • Andrea Mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News and Penn Trustee
  • Three distinguished members of the Penn faculty, Professors Kathleen Hall Jamieson, John DiIulio and John Jackson Jr.



The 2010 forum, titled The Polarized Polis: Public Debate in the United States,” will focus on the current state of public discourse.


5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 13



Annenberg Public Policy Center, The Agora, 202 S. 36th St.



In what is expected to be a robust exchange about the apparent deficit in mutual respect and surplus in political polarization of American public debate and political culture in our times, the panelists will examine whether something is wrong with American public debate, and, if so, how it might be fixed.

Questioning whether political and public discourse in America is truly in trouble, the panel will speculate on the causes and consequences and discuss what the antidotes might be.

Media are invited to attend and should contact Julie McWilliams. Additional information is available at


Those who cannot attend the event in person can view a live webcast on the Web site.