Yale’s interdisciplinary approach to learning takes center stage at inaugural Yale Explores event

Crowd mingling at Yale Explores 21st-Century City and Society event.
(Photo credit: Erin Scott Photography, LLC)

The “Yale Explores” series kicked off April 16 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., bringing together alumni, featured faculty, and President Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D. to discuss the “21st-Century City and Society.”

The event was the first in a series, to be held in the U.S. and abroad, designed to bring together the greater Yale community by offering an interdisciplinary exploration of the current challenges facing our world. At each event, members of the Yale faculty will approach a timely topic from a variety of perspectives, and Salovey will highlight the university’s role in these crucial conversations.

The inaugural event featured a panel discussion moderated by Margaret Warner ’71, special global affairs correspondent for “PBS Newshour.” She was joined by Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, professor of economics; Elihu Rubin ’99, associate professor of urbanism in the Yale School of Architecture; and Karen Seto, the Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Speaking before a crowd of more than 400 at the Newseum’s auditorium, the group discussed population growth, gentrification, and the impact of affluence on urbanization. The panel concluded by examining what defines a healthy city (quick answers: economic opportunity, whatever provides for a healthy planet, and access to food and transportation) and the biggest barriers to thriving urban communities (in short, politics that prioritize expediency over the greater good).

President Peter Salovey, Margaret Warner, Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Karen Seto, and Elihu Rubin on stage at Yale Explores event.
Left to right: President Peter Salovey, Margaret Warner, Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Karen Seto, and Elihu Rubin. (Photo credit: Erin Scott Photography, LLC)

We’re so pleased to kick off this series in Washington, D.C.,” said Salovey, who followed the panel discussion with a talk on the future of global society and Yale’s role in cultivating that future. “The three wonderful professors and the lively conversation they just had really exemplifies the multidisciplinary approach we take at Yale.”

The panel discussion was bookended by a pair of receptions, with those in attendance gathering in the Newseum’s Great Hall of News for appetizers, desserts, and drinks. 

The next Yale Explores event is set for Tuesday, May 15, in Boston and will focus on “The Quest for Better Therapies.” Award-winning New York Times columnist and Yale adjunct professor Carl Zimmer ’87 will be the moderator, and the featured faculty are scheduled to include Akiko Iwasaki, the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology; Mark Saltzman, the Goizueta Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, and Physiology; and Peter Schulam, professor of urology and chair of the Department of Urology at the Yale School of Medicine, and chief of the Department of Urology at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Subsequent events will be held in New York and Philadelphia in the fall of 2018 before heading out west for the spring semester of 2019.

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Media Contact

E.J. Crawford: ej.crawford@yale.edu, 203-436-3632