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Virtual event series

The Johns Hopkins Briefing

In this series, experts provide timely analysis and insights about topics of national and global importance and engage in real-time Q&A with the audience. The Office of Interdisciplinary Initiatives hosts the series.

Ramifications of the midterm elections

On Nov. 16, Johns Hopkins University hosted the second event in a two-part series of expert briefings examining the potential policy and political changes resulting from the 2022 U.S. midterm elections. Topics covered included climate, health care, education, and international relations.

Watch the live event

The experts who participated were:

  • Annette C. Anderson, Deputy Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools. Anderson is also an Assistant Professor in the School of Education who has worked as a classroom teacher, a curriculum coordinator, and an assistant principal. She served as the CEO and founding principal of Widener Partnership Charter School, the first university-assisted charter school in Pennsylvania.  
  • Hal Brands, Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the School of Advanced International Studies and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He is the author most recently of The Lessons of Tragedy: Statecraft and World Order. 
  • Josh Sharfstein, Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement, Director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, and Professor of the Practice in Health Policy and Management. He has served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Principal Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Baltimore City Health Commissioner. 
  • Benjamin Zaitchik, Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. His research is directed at understanding, managing, and coping with climatic and hydrologic variability. His Hydroclimate Research Group aims to parlay its science into tools to improve monitoring and prediction of environmental factors relevant to human health, food and water security, and biodiversity preservation.
  • Moderator: Lainie Rutkow, PhD, Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Initiatives, Johns Hopkins University 

Past events

Midterm elections: Implications for democracy

The first of a two-part series of expert briefings on the 2022 U.S. midterms addressed civic participation and voter turnout, social polarization, the crisis of liberal democracy, protest and unrest, and historical context.

The James Webb Space Telescope and a New Era of Scientific Discovery

Topics discussed include why James Webb Space Telescope was built, what was required to get it ready for science operations, the Webb’s first full-color images and what they revealed, JWST’s first year of observations, and the future of its science mission.

Monkeypox virus closeup shows three opaque white circles of different sizes against a black background
Aug. 10, 2022
The global monkeypox outbreak

Topics covered include the prevention and treatment of monkeypox, how monkeypox is transmitted and ways to contain its spread, the social context for monkeypox and ways to reduce stigma around the outbreaks, and the availability and distribution of monkeypox vaccines

A United States flag at half mast against a backdrop of an orange sunset
June 2, 2022
Responding to Gun Violence with Effective and Fair Solutions

Topics discussed include the challenge gun violence poses for American democracy, which gun laws are effective, Extreme Risk Protection Orders and how they can help to prevent gun violence, research on public opinion about solutions to gun violence, and measures to promote student safety and health in a time of rising gun violence

Blue and yellow paint strokes meant to represent Ukraine flag
May 17, 2022
War in Ukraine: Perspectives on a Global Crisis

This briefing included discussion of the historical backstory to the war and the likely consequences for international order, the humanitarian crisis and how it has evolved, the conflict’s impacts on global food systems and food security, and the war’s effects on European politics and the European Union

Blue and yellow paint strokes meant to represent Ukraine flag
March 30, 2022
War in Ukraine: Perspectives on a Global Crisis

This briefing included discussion of the historical backstory to the conflict and the significance of this moment in history, the human costs of the war and the evolving humanitarian crisis, the threat of Russian weapon of mass destruction use in Ukraine; cyber threats to Ukraine and other democracies, and the war’s implications for economic globalization