Fifteen Questions

Fifteen Questions: Jonathan Zittrain on Social Media, AI Litigation, and CompuServe

The law professor sat down with Fifteen Minutes to discuss AI regulation, moderating online communities, and the Applied Social Media Lab. “I’m very interested in ways to see how people can gather with a sense of shared ownership rather than a corporate patron overseeing the conversation,” Zittrain says.

Fifteen Questions: Naomi Oreskes on Climate Change Denial, Apolitical Scientists, and Her Favorite Rocks

The historian and her dog sat down with Fifteen Minutes to talk about disinformation, climate change, and rocks. “Generally people don’t act — especially if you’re asking people to change how they're living, how they’re behaving, how they’re thinking — if you just give them dry scientific information,” Oreskes says.

Jules Gill-Peterson

Jules Gill-Peterson is a 2023–24 Radcliffe fellow and an associate professor of history at Johns Hopkins University.

Fifteen Questions: Bruno Carvalho on Cities, Bike Lanes, and Punny Halloween Costumes

The urbanist sat down with Fifteen Minutes to discuss cities and urban studies. “I’m not sure I would say cities are inherently anything except for places where strangers live among each other and places where constructions are supposed to last beyond a single generation,” he says.

Fifteen Questions: Maria Dominguez Gray on PBHA, Leadership, and Public Service

The executive director of the Phillips Brooks House Association sat down with Fifteen Minutes to share her thoughts on what makes a good student leader and the value of community service.

Fifteen Questions: Rochelle Walensky on Pandemics, Public Health, and Reading for Fun

FM sat down with the former CDC director to discuss her experience as one of the nation’s public health leaders during an unprecedented global pandemic. "I don’t know that America appreciates how the people of CDC, the 12,000 people of CDC, work tirelessly, quietly,” she says. “You never know their name.”

rochelle walensky portrait

Rochelle P. Walensky served as the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2021 to 2023.

Vijay Iyer

Vijay Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts as well as graduate advisor for the Music Department’s Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry program.

Fifteen Questions: Vijay Iyer on Cognition, Temporality, and Musical Community

Professional musician and Harvard professor of the arts Vijay Iyer sat down with Fifteen Minutes to chat about his career, his teaching philosophy, and the neuroscience of music.

Fifteen Questions: Jocelyn Viterna on El Salvador, Abortion Bans, and Finding Patterns

FM sat down with sociologist Jocelyn Viterna to talk about her research into gender politics and reproductive justice in El Salvador. “If a social movement is not based in actually changing the hearts and minds and practices of individuals, then I think it’s always going to be vulnerable,” she says.

Fifteen Questions: David Yang on Chinese Authoritarianism, Political Economy, and Cookbooks

The Economics professor sat down with Fifteen Minutes to discuss his work on the political economy of authoritarian regimes in China. “There are people in China who eagerly want and fight for democracy. There are people in the U.S. who take on actions that go very much against democracy,” he says.

Fifteen Questions: Mina Cikara on Social Psychology, Intergroup Conflict, and Being a ‘Valley Rat’

Psychology professor Mina Cikara sat down with the magazine to discuss her influences and the psychology of discrimination. “Social psychology is rife with theorizing about all of the different inputs to intergroup conflict,” she says. “There are many, and they are multiply determined, and they are incredibly complex.”

Fifteen Questions: Catherine Brekus on Historical Women, Christian Nationalism, and Religious Freedom

Divinity School professor Catherine A. Brekus ’85 sat down with Fifteen Minutes to talk about women’s history and religion. “For me, religion became a tool for asking questions about how women had made sense of their lives, and how they had made meaning,” she says.

Fifteen Questions: Kathleen Coleman on Gladiators, the Classics, and Poems

The former Chair of Harvard’s Classics Department discusses her experiences in apartheid South Africa, the gladiators of Ancient Rome, and the future of the Classics. She has been “privileged,” she says, “to spend my career basically pursuing my hobby.”

Kathleen Coleman

Kathleen M. Coleman, a member of Harvard’s faculty for a quarter-century, is a Classics professor and the Department’s chair as well as a Senior Research Curator for the Harvard Art Museums.

Susannah Tobin ’00 on Opinion Writing, Civil Rights, and the Gold Coast

The law professor sat down with Fifteen Questions to discuss her experience writing for The Crimson and working with Harvard students at the College and Law School. She shares her love of history and talks about what it can teach us, “I think about that and think about how far we’ve come and how much further we have to go.”

Susannah Tobin

Susannah B. Tobin ’00 is the Assistant Dean for Academic Career Advising and Ezra Ripley Thayer Senior Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. She is also Managing Director of the Climenko Fellowship Program. She serves on the graduate council for The Harvard Crimson and Cambridge Historical Mission.

Orland Patterson portrait

Orlando Patterson is a Sociology professor who studies race, freedom, and slavery. He served as a special adviser for Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley from 1972 to 1979 and has written several novels.

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