The Spring 2018 Life of Mind Salon Series

The evening starts with a wine and cheese reception at 5:30 pm, followed by the lecture at 6:00 pm. Complimentary for Members and $10 for Non-members. Call 401-847-0292 for reservations or register online

Wednesday, April 4

Gerrymandering, Cake Baking and the Supreme Court, attorney Joe Steinfield examines two important cases brought before the Supreme Court in the past year - the Wisconsin case involving gerrymandering of electoral districts and the case of the Colorado cake baker who refused to bake a cake for the wedding celebration of a same sex couple. He discusses how the court decisions in these cases will impact democracy in America, as well as on freedom of religion and freedom of speech.


Wednesday, April 11

Can Higher Education Solve America’s Economic Crisis? Donald J. Farish Ph.D., J.D., President of Roger Williams University, discusses how our country’s economic problems are solvable, and that the driver of the new economy, the change agent that we need to employ, is higher education—but not higher education as we have traditionally known it.


Wednesday, April 18

The Death of Expertise, Tom Nichols, Professor at the Naval War College, argues that the increasingly democratic dissemination of information, rather than producing an educated public, has instead created an army of ill-informed and angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement. Nichols notes that when ordinary citizens believe that no one knows more than anyone else, democratic institutions themselves are in danger of falling either to populism or to technocracy-or in the worst case, a combination of both.


Wednesday, April 25

Teaching Machines to Think, Recent advances in artificial intelligence, specifically powered by machine learning, are having significant impact on our day-to-day lives and are rewriting the rule book on what machines can do. Dr. Michael Littman, professor of computer science at Brown University and an award-winning expert on artificial intelligence, will bring us a report from the front lines, helping to put some of the hype into context and giving his perspective on the promise and limitations of this technology.

Wednesday, May 2

The Lives of the Men Who Created the Redwood Library, Brandon Aglio explores the lives of six key figures from the early history of the Redwood Library.


Wednesday, May 9

The U-Boat in Newport Harbor, historian Brian L. Wallin shares the story of German submarine Bremen that made a surprise visit to the Newport Navy Base in October of 1916 and the events that immediately followed.

Wednesday, May 16

Solution to the Mystery of Newport Tower, Jørgen D. Siemonsen, Chairman Norse Research Committee, presents the various creation theories behind the Newport Tower – Viking Round Tower, Governor Benedict Arnold’s windmill or romantic garden folly - and what he believes to be the true history behind this mysterious structure.