Obama’s farewell address: inspiring words, familiar themes, and a ‘primer on democracy’

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama deliv­ered his farewell address Tuesday night, which served as a hopeful goodbye and a call to action, urging Amer­i­cans to bring about pos­i­tive change and stand up to threats that chal­lenge democ­racy. We spoke with polit­ical experts William Crotty and Nick Beauchamp for their reactions.

Squash and sustainability: Open Classroom to explore our food system

Eating is some­thing we do every day, but how often do we con­sider the social, eco­nomic, global, and envi­ron­mental cogs behind our food system? This semester’s Myra Kraft Open Class­room series, which starts tonight, encour­ages the Boston com­mu­nity to do just that.

What President Obama’s legacy will look like

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama will deliver his farewell address this evening in Chicago. We asked four North­eastern fac­ulty mem­bers to reflect on how Obama will be remem­bered, with a par­tic­ular focus on his impact on health­care, human rights, and Amer­ican culture.

3Qs: What can we expect in the new congressional session?

The latest leg­isla­tive ses­sion is only hours old, but already wrought with con­tro­versy. Nicholas Beauchamp, an expert in U.S. pol­i­tics, says this is only the begin­ning, and advises onlookers to keep an eye out for ten­sion, dis­cord, and the deploy­ment of uncon­ven­tional polit­ical tac­tics over the coming year.

What’s next for sports, politics, and TV in 2017?

In the second install­ment of our two-​​part series looking at some of the big sto­ries primed to make head­lines in the new year, North­eastern experts explain that Donald Trump will put “America first,” athlete-​​led social activism will heat up, and fran­chise reboots will take over your TV.

3Qs: Will universal basic income ever become an American reality?

Cities as far-​​flung as Oak­land, Cal­i­fornia, and Oulu, Fin­land, will soon be part of sep­a­rate basic income exper­i­ments. But a uni­versal basic income pro­gram is unlikely to become a reality in the U.S., says applied micro­eco­nomics expert Mindy Marks, who notes that such an ini­tia­tive would be too costly and poten­tially sub­ject to abuse.

Will Electoral College add more drama to historic election?

All 538 mem­bers of the Elec­toral Col­lege will gather in their respec­tive state capi­tols on Monday to for­mally cast their votes in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. But there’s little reason to believe that anyone other than Donald Trump will be voted in as the country’s next commander-​​in-​​chief, say elec­tions expert William Crotty and law and public policy spe­cialist Dan Urman.

Unprecedented, unpredictable road ahead for US-​​Russia relations

As Donald Trump pre­pares to take office, it’s unclear what may lie ahead for the U.S. and Russia, says Russian his­tory and cul­ture expert Harlow Robinson. What is clear, though, is that the Trump era has already begun to change the face of the global land­scape. According to Robinson, we could be entering “a very strange era.”

A victory and an uncertain future at Standing Rock

Protests over laying the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota rep­re­sent more than just a fight over water– and land rights; the move­ment rep­re­sents “a recal­i­bra­tion of what it means to be more fully human in this modern world,” one uni­ver­sity expert says. Here, we take a look at this com­plex issue from three angles—the pol­i­tics, protests, and people of Standing Rock.