LIFELONG LEARNING ACADEMY’S Winter 2016 Einstein’s Circle Series At USF Sarasota-Manatee; These open forums, moderated by knowledgeable experts on a variety of timely topics, provide an opportunity for participants to engage in a thoughtful exchange of ideas, opinions and information

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Winter 2016 Einsteins Circle Series

At USF Sarasota-Manatee

These open forums, moderated by knowledgeable experts on a variety of timely topics, provide an opportunity for participants to engage in a thoughtful exchange of ideas, opinions and information.


January 20:

Surrounded By Drugs

January 27:

Homeless, Hungry And A One Way Ticket Out Of Town

February 3

Five Short Videos That Could Change Your Life

February 10

Does U.S. Experience Prevent Us From Understanding The Middle East?

February 17

The Dolphins Of Sarasota Bay:  Lessons From Four Decades And Five Generations

February 24

The New Doctor In Town: Education Of Medical Students:  Past, Present & Future




(Sarasota-Manatee, Florida) Lifelong Learning Academy (LLA) announces its winter 2016 session of Einstein’s Circle forums, held in January and February, 3-4 p.m., in Selby Auditorium at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Cost is $5 per session for LLA paid members and $6 for general admission. Seating is limited to 180 participants. Registration is recommended online at or by calling 941-359-4296. For additional information on the Lifelong Learning Academy, including weekly updates of Einsteins Circle, visit or call 941-359-4296.

            According to Bev Harms, producer of the Einstein’s Circle forums, these open seminars, moderated by knowledgeable experts in a variety of timely topics, provide an opportunity for participants to engage in a thoughtful exchange of ideas, opinions and information. “The objective  of Einstein’s Circle is to explore local, national and international issues of interest and to keep the topics as current and timely as possible,” says Harms.

Surrounded By Drugs with Herbert Kaufman, M.D. (Wednesday, January 20): We are surrounded by drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, pain pills, and more. What happens when society attempts to control them? How bad are they, particularly marijuana? What really works and is there more harm than good done by making them illegal? What’s the harm in making them legal? Herbert Kaufman, M.D., will explore all of these issues. Dr. Kaufman is Emeritus Boyd Professor of Ophthalmology, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Louisiana State University Medical Center School of Medicine in New Orleans. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his medical degree from Harvard University. Dr. Kaufman developed the first effective antivirals and pioneered the combination of steroid and antiviral therapy. He is world renowned for involvement in the development of M-K and K-Sol media, which made modern eye banks possible. He has more than 800 publications in his bibliography, including work on herpes virus and ocular disease, antiviral drugs, corneal surgery, and refractive surgery.

Homeless, Hungry And A One Way Ticket Out Of Town with Susan Nilon (January 27): There has to be a better solution to homelessness than a one way ticket out of town, an idea the City of Sarasota committed to in 2014. Business owners and residents express legitimate concerns over panhandling, sanitation and safety. Sympathetic as they may be to those living desperate lives, there seems to be no consensus on compassionate resolutions. The treatment of the homeless in Sarasota has been the subject of scrutiny for years, at one time earning Sarasota the title of “Meanest City in America.” Susan Nilon, a columnist, host of “The Nilon Report,” and president of the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club, examines the problems and concerns of a rapidly growing community with no near-term homeless solutions. Nilon currently works alongside the ACLU in helping to change the way we see the homeless in our community.

Five Short Videos That Could Change Your Life with Mark B. Peterson, Ed.D (February 3): Dealing with end-of-life issues is never easy. Even if decisions have been made and preferences communicated, there are still significant forces that can impact and countermand clearly and legally expressed wishes. The results can be painful and upsetting to individuals and their families. Knowing and understanding  the difficulties in having last wishes honored is central to the dignity and effectiveness of any plan. Five short videos, ranging in length from two to 10 minutes, look at decision-making, “having the conversation” with a designated health care proxy, family members and doctors. Following each video, Dr. Mark Peterson, a Philadelphia-based retired psychologist, teacher, and consultant who specializes in end-of-life planning, will provide a summary of salient points and lead an open discussion.

Does U.S. Experience Prevent Us From Understanding The Middle East? with Robert Deutsch (February 10): America’s experience has been one of problems faced and solved, economically, politically or militarily—or has it? Robert Deutsch, a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer who served as a State Department senior advisor on Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, thinks we exaggerate the scope of our “solutions” to international problems and then try to move on. Deutsch will examine the separate issues of Iran, Iraq, Kurds, Syria and Turkey and see where their histories require separate approaches, and where there are linkages among them. Deutsch served 38 years at the U.S. State Department as a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service. As special envoy to the Iraqi Kurds, he helped manage the safe haven the United States guaranteed in Northern Iraq and led mediation efforts when fighting broke out between Kurdish factions. He also led the effort to rally international support for the containment of Iran. Deutsch became senior advisor on Iraq to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after the fall of Saddam Hussein and worked on re-establishment of the post-war Iraqi economy. In 2009, he became senior advisor to Richard Holbrook, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. In recognition of his State Department service, Deutsch is the recipient of numerous Superior Honor Awards and Presidential Merit Awards.

The Dolphins Of Sarasota Bay: Lessons From Four Decades And Five Generations with Dr. Randall Wells (February 17): Did you know that the bottlenose dolphins that make their home in Sarasota Bay are the subject of the world’s longest-running study of a wild dolphin population? And that the head of the study, who is one of the world’s leading dolphin experts, grew up here in Sarasota? Dr. Randall Wells started studying bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay in 1970 as a high school volunteer at Mote Marine Laboratory. He now directs the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program where he has aptly earned the title “The Dolphin Man.” Dr. Wells will speak about resident dolphins whose life history, ecology, behavior, and communication have been studied over the past 45 years. Participants will learn about their human and environmental threats and how our local research is benefiting dolphins elsewhere.

The New Doctor In Town: Education Of Medical Students: Past, Present & Future with Bruce H. Berg, M.D. (February 24): This Einstein’s Circle takes us on a brief journey through 150 years of the history of medical education, how educational theories evolved over that period of time, how and what current theories today’s medical students are being taught, and what might be predictable as critical medical knowledge for doctors of the future? Professor Bruce Berg, M.D. is Dean of Florida State University Regional Medical School. With an expertise in information systems and administrative medicine, Dr. Berg is consulted nationally on electronic medical records, patient safety, physician behavior issues and bioethics. He will discuss how the medicine of yesterday brought us to the medicine of today—-and what we might expect of medicine of tomorrow.

Lifelong Learning Academy offers four course terms annually. Each course lasts two to eight sessions; most classes meet for an hour and 20 minutes weekly. For more information about Lifelong Learning Academy, call 941-359-4296 or visit to view or request a catalog.

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