Dean discusses conspiracy theories and more on the BBC – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Dean discusses conspiracy theories and more on the BBC

An interview with Professor of Political Science Jodi Dean was broadcast on Monday, Dec. 17 on “The World Today,” a BBC World Service program with science reporter Neil Bowdler.

In the conversation, Dean and Bowdler discussed a wide range of topics including Freedom of Speech and the public's appetite for alternative sources of news and information. They also discussed several conspiracy theories, such as the assassination of President Kennedy, the involvement of Bush administration officials in the 9/11 attacks, the deliberate destruction of the levees in New Orleans and flooding of the Ninth Ward, and the influx of Mexican immigrants into the United States.

Dean pointed out that the popularity of YouTube, blogging and the Internet to show that people are not happy with what she called corporate-owned “mainstream news media,” which she said are often no more than mouthpieces for the government, and driven by ratings and advertising rather than a desire to inform the public.

One important thing, she said, is for the mainstream media “to hold politicians, scientists and public figures to account for what they say,” offering the example of the story that Iran was storing nuclear weapons, which turned out to be not true. She said the public needs to be reminded over and over “until they get it” that the story wasn't true.

Dean, a member of the HWS faculty since 1993, holds a bachelor's degree from Princeton, and her master's and Ph.D. from Columbia. Earlier this fall, she delivered three lectures at the University of Lima, Peru, to help inaugurate a new master's program in Cultural Studies. And over the summer, she spoke at Cardiff University in Wales, on her current research, “Zizek against Democracy” and “9/11 Conspiracy Theories: Psychosis and Contemporary Politics.”

“The World Today” is an international news and current affairs program in the BBC World Service that tries to answer two questions in particular: what has happened overnight and what does the new day bring?

This year the BBC World Service celebrates 75 years of broadcasting.