ESP Biography



GREGORY WESTCOTT, Recent PubPol grad




Major: Public Policy Studies

College/Employer: Duke

Year of Graduation: Not available.

Picture of Gregory Westcott

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Formerly: Undergraduate at Duke; embryo; dinosaur eye cornea (yes, I'm sure)
Currently: Research position at Mass General; idol of small children
Eventually: Physician; old; dead; your great-granddaughter's veggieburger (hope I'm tasty!)

Interests:
Public health
Politics
Distributive justice
Neuroscience
Immunology
James Joyce
Chinese language

Previous classes taught:
Learning to Love Politics (Summer HSSP 2009)



Past Classes

  (Look at the class archive for more.)


Distributive Justice in Splash! 2009 (Nov. 21 - 22, 2009)
How is wealth distributed in our society? What is that distribution based on? Is that distribution fair? In this lecture, we will talk about some of the more influential theories of distributive justice and how they have affected our current society. We will start with a brief history of distributive justice followed by a more detailed discussion of modern thinkers on this subject (specifically John Rawls, Robert Nozick, and Michael Walzer). The focus will be theoretical rather than political, though I think that you will find many political applications.


Learning to Love Politics in HSSP Summer 2009 (Jul. 12, 2009)
Politics: some people get upset over it, others seek to debate it, many simply ignore it. At its core, politics is the way that our values interact with our government(s), and the complexities that arise are based on complexities and nuances in those values as well as the intricacies of our system of government. To begin to understand how those things work and, more importantly, how you stand on the issues and how to act on those stances, you have to start at the bottom. There are many stereotypes and assumptions that cloud our understanding, and politicians are masters at using words and images to sway voters. Let's get to the bottom of it all: what do Democrats and Republicans really stand for? What about socialists and Libertarians? How can we try to understand what's really going on in the world of political speeches, talking heads, elections, legislation, and so on? This course will start with the basics of political parties and why they disagree, and work up to discussing contemporary and traditional political debates of interest. Who should take this class? Anyone who has an interest in politics. We will start slowly with basic concepts and work up to somewhat more theoretical concepts. The goal is to keep students of a wide range of backgrounds interested, and class discussions will allow input from anyone who wants to (respectfully) share their opinions.