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"The Genetic Basis of Political Views"

Pepperdine University School of Public Policy presents the annual lecture by Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy James Q. Wilson.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

40 Presidential Drive

Simi Valley, California

Almost everybody thinks they acquire their political views from what their parents teach them or from their own examination of political issues. Wilson's lecture will discuss the new research, which suggests that families may be less important than we think and that genes may play a bigger role. Neither nature nor nurture is entirely in charge, but both work together to influence how we think.

James Q. Wilson is the Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine and holds the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.He has enjoyed an extraordinary career, including 25 years at Harvard University where he was the Shattuck Professor of Government. He was the James Collins Professor of Management and Public Policy at UCLA for a decade before his appointment at Pepperdine. The author or coauthor of more than 15 books including, The Marriage Problem: How Our Culture Has Weakened Families (Harper Collins, 2002), Moral Judgment (Perseus, 1997), andThe Moral Sense (Free Press, 1993). Others cover a wide variety of policy topics including urban problems, government regulation and bureaucracy, crime prevention, and delinquency among children.

Wilson has chaired and served on a number of national commissions including the White House Task Force on Crime, the National Advisory Commission on Drug Abuse Prevention, the Attorney General's Task Force on Violent Crime, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and the President's Council on Bioethics.

In addition, Wilson has served as president of the American Political Science Association, which presented him with several prestigious awards honoring his lifetime of service. Professor Wilson was honored by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation as a recipient of the 2007 Bradley Prize.