Fifteen Questions

.Maya Jasanoff 15Q Portrait

Jasanoff is the Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard. Her research has taken her from the city of Calcutta to the worlds of Joseph Conrad; she interests herself in subjects as varied as the workings of the British Empire and our obsession with ancestry.

Fifteen Questions: Yevgenia Albats on Journalism in the USSR, Freedom of the Press, and Her Bibliophilia

The journalist sat down with Fifteen Minutes to talk about her career, including being declared an enemy of the Russian state, investigative reporting on KGB officials, and her deep love of reading that was kindled in Widener Library’s basement. “In many countries, people are suffering because of their cruel leaders, because of injustice, because of poverty, because of absence of normal medical help,” she says. “Our job is to tell their stories.”

Yegvenia Albats

Yegvenia Albats is a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and former Editor-in-Chief and CEO of Russian publication The New Times.

crespo portrait

Andrew Manuel Crespo ’05 is a professor of criminal law and procedure at Harvard Law school, the executive faculty director of the Institute to End Mass Incarceration, and a founding editor of Inquest, a forum for advancing decarceral ideas.

Fifteen Questions: Andrew Manuel Crespo ’05 on Plea Bargaining, Playing Football in High School, and a Fateful Coop Dance Party

The law professor sat down with FM to talk about the potential of collective plea bargaining, meeting his wife on the dance floor of the Dudley Coop, and what’s kept him coming back to Harvard. “The Harvard degree does not confer on you a guarantee that you will use the privilege and power that you get by virtue of being here to make the world better. That’s a choice. It’s always a choice,” he says.

Fifteen Questions: Jonathan Zittrain on Social Media, AI Litigation, and CompuServe

The law professor sat down with Fifteen Minutes to discuss AI regulation, moderating online communities, and the Applied Social Media Lab. “I’m very interested in ways to see how people can gather with a sense of shared ownership rather than a corporate patron overseeing the conversation,” Zittrain says.

Fifteen Questions: Naomi Oreskes on Climate Change Denial, Apolitical Scientists, and Her Favorite Rocks

The historian and her dog sat down with Fifteen Minutes to talk about disinformation, climate change, and rocks. “Generally people don’t act — especially if you’re asking people to change how they're living, how they’re behaving, how they’re thinking — if you just give them dry scientific information,” Oreskes says.

Jules Gill-Peterson

Jules Gill-Peterson is a 2023–24 Radcliffe fellow and an associate professor of history at Johns Hopkins University.

Fifteen Questions: Bruno Carvalho on Cities, Bike Lanes, and Punny Halloween Costumes

The urbanist sat down with Fifteen Minutes to discuss cities and urban studies. “I’m not sure I would say cities are inherently anything except for places where strangers live among each other and places where constructions are supposed to last beyond a single generation,” he says.

Fifteen Questions: Maria Dominguez Gray on PBHA, Leadership, and Public Service

The executive director of the Phillips Brooks House Association sat down with Fifteen Minutes to share her thoughts on what makes a good student leader and the value of community service.

Fifteen Questions: Rochelle Walensky on Pandemics, Public Health, and Reading for Fun

FM sat down with the former CDC director to discuss her experience as one of the nation’s public health leaders during an unprecedented global pandemic. "I don’t know that America appreciates how the people of CDC, the 12,000 people of CDC, work tirelessly, quietly,” she says. “You never know their name.”

Vijay Iyer

Vijay Iyer is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts as well as graduate advisor for the Music Department’s Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry program.

Fifteen Questions: Vijay Iyer on Cognition, Temporality, and Musical Community

Professional musician and Harvard professor of the arts Vijay Iyer sat down with Fifteen Minutes to chat about his career, his teaching philosophy, and the neuroscience of music.

Fifteen Questions: Jocelyn Viterna on El Salvador, Abortion Bans, and Finding Patterns

FM sat down with sociologist Jocelyn Viterna to talk about her research into gender politics and reproductive justice in El Salvador. “If a social movement is not based in actually changing the hearts and minds and practices of individuals, then I think it’s always going to be vulnerable,” she says.

Fifteen Questions: David Yang on Chinese Authoritarianism, Political Economy, and Cookbooks

The Economics professor sat down with Fifteen Minutes to discuss his work on the political economy of authoritarian regimes in China. “There are people in China who eagerly want and fight for democracy. There are people in the U.S. who take on actions that go very much against democracy,” he says.

Fifteen Questions: Mina Cikara on Social Psychology, Intergroup Conflict, and Being a ‘Valley Rat’

Psychology professor Mina Cikara sat down with the magazine to discuss her influences and the psychology of discrimination. “Social psychology is rife with theorizing about all of the different inputs to intergroup conflict,” she says. “There are many, and they are multiply determined, and they are incredibly complex.”

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