Your name/photo is after all of the events!
Your name/photo is after all of the events!
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Baker Buzz

News and Events from the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy

Front of the Baker Center building

Virtual Events

sustaniable housing

Visibility and Peer Influence in Durable Goods Adoption

Can people influence their neighbors to install rooftop solar panels? In this presentation, Dr. Kenneth Gillingham assesses whether peers' adoption decisions' visibility leads to more significant peer influence for residential rooftop solar panels. Gillingham will exploit the relative location of peers' rooftop solar panels to determine whether geographically close peer installations increase a household's probability of solar adoption more if they are visible from the road. Highlighting the role of peer influence at the very local level, he finds evidence of peer influence for non-visible solar arrays only within 100m on the same street. He also demonstrates that installations visible from the street exert peer influence at distances of at least 500m. The economic value moderates the impact of peer visibility the peers receive from installing solar, providing suggestive social learning evidence through visual information. As part of the Howard Baker Center's Energy and Environment Forum, Dr.Gillingham will discuss these matters and more! This virtual event is free and open to the public. The Zoom meeting link can be found here. 
nuclear tanks infront of building

China's Nuclear Forces and Strategy: Dispelling Myths and Rightsizing Responses

Growing animosity between the United States and China has propelled China to the top of Washington’s list of foreign policy priorities. Increased attention on China has sparked greater interest in China’s nuclear forces and strategy and how nuclear deterrence might factor into a more competitive relationship. The U.S. government has been particularly vocal in sounding the alarm about Chinese policies that it regards as dangerous. But is the United States getting China’s nuclear strategy right? Are U.S. assessments well-informed, or do they rely on incorrect myths or assumptions that could produce suboptimal policy responses? As part of the Howard Baker Center's Global Security Lecture SeriesEric Gomez, Director of Defense Policy Studies at Cato Institute, will answer these questions. Please register here to join this public event. 
police in protective gear

Are Police Killings of Civilians Racially Biased?

Police in the United States kill more than a thousand residents every year.  Many claim these deaths are racially biased: police are disproportionately much more likely to kill Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people than White and Asian people.  However, while some studies demonstrate that the racial divide in deaths is stark, other studies demonstrate no racial bias, or even that police might be most likely to kill White people.  How can this be? 
The Baker Café Series is an informal discussion about various topics. Guests are encouraged to ask questions that pertain to the topic and gain insight straight from the experts. Dr. Stephanie Bohon will discuss the various methods for accounting for police-caused killings and how these methods yield different results concerning racial bias. This virtual event is free and open to the public. The Zoom meeting link can be found here. 
nice looking cops

The Future of Policing in America

The question isn’t new, but after recent clashes between law enforcement and protestors across the country, providing workable answers seems more urgent than ever: What reforms are available to improve the relationship between the police and the communities they serve? In many communities, the police have become first responders for issues connected to poverty, lack of housing, mental illness and addiction. Added to these additional responsibilities are officers who exercise excessive use of force and calls to defund the police, which have further stressed an already strained relationship between citizens and the police.
Former federal law enforcement officer and major crimes prosecutor, Joe Jarretwill discuss the future of policing in America and the changes that must be made to create a culture of mutual trust between the police and the communities they serve.  This virtual event is free and open to the public. The zoom meeting link can be found here. 
green car

Deep Decarbonization of Transportation: How Can We Do That? 

Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from human activities have already raised the global average temperature by 1 degree C°, causing more frequent extreme weather events, such as floods, heatwaves and droughts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently concluded that holding the future increase to 1.5 rather than 2 degrees C° is necessary to avoid further increases in extreme weather by a factor of 2 to 8. Holding the global increase to 1.5 degrees C° will require reducing GHG emissions to near zero by 2050. Transport is a major source of GHGs worldwide and the largest source in the U.S. A typical U.S. car or light truck emits about 4 tons of GHGs each year. 
Dr. David Greene will discuss the technologies, policies, and behavioral changes necessary to reduce transportation's GHG emissions to near zero by 2050. This virtual event is free and open to the public. The zoom meeting link can be found here. 


The Coronavirus-19 Outbreak Response Experts (CORE-19) The team at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a network of researchers in public health, economics, public policy, agriculture, veterinary medicine, and other disciplines who seek to provide timely information for the public and policymakers on pressing questions regarding the global pandemic. Researchers at the Center are working closely with the CORE-19 team to create a series of policy briefs forecasting the virus’s health and economic impacts. For up-to-date, well-researched information on COVID-19, visit
TN pulse survey logo

TN Pulse Survey: Consumer Sentiment Data collected for the TN Economic Recovery Group

The Tennessee Pulse is a cooperative effort of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Economic Recovery Group, the University of Tennessee’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service (SWORPS), which is designed to capture the attitudes and behaviors of Tennesseans toward COVID-19 and the re-opening of the economy. The survey enables segmentation across a grouping of the state’s largest metropolitan counties (Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Shelby and Sullivan) and the remaining 89 counties of the state, age, gender, and race. Results will be collected and published throughout the summer. 
Time Series results of the survey are also available. See the results here.
More information on the TN Pulse Survey and access to future results, visit

Research and Awards

Dr. stephinie bohon

Center's Energy & Environment Fellow Published in Leading Outlet

David McCollum was recently published in ‘News & Views’ piece in the journal Nature Energy. He synthesizes learnings from a recently published paper in the same journal on maching learning for making improved electricity secort projections in Africa. Energy scenarios project future possibilities based on various assumptions, yet do not fully account for inherent friction in the energy transition, particularly over the near term. A new study shows how machine learning can complement existing scenario tools by incorporating lessons from the past into projections for the future. Read more here.
gas station

Standards of Fuel Economy and How They Have Changed  

Dr. David Greene, a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Assessment of Technologies for Improving Fuel Economy of Light-Duty Vehicles, which is about to conclude its work and publish its final report, connecting  fuel economy and GHG standards for light-duty vehicles, there have been five NAS committees on fuel economy starting in 1990. Greene is the only person to have been on all five. His most recent publication is a summary of what he and his colleagues have learned about regulating fuel economy and GHG emissions since the standards were first enacted in 1975. Read more here.
Baille Beshieres

Former Baker Center’s Student Assistant Placed on Hagerty’s Communications Team 

Bailee Beshires, former Baker Center's communications assistant, will serve Senator Hagerty’s office as press assistant, having previously served as Press Assistant for former U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Read more here.
Dr. Bruce tonn

Baker Center Fellow's Book Coming Soon 

Dr. Bruce Tonn’s new book, Anticipation, Sustainability, Futures and Human Extinction: Ensuring Humanity’s Journey into the Distant Future will be out soon.
Citation as: Tonn, B. 2021. Anticipation, Sustainability, Futures and Human Extinction: Ensuring Humanity’s Journey into the Distant Future, Routledge Publishing (In Press) 
gas station

TDEC Office of Energy Programs Releases Monthly Report 

The TDEC Office of Energy Programs (OEP) provides education, outreach, technical assistance, and/or funding and financing opportunities for the following: energy efficiency, energy management, renewable energy, energy security planning, preparedness, and response, and energy in transportation (alternative fuels and sustainable transportation options). Subscribe to their monthly newsletter here. 
small asian elephant

Food Security While In Protected Areas

Dr. Paul Armsworth’s “Protected Areas Vulnerable to Growing Emphasis on Food Security,” was recently published in the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, and it can be found here.
Dr. stephinie bohon

Department Head and Center’s Fellow Awarded

Dr. Stephanie Bohon received the College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Leadership Award. At the annual Faculty Awards Dinner, the college presents a Diversity Leadership Award that recognizes a staff or faculty member’s extraordinary efforts in support of the college’s and university’s commitment to diversity. Read more here.

Get involved with the Baker Center!

Students walking with Senator Lamar Alexander

Get Involved with the Baker Center! 

The Center is a home for civic engagement for students in all disciplines and at all levels. Through programs, events and lectures, and helpful faculty and staff, the Center aims to engage the community on the topics of Global Security, Leadership & Governance, and Energy & Environment. Learn more at

Here are some ways you can get involved:

Contact Us
Howard H. Baker Jr Center for Public Policy
1640 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-0931
Twitter Facebook Instagram YouTube
Big Orange. Big Ideas.
View as web page

This email was sent to .
Add us to your address book to continue receiving our emails.

Subscribe to our email list.