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Baker Buzz

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

Front of the Baker Center building


East TN Newsmakers: Where Are They Now? 

Georgiana Vines, Associate Editor (retired) of the Knoxville News Sentinel, will be visiting the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy for a discussion on her latest book, East Tennessee Newsmakers: Where are they Now? 
Vines pays tribute to remarkable individuals and their contributions to Knoxville. Join us as she shares insight into her inspiration for the collection! Her new book will be available for purchase and a book signing will follow the event. 
This event will take place on Tuesday, February 4th from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in the Toyota Auditorium and is free and open to the public.  

Baker Cafe: Social Media in the Data Economy- Public Interest Concerns 

Join Dr. Candace White, Fellow with the Global Security program and Professor in the College of Communications & Information, for coffee and a discussion on the rapidly-evolving data economy and surveillance capitalism.
The business models of companies like Facebook, which sell algorithmic-driven, micro-targetable profiles of individuals, needs to be examined in relationship to the public interest. Importantly, the lack of transparency in Facebook's privacy policies is strategic and permitted due to few government regulations. 
This event will take place on Friday, February 7th from 10:10 to 11:00 am in room 207/208 and is free and open to the public. Parking in the White Hall garage can be validated at the venue. 

Have US Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Standards Improved Social Welfare?

Dr. Benjamin Leard, Environmental Economist and fellow at Resources for the Future, will visit the Center to present his research on the US fuel economy. Fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards affect about half of all vehicles globally. Leard will share comprehensive estimates of the social welfare effects of recent standards. 
Leard is a candidate for a new joint-created position with the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC). His work focuses on transportation policy, climate change, and discrete choice modeling.
This event will take place on Friday, February 7th from 10:00 to 11:30 am in the Toyota Auditorium and is free and open to the public.  Parking in the White Hall garage can be validated at the venue. 

Energy & Environment Forum: Understanding the Role of Micromobility Devices in the Urban Landscape

Georgia State faculty members, Dr. Dierdre Oakley and Karen Johnson, J.D., will be discussing the rise of dockless electric scooters and the disruption to the urban landscape. These scooters have brought new challenges to Atlanta and cities around the world. This lecture also will discuss the challenges of safely and equitably integrating e-scooters into cities, provide a regulatory overview, and detail the data needed to effectively guide decision-making.
This event will take place on Thursday, February 13th from 1:00 to 2:30 pm in the Toyota Auditorium and is free and open to the public. Parking in the White Hall garage can be validated at the venue. 


Baker Center Research to be Featured on WUOT's HealthConnections 

Dr. Katie Cahill, Associate Director of the Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy, will be featured on an upcoming episode of HealthConnections to discuss the economic consequences of poor health in Tennessee. HealthConnections, hosted by Brandon Hollingsworth and Dr. Carole Myers, aims to "bring the often-abstract world of health care, coverage, and policy to a human level." 
The full interview will be posted on the HealthConnections webpage and on the WUOT website for on-demand listening. The episode will be live on air on 91.9 FM Knoxville on Tuesday, Feb. 25th at 5:50 am, 7:50 am, and 5:50 pm. 

Baker Center Fellow Received NERSC Super-Computing Award 

Dr. Deborah Penchoff, Director of the Scientific Fellows Program for the Institute for Nuclear Security, was recently awarded a supercomputing allocation for the 2020 Department of Energy (DOE) Mission Science from the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) for investigations of selective extraction of rare earth elements and actinides. This award will contribute to investigations of critical materials of interest in national security.

Dr. David Greene on Outside/In Podcast

Dr. David Greene, Senior Fellow with the Energy and Environmental Program, was recently featured on Outside/In, a podcast by New Hampshire Public Radio, an NPR affiliate station. Greene speaks on the effects of changes in policy regarding fuel efficiency standards. His interview was based on a Baker Center Report written with Dr. Jilleah Welch
Dr. Greene also has two articles regarding fuel economy standards and electric vehicles which were recently published in Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports and the Journal of Transportation Research


TN Campus Civic Summit 2020

On Friday, February 21st the Leadership & Governance program at The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy will host the TN Campus Civic Summit for the 3rd year. For this event, administrators, faculty, and community partners will convene for a one-day regional summit to examine how Tennessee’s institutions of higher education make civic learning and civic engagement central to their campuses. 
The Tennessee Campus Civic Summit 2020 will address the goals and the strategies needed to reach 100% campus civic participation. Featured speakers this year include: Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, M. David Rudd, Verdis L. Robinson, Felice Nudelman, and Abby Kiesa
The deadline to register is Friday, February 14th. The link to register and more information for this event can be found here

Get Involved with the Baker Center! 

The Center is a home for civic engagement for students in all programs and at all levels. Through programs, events and lectures, and helpful faculty and staff, the Center aims to help 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
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