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The Health of Democracy: A Polarized People

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Date and time
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Can a polarized public maintain a healthy democracy? It’s not just the Congress that is ideologically divided. The Pew Research Center recently documented how the American people have become polarized over the past 50 years. **Michael Dimock**, President of the Pew Research Center, discusses this ground-breaking study and its implications for the health of our democracy with **Ted Landsmark**. What can citizens do to create and support effective community dialogues aimed at strengthening social bonds?

Michael Dimock is president of Pew Research Center. A survey researcher and political scientist by training, he oversees the center’s overall operations and research agenda, including research on politics, religion, demographics, media, technology and international issues. Dimock has worked at Pew Research Center for more than a decade. He was first hired by the center’s founding director, Andrew Kohut, in 2000, became associate director for research in 2004 and then succeeded Kohut as director of the center’s political polling unit in 2012. He has been the co-author of several of the center’s landmark research reports, including its studies of long-term trends in American political and social values and its polling reports from the last several presidential cycles. In 2014, as vice president of research, he oversaw the execution and analysis of the largest U.S. political survey that the Pew Research Center has conducted, an in-depth examination of the nature and scope of political polarization within the American public.
Ted Landsmark has been a civic planner, civil rights and equity advocate, higher education administrator, arts and culture researcher, and community-engaged social activist in Boston and nationally. He serves on the leadership committee of the Northeastern University Faculty Senate.