Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates Announce Fall 2013 Season

New York, NY—August 19, 2013—Award-winning debate series and hit NPR show and podcast Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US) follows up its sold out spring season with six provocative debates this fall on some of the most significant news topics of the year.  Moderated by three-time Emmy-award winning ABC news correspondent John Donvan, IQ2US has presented over 75 debates on a number of topics, earning praise from the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, Forbes, and the New York Times who called it “a salon for movers and shakers, writers and thinkers.”

Starting Tuesday, September 10th at New York City’s Kaufman Center, IQ2US will delve into charged issues like the U.S. drone program, veganism, breaking up big banks, and the right to bear arms to show that they can be discussed with respect for opposing viewpoints.  Confirmed debaters include radio host Hugh Hewitt, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore, and author/clinical researcher Dr. Neal Barnard.

The IQ2US Fall 2013 season will feature debates on the following motions:

September 10—The U.S. Drone Program is Fatally Flawed

Remotely piloted aircraft, or drones, have been the centerpiece of America’s counterterrorism toolkit since the start of the Obama presidency, and the benefits have been clear.  Their use has significantly weakened al Qaeda and the Taliban while keeping American troops out of harm’s way.  But critics of drone strikes argue that the short-term gains do not outweigh the long-term consequences—among them, radicalization of a public outraged over civilian deaths.  Is our drone program hurting, or helping, in the fight against terrorism?


Pakistan-based Journalist & Author, Ahmed Rashid.

Former State Dept. Political Adviser to Marine Units, Iraq & Afghanistan, John Kael Weston.

Former Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair.

Former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, General Norton Schwartz

October 16—Break Up the Big Banks

To prevent the collapse of the global financial system in 2008, Treasury committed 245 billion in taxpayer dollars to stabilize America’s banking institutions. Today, banks that were once “too big to fail” have only grown bigger, with JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs holding assets equal to over 50% of the U.S. economy. Were size and complexity at the root of the financial crisis, or do calls to break up the big banks ignore real benefits that only economies of scale can pass on to customers and investors?

President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Richard Fisher.

Professor of Entrepreneurship, MIT Sloan School of Management, Simon Johnson.


Fellow in Economic Studies, Brookings Institution, Douglas Elliott.


October 18—For a Better Future, Live in a Red State

**Presented in partnership with The Philanthropy Roundtable for their 2013 Annual Meeting in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.

While gridlock and division in Washington make it difficult for either party or ideology to set the policy agenda, single-party government prevails in three-quarters of the states. In 24 states Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the legislature, and in 14 states Democrats enjoy one-party control. Comparing economic growth, education, health care, quality of life and environment, and the strength of civil society, do red or blue states win out?


Lawyer, law professor, and host of a nationally syndicated radio show, Hugh Hewitt.

Editorial Board Member, The Wall Street Journal, Stephen Moore.

California’s 37th Governor, Joseph “Gray” Davis.

Co-Founder, New America Foundation, Michael Lind.

October 30—Let Anyone Take a Job Anywhere

If we value a free market in goods and free movement of capital, should we embrace the free movement of labor? Reciprocal treaties would allow citizens of the U.S. and other countries to work legally across borders. Would the elimination of barriers in the labor market depress wages and flood the marketplace with workers? Or would the benefits of a flexible labor supply be a boon to our economy, all while raising the standard of living for anyone willing to work?

Professor of Economics at George Mason University, Bryan Caplan.

Vice President of Academics and Innovation, Singularity University, Vivek Wadhwa.


Publisher of The American Conservative, Ron Unz.


November 14—The Constitutional Right to Bear Arms Has Outlived its Usefulness

“A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” –2nd Amendment

Recent mass shooting tragedies have renewed the national debate over the 2nd Amendment. Gun ownership and homicide rates are higher in the U.S. than in any other developed nation, but gun violence has decreased over the last two decades even as gun ownership may be increasing. Over 200 years have passed since James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, the country has changed, and so have it guns. Is the right to bear arms now at odds with the common good, or is it as necessary today as it was in 1789?


Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Alan Dershowitz.

Professor of Law and of Government at University of Texas, Sanford Levinson.


Research Director, Independence Institute & Associate Policy Analyst, Cato Institute, David Kopel.

Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law, Eugene Volokh.

December 4—Don’t Eat Anything with a Face

According to a 2009 poll, around 1% of American adults reported being vegan. In 2011 that number rose to 2.5%--more than double, but still dwarfed by the 48% who reported eating meat, fish or poultry at all of their meals. In this country, most of us are blessed with an abundance of food and food choices. So taking into account our health, the environment and ethical concerns, which diet is best? Do vegans have the right idea, or are we meant to be carnivores?


Clinical Researcher & Author, 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart, Dr. Neal Barnard.

President and Co-Founder, Farm Sanctuary, Gene Baur.


Nutritional Sciences Researcher & Blogger, The Daily Lipid, Chris Masterjohn.

Farmer and Author Joel Salatin.

Tickets are on sale now through the Kaufman Center at

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Winner of the 2013 Silver Radio Award for Best Public Affairs Program and named one of "Five Podcasts that Will Change the Way You Think" by Forbes Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in New York City in 2006 by Robert Rosenkranz, and has grown into an internationally syndicated series heard and watched by millions. The debates have attracted some of the world's top thinkers including Paul Krugman, Karl Rove, Malcolm Gladwell, Alan Dershowitz, Peter Thiel and Arianna Huffington. Intelligence Squared U.S. has presented over 75 debates on a wide range of provocative topics including global warming, genetically engineered babies, science refuting God, and legalizing drugs. ABC News correspondent John Donvan is the moderator, and the executive producer is Dana Wolfe.

For more information about Intelligence Squared U.S., please contact Andrea Bussell (, Rebecca Shapiro ( or Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media, 718.522.7171.