Miller Center launches website tying together historical, modern issues

Program Director Guian McKee says page efficiently presents scholarly information

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The Miller Center launched a new webpage Thursday titled Great Issues, which relates scholarly research on historical events with modern policy issues and offers valuable information from field experts in the form of short, digestible video clips.

Public Policy Assoc. Prof. Guian McKee, director of the Great Issues program, said the program is designed to make scholarly information more readily available to a wider audience.

“We’ve tried to bring scholars in for events to sit down and talk to them about core ideas,” McKee said. “[We] make them easily accessible so that a busy person can process them and use them in efficient form.”

Stefanie Abbott, the Miller Center academic programs coordinator, said the website is “bridging [the] gap between scholarship and the general public and policy makers.”

“It creates a platform that doesn’t yet exist where informed citizens can learn key pieces of information without finding an article or book or something they might not have time to read,” Abbott said.

The Great Issues program has dealt with a wide range of issues to date, including civil rights, world disasters, immigration reform and foreign policy. The program relates each of these issues to one of four broader categories: America in the World, In the Oval Office, Big Policy and Broken Government.

Abbott said she believes the information featured on the Great Issues website is important when facing modern policy concerns.

“History matters greatly for informed policy making and informed citizens,” Abbott said. “We’ve created a space where historical scholarship can be bridged with the policy world so that work done in academy isn’t divorced from decisions being made in the policy world.”

Abbott said she hopes the Great Issues program will become widely recognized as a reliable source of scholarly information that can be easily accessed and applied in the modern world.

“We would like to be seen as the signature intellectual platform for issues not just locally but regionally and nationally,” Abbott said. “We want to be the place where people can come for reliable information that they know is rigorously studied, detailed, and accurate.”

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