Nantucket’s Unitarian Universalist congregation presents a summer cultural series called “What’s Now!” which will bring to the island four progressive thinkers in the areas of science, activism, religion, and law. Boston-area NPR personality Naomi Arenberg will introduce the speakers.
The series opens this week on July 7 with Cornelia Dean, a New York Times science reporter and former science editor whose scope includes environmental issues and science policy. Dean is the author of “Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist’s Guide to Talking to the Public” and “Against the Tide: The Battle for America’s Beaches,” a 1999 New York Times Notable Book of the year. Ms. Dean, an associate at the Center for the Environment at Harvard University, is currently working on a book about the misuse of scientific information in American public life.
Next, on July 21, entertainer, singer, and activist Holly Near will give a concert featuring her signature songs. Joining her will be pianist John Bucchino, vocalist Colleen Kattau, and the Women’s Chorus of Nantucket. Ms. Near has recorded more than 25 albums including her latest, “Peace Becomes You.” She is an ambassador for peace who brings to the stage an integration of world consciousness, spiritual discovery, and theatricality.
On August 4, the series presents Stephen Prothero, professor in the Department of Religion at Boston University, and New York Times bestselling author. He comments on religion on dozens of National Public Radio programs, and on television on CNN, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, and PBS. He was the chief editorial consultant for the 2010 WGBH/PBS television series “God in America.”
Concluding the series on August 18 will be J. Wells Dixon, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Mr. Wells works on the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative, which is challenging the detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay. He represents international clients in federal court and before the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay. Mr. Wells frequently lectures on national security issues, executive detention, and torture.
All four “What’s Now!” lectures will be held at the Meeting House at 11 Orange Street at 7 p.m. Admission for each is $10, thanks to funding by the M. S. Worthington Foundation. For details: UnitarianChurchNantucket.org.