The Podium

Voices of New England - Local experts and advocates weigh in on the issues of the day.

opinion | Nancy Gertner

Assuring fairness during jury selection

It matters who questions a potential juror — a lawyer, on the juror’s level, or a robed judge, on an elevated platform.

opinion | Mark Schneider and Robert Hunter

Castro told Ted Kennedy 40 years ago that Cuba was ready for change

Former members of the late senator’s staff recall his efforts to normalize relations with Cuba.

opinion | P.J. O’Rourke

A real State of the Union address

What does a lame-duck president with an eight-vote opposition majority in the Senate do? Anything he wants!

opinion | Michael A. Cohen

In State of the Union, Obama offers a choice

Obama contrasted his successful presidency with that of his predecessor, and his hopeful vision with that of his opponents.

opinion | Michelle Mello and David Studdert

When entertainment, reality, and ethics collide at the bedside

One thing is clear about medical reality shows: They raise some ethical questions.

opinion | David J. Hunter

Cancer is not the result of bad luck, despite what headlines say

When a Science article was promoted with a press release entitled “Bad Luck of Random Mutations Plays Predominant Role in Cancer, Study Shows,” misinformation gets spread.

opinion | William Guenther

The key levers for a successful economic strategy in Mass.

The competition for the best brainpower grows more complex as the talent needs of the state’s most innovative companies evolve.

opinion | Ray Howell

Will Charlie Baker bring back a lost political art?

He’ll be bipartisan, reasonable, practical, and generous with credit, an approach that tends to get things done.

opinion | Barbara Fain

Patient safety must be part of Mass. health care agenda

Almost one in four residents reported experiencing a medical error in the past five years, according to a Harvard survey.

Michael A. Cohen

The price of Republicans’ political success

The GOP has cultivated an ardent base of supporters that make it basically impossible for the party to govern.

opinion | Arne Duncan

Under Deval Patrick, Mass. has led the nation in education

The US secretary of education writes that the governor has approached education issues with an inclusive style.

opinion | Michael A. Cohen

Getting guns out of the hands of children

Guns will remain a part of our national culture, but surely toddlers shooting adults is where we can draw the line.

alex beam

Despite football’s problems, it will remain a pleasure to watch

The sport may have come under attack recently for its effects on athletes’ bodies and players’ bad behavior, but it’s not leaving American television.


The secret life of Santa Claus

Does he really have the right to investigate and record who has been naughty or nice?

opinion | Jeff Robbins

A ‘very good question’ in Mideast conflict

Why is it that the Palestinians rejected Israel’s offer for an independent state in 2000, 2001, and 2008?


Is the Sony hack attack a PR stunt?

You may think this question is a fantasy, but there’s precedent.

opinion | Bill Oates and Glen Shor

From the back office to the digital forefront

The goal of state government is to meet constituents’ needs wherever they are, in ways that work for them.

opinion | Michael A. Cohen

Three ways to increase gun safety in the home

Every day there resides among Americans a clear and present danger — millions of guns.

opinion | Michael A. Cohen

Debunking retreat argument against Obama’s foreign policy

Evidence shows that the US has not forsaken a role of global engagement.

opinion | Charles H. Yelen

Involve casino mogul Steve Wynn in Olympics bid

Getting Wynn into the game the right way would be like winning the gold.

opinion | Ron Friedman

Don’t dread the office holiday party, just fix it

Think back to the best workplace relationships you’ve ever had. How many of them started at a cocktail party?

the podium | Harry Spence and Edward Dolan

What the new Probation Department looks like

There is a sense of renewed energy and purpose throughout the department despite recent turmoil.

the podium | Vincent Rougeau

Ferguson puts spotlight on what we need to change

Perceptions of race and our culture’s relationship to deadly violence must be reexamined.

the podium | R. Robert Popeo

In cabinet hiring, Charlie Baker can accelerate gender equality

By hiring women, Baker will create better state outcomes.

the podium | Anthony A. Braga

Why Boston’s protests to Ferguson remained largely peaceful

There is an unusual reservoir of trust developed between the police and the city’s communities of color.

the podium | Karen Spilka

A hack-a-thon for government

How can Massachusetts help technology companies start, grow, and thrive here?

the podium | Drs. Elizabeth Oelsner and Michael Rosenbaum

‘Frozen’ offers lessons on quarantine tactic in Ebola fight

The Disney movie is a wonderful entry point to larger conversations about thinking before acting.

opinion | Justin Ellis

Ferguson yet another example of how America fails minorities

Black life is cheap, and accountability is a fallacy.

opinion | Johanna Wald

Ferguson shows America’s two systems of justice

We have been in a collective denial about the extent, reality, and real-world effects of our racial biases.

The Podium | Alan Berger

Obama is going soft on Myanmar’s military bosses

The continuing crimes against humanity cry out for sanctions and diplomatic pressure.

Contact us

Submissions can be sent to