Day Two of the Three Degrees conference will feature a Socratic, Fred–Friendly style debate to challenge participants’ responses to a fictional disaster scenario.
Fred Friendly Seminars have been featured on PBS stations for 25 years. “Focused on topics as wide-ranging as affirmative action, end-of-life care, balancing national security with privacy rights, and developing alternative energy sources, [Fred Friendly Seminars] offer viewers the opportunity to wrestle with a broad spectrum of urgent social and public policy issues by watching prominent panelists in the programs put rhetoric aside and put their values to the test in gripping dilemmas drawn from real challenges facing Americans.”
As described on the Fred Friendly Seminars website, hypotheticals—or “little pictures”—drawn from real-life conflicts challenge panelists into a “compelling exploratio[n] of vital ethical, legal, and public policy questions.” Fred Friendly explained that the seminars’ purpose was “not to make up anybody’s mind, but to make the agony of decision making so intense that you can escape only by thinking.”
Fred Friendly was one of the founders of public television who worked tirelessly to promote public affairs programming.