UC San Diego News Center


Limited Tickets Available for Opening of Sold-Out “The Atlantic Meets the Pacific” Forum

For the second consecutive year, The Atlantic, a magazine that has played a central role in shaping the national debate on current affairs and cultural trends for 150 years, has chosen to partner with UC San Diego to co-host a forum of national prominence on campus.

“The Atlantic Meets the Pacific” will gather some of the country’s most cutting-edge thinkers to examine breakthrough innovations in science, energy, health, media, and technology. The conference will be held at venues on and around the UC San Diego campus Oct. 7 to 9.

While the conference is already sold out to the public, UC San Diego faculty, staff and students can still see the venerable magazine’s national debate come to life as a limited number of $25 tickets are available for the opening session from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7.  To register for The Atlantic Meets the Pacific opening session for $25, please visit the registration site.

The opening event, to be held at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, will begin with a political panel discussion previewing the presidential election and making predictions. National Journal Editorial Director Ron Brownstein will interview Steve Schmidt, former chief campaign strategist for John McCain. Brownstein will then moderate a conversation with Schmidt;  James Fallows, a National Correspondent for The Atlantic; Samuel Popkin, a UC San Diego professor and author of The Candidate; James Fowler, a UC San Diego professor and author of Connected: How Your Friends' Friends' Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do; and Dan Yankelovich, a longtime pollster famous for founding the The New York Times/Yankelovich Poll and the Time Magazine/Yankelovich Poll.

A program on entertainment and society will follow with UCLA Law School Alumnae Stacey Snider, partner, co-chairman, and CEO of DreamWorks Studios, who is producing Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” in an interview with James Bennet, Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic.

The opening session will conclude with a presentation by Tal Ben-Shahar, best-selling author of Happier, Being Happy, and a new release, Choosing the Life You Want.

Other participants in the “The Atlantic Meets the Pacific” include:

  • Deborah Brooks, co-founder and executive vice chairman of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research;
  • Chris Cox, the product development leader at Facebook
  • Jessica Jackley, the entrepreneur who pioneered peer-to-peer micro-lending through her start-up, Kiva;
  • Jane McGonigal, UC Berkeley Ph.D., a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games;
  • V. S. Ramachandran, UC San Diego professor, a neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of The Tell-Tale Brain;
  • Ben Rattray, founder and CEO of, the world’s fastest-growing platform for social action;
  • Gretchen Rubin, international bestselling author of The Happiness Project.
  • Eric Topol, M.D., a leading cardiologist combining genomic and digital technologies to reshape the future of medicine;
  • J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., UC San Diego alumnus and professor, a pioneer in genomic research;
  • Spencer Wells, director of the Genographic Project at National Geographic.
  • V. S. Ramachandran, UC San Diego professor, a neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of The Tell-Tale Brain;
  • Gretchen Rubin, international bestselling author of The Happiness Project.

In addition to headline interviews and panel discussions, event attendees will witness innovation first-hand. Many of the event’s conversations will take place at the Scripps Seaside Forum, an oceanfront conference center located in the heart of the UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The forum will include behind-the-scenes tours at Scripps, UC San Diego’s Calit2 digital media laboratory, and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.

Participants will be joined by some of The Atlantic’s leading editorial voices, including: Bennet, editor in chief; Mark Bowden, national correspondent; Steve Clemons, Washington editor at large; James Fallows, national correspondent; Corby Kummer, senior editor; and Alexis Madrigal, senior editor, plus Brownstein, editorial director of National Journal. 

The presenting underwriter of The Atlantic Meets the Pacific is the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch and the contributing underwriter is Life Technologies Corporation.

Dedicated to bold, independent, diverse, and highly reasoned perspectives, its writers, bloggers, and critics represent the best in American journalism. The Atlantic’s award-winning commentary and coverage can be found in its magazine, on its Web site at, and at more than 70 events a year produced by its industry-leading events division, AtlanticLIVE.

2011 Highlights from “The Atlantic Meets the Pacific”