Feb 18, 2020: Democracy

Why We Vote & Polls Perplex

Where democracy is strong, science is respected and elevated. With this in mind, we’ve invited Dr. Ernest McGowen, III to set us straight on some fundamentals with two short talks in one night. We’ll discuss a variety of motivations behind people’s decisions on whether or not to vote and their implications on representation. Plus, McGowen will give us a crash course on the science of polling and inspire us to be clear-eyed consumers of survey data.


Dr. Ernest McGowen, IIIis an associate professor of political science at the University of Richmond. His specializations include political behavior, campaigns and elections, and race and ethnicity. His most recent work explores the question of historic class divergence in the African American community. Dr. McGowen is the author of African Americans in White Suburbia: Social Networks and Political Behavior focusing on the unique role of suburban residence on African American racial opinion.He has also published in numerous academic journals including Public Opinion Quarterly and Presidential Studies Quarterly, and Politics, Groups, and Identities. McGowen earned his Ph.D. in political science with concentrations in American Government and Political Methodology.  Follow @ErnestMcGowen on Twitter.

When: Tuesday, February 18
Doors @ 5:00 pm
Program 6:30 to 8:00 pm

Who: All curious minds 18 and over are welcome. A background or interest in science and/or politics is not needed.

Where: Capital Ale House • 623 East Main St  Richmond, VA  23219

Parking:  There are parking spots on the street or paid lots in the neighborhood, or Plan a GRTC bus trip

What to Expect: Two short talks divided by an intermission and plenty of Q&A discussion. Food and beverages available for purchase throughout the evening.

A mix of theatre-style and table-side seating for 125 on a first come basis. No registration needed.

Presented by VPM and its Science Matters Initiative