Last lecture offers perspective on peace and conflict

Scott Bollens lecture

Professor Bollens presents career retrospective

Can we feel happy and sad at the same time regarding Scott Bollens’ July 1 retirement after nearly 33 years as a UC Irvine professor?

On one hand, we don’t want to deny him the absolute delight about the next chapter in his storied life that he displayed during his May 23 Global Peace and Conflict Studies Colloquium, “A Career Perspective on Conflict and Peace.”

However, the professor of urban planning and public policy and, since 2007, the Warmington Endowed Chair of Peace and International Cooperation is sure going to be missed.

Just ask Kamal Sadiq, an associate professor of political science and director of the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies. During his warm introduction of Bollens, Sadiq mentioned that the honoree fulfilled many roles with CGPACS over the years, including affiliate, board member and committee member.

Then there is the scholarship, which involved securing several grants, visiting cities around the globe, conducting 300+ interviews and writing six books with a unique—and singular—perspective connecting politically divided places with urban planning.

“In my opinion, I hope Scott stays and keeps producing because it is our future he’s discussing in terms of peace and conflict,” Sadiq said. “I could go on and on and talk about all these other things that Scott’s been doing, but I want you to know at CGPACS, he’s been foundational to our focus on peace and conflict. And we are sad that he’s formally retiring but we know he will continue … his adventures.”

The man of the hour seemed genuinely moved by the introduction before launching into an overview of those adventures, which besides his academic work include serious hiking and writing a trilogy of pandemic-induced, dystopian science fiction novels, including ReForm: Combatting the Algorithmic Mutation and ReStart: Stories of the Cairn Age.

For the complete presentation, watch the video below or on YouTube.