CLEMSON — Ebola. ISIS. Immigration. Why is everything so hard to deal with? Jerry Emison can explain and will do that at 7 p.m. Nov.13 in 111 Rhodes Hall Annex at Clemson University. The presentation is free and open to the public.

“Sunbathing with Plato: Public Policy in an Age of Chaos” is the title of the Calhoun Lecture by Gerald Andrews “Jerry” Emison, professor of political science and public administration at Mississippi State University.

The talk explores the roots of the chaos and proposes a new concept of duty to remedy seemingly intractable policy situations

Today’s public policy challenges, whether in the Mideast, in environmental protection or U.S. classrooms, share common traits, says Emison. Our understandings of the underlying problems are frequently masked by an insistence on simplicity for explanations. Secondly, those in public service who are asked to act often are unnecessarily shackled.

At MSU Emison teaches city planning, public management and environmental policy. His research interests concern the effectiveness of public environmental institutions, professionalism in city planning and engineering, and environmental consequences of growth.

Emison is the author or co-editor of three books: “Practical Program Evaluations: Getting from Ideas to Outcomes,” “Speaking Green with a Southern Accent” and “True Green: Executive Effectiveness in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.” He also has written more tahn 25 professional journal articles and book chapters and 50 academic conference papers.

He was chosen by students to be the departmental Professor of the Year in 2006, 2008 and 2012; and this year was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

In his spare time, Emison competes in triathlons and is a charity auctioneer.