September 22nd to October 27th
10AM to 12PM

Understanding the 21st Century

How do we begin to understand the 21st century? Our world is a very complex and confusing place where change is happening at an ever faster pace. The speakers will cover a range of topics providing insights into this century’s problems and possibilities.

The Fall Lectures will be presented online via Zoom.

There will be 6 speakers, Wednesdays at 10AM with a Q/A session to follow.

Instructions to register for each session will be given approximately one week in advance.

The first lecture will take place on September 22nd, 2021.

Spring Lectures Via Zoom

Registration is now Closed

Tim Carroll

Tim Carroll

September 22nd, 2021 – 10AM

As we move onwards in the 21st century, theatres face competition from an unprecedented range of media, many of them available in our living rooms. How can a theatre like the Shaw Festival attract a new generation of theatre goers to invest time and effort in watching plays from and about the past? We talk about the unique experience of live theatre, but how can we make it truly unique and special? Will it always be enough simply to put on good plays, or do we need to do more?

Tim Carroll is Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival, one of North America’s biggest theatre companies. Before that he was Associate Director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London where he directed many productions, including Twelfth Night and Richard III, which broke box-office records on Broadway and received several awards, including two Tonys.

Other Shakespearean plays include The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Tim Carroll’s theatre and opera work have been seen all over the world, including New York’s Lincoln Centre, Teatro Olimpico (Vicenza), Liceu (Barcelona), Royal Festival Hall (London), and Sydney Opera House.

Jack Veugelers
Jack Veugelers

September 29th, 2021 – 10AM

Many argue that globalization and its discontent explain the strength of right-wing populism and nativism in contemporary Europe, Latin America, and the United States. In France, though, an older potential born of imperialism has propelled the far right. To explain how the far right gained a foothold in France, this lecture connects local politics with historical developments that span nearly two centuries. Looking at how patron-client relations knit together a far-right affinity bequeathed by French imperialism, this lecture examines the barriers that effective, scandal-free government can pose to extremist success.

John W.P. Veugelers is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. A political sociologist, he has written widely on the far right, immigration politics, social movements, and voluntary associations in Canada, France, and Italy.

A recipient of awards for outstanding teaching at the University of Toronto, he has been a visiting professor at universities in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and a visiting fellow at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. His articles have appeared in a range of scholarly journals and he is the author of Empire’s Legacy: Roots of a Far-Right Affinity in Contemporary France (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Faizan Rehmatullah

Faizan Rehmatullah

October 6th, 2021 – 10AM

On 18 Feb 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars, setting the stage for an epic search of the crater landing site for signs that it once harbored life. The rover is built to last for decades. Over that time, it will investigate an ancient river delta in Jezero Crater and collect rock samples.

The next stage is the retrieval of these samples from Mars so that they can be analyzed by sophisticated equipment on Earth. This talk will provide the reasons behind Mars exploration and the quest to make humans multi-planetary species.

An aerospace engineer and photographer, Faizan Rehmatullah is a guidance, navigation, and controls specialist at MacDonald-Detwiler Associates, with expertise in the development of autonomous robotic systems for planetary exploration.

He is developing the mobility system of the Sample Fetch Rover as part of the Mars Sample Return Mission, where space agencies from around the world are collaborating to execute the first mission to return Martian samples back to Earth.

He is also leading the Lunar Surface Mobility program for the Canadian Space Agency, developing rovers to support manned and unmanned robotic exploration missions to the Moon.

David Novog
David Novog

October 13th, 2021 – 10AM

Over the past decade, a group known as the Global Energy Assessment performed an analysis for every combination of energy sources that can meet local demand and climate change goals. Under scenarios of massive reductions in global demand, there are many energy mixes that can meet the targets. Under scenarios where energy demand grows at a modest rate, the number of options is lower. Under high demand growth scenarios (largely driven by the developing nations), the number of options becomes quite small.

In the high demand scenario, no options were successful unless they included a 10-fold increase in nuclear capacity. Other scenarios required advanced carbon capture and sequestration, and massive expansion of solar photovoltaic with PV recycling, technologies that do not yet exist. There is some comfort in knowing there are energy mixes that can solve the problem – the issue then becomes one of social and political will on a global scale.

David Novog holds an Industrial Research Chair in Nuclear Safety and has been a professor at McMaster since 2006. His expertise is in nuclear safety, nuclear accident modeling and accident response.

From 1998 through to 2006 he worked at Ontario Hydro, Nuclear Safety Solutions and AMEC in the areas of reactor physics, thermal hydraulics and reactor trip assessment. He has served on various governmental advisory panels in the area of safety and emergency planning.

His current research focuses on the broader field of energy and climate change solutions, with an emphasis on the role of nuclear energy in meeting our climate goals.

Diana Fu

Diana Fu

October 20th, 2021 – 10AM

China is an indisputable global power today. How did China transform from a poor, developing country to a nation of “wolf warriors” on the world stage? How should we to read the tea leaves of Chinese politics under Xi Jinping? As Canada navigates one of the thorniest periods in its relationship with China, it is imperative to take a deep dive into China’s domestic politics.

Diana Fu is associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto and director of the East Asia Seminar Series at the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. She is also a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution, a China fellow at the Wilson Center, and a public intellectuals fellow at the National Committee on US-China Relations. Her research examines civil society, popular contention, state control, and authoritarian citizenship in China.

She is author of the award-winning book “Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China” Dr. Fu’s commentary has appeared on BBC, Bloomberg TV, CBC, CNN, NPR, Foreign Affairs, US News & World Report, and The New York Times, among others. She was guest host of the TVO documentary series “China Here and Now” and of POLITICO’s China Watcher.

She received her doctorate in politics from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar and is currently serving as national co-secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship for China.

Dr. Karen Mossman
Dr. Karen Mossman

October 27th, 2021 – 10AM

With the COVID pandemic not yet behind us, many view viruses as potent enemies, to be contained and destroyed. However, the same properties that make viruses “foes” can also be exploited for beneficial use. Here, she discusses how we are using viruses to counteract another deadly human foe: cancer.”

Karen Mossman, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and Vice President (Research) at McMaster University, Canada. She completed her undergraduate Honors BSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph in 1992, her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1997 and her Post-doctoral Fellowship in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology in 2001, both at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Mossman joined McMaster University in July of 2001, with a research focus on understanding the interactions between viruses and their hosts, both in normal healthy cells and in cancer cells, with the goal of developing novel therapy approaches for emerging viral infections and cancer. In addition to her administrative roles within the Office of the VP Research, she serves as Chair of the Board of the McMaster Innovation Park.