September 21st to November 2nd
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.

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 21st, 2022.

*Note: October 5th, 2022 – No Lecture

Registration opening
August 15th, 2022 – 9AM.

All live lectures are at 10AM at the RBG

Please note that while we are returning to live lectures, the first lecture with Andre Picard will be broadcast from Montreal to a live audience at the RBG.

(Recorded lectures that are password protected are available for anytime access up to 90 days after the live lectures. Subscribers will receive an email after each lecture with access details and the required password.)

Please note that the subscriber fee has change to $65.00 to help HTAL manage new operational costs that enable us to offer both in person and recorded formats for the lectures.

Andre Picard

Andre Picard

September 21st, 2022 – 10AM

It took the coronavirus pandemic to open our eyes to the deplorable state of so many of the nation’s long-term care homes: the inhumane conditions, overworked and underpaid staff, and lack of oversight.

Picard takes a hard look at how we came to embrace mass institutionalization and lays out what can and must be done to improve the state of care for our elders, a highly vulnerable population with complex needs and little ability to advocate for themselves.

Andre Picard contends that the entire eldercare system is fragmented, underfunded and unsupported – and is long overdue for a fundamental rethink. We need to find ways to ensure seniors can age gracefully in the community for longer, with supportive home care and respite for family caregivers, and ensure that long-term care homes are not warehouses of isolation and neglect. Our elders deserve nothing less.

ANDRÉ PICARD is a health reporter and columnist for the Globe and Mail, where he has been a staff writer since 1987. He is also the author of five bestselling books. André is an eight-time nominee for the National Newspaper Awards, Canada’s top journalism prize, and past winner of a prestigious Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism. He was named Canada’s first “Public Health Hero” by the Canadian Public Health Association, and a “Champion of Mental Health” by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his dedication to improving healthcare.

André is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and has received honorary doctorates from six universities, including UBC and the University of Toronto.

Paul Takala

Paul Takala

September 28th, 2022 – 10AM

The role of the public library has changed significantly in the Information Age and of course over the last 2 years with the impact of covid. Paul will provide historical context for the changes in public libraries and elaborate on how the library has become a community hub meeting the needs of all users. As well, he will explore the impact of technological advances on the types of resources, acquisitions and services in which the library invests.

Paul Takala is currently the Chief Librarian/CEO of the Hamilton Public Library. His 25 years in libraries have been focused on using technology innovation and collaborative leadership to increase the impact of public libraries. He held several technology leadership positions at the Hamilton Public Library before becoming Chief Librarian/CEO in 2012.

Paul graduated from the University of Toronto with his Master of Library Science in 1994. Prior to working at HPL, he worked for The New York Public Library. Paul is an active member of the Rotary Club of Hamilton.

Some of the recognitions he has received are: Distinguished Fellow, Mohawk College (2019); Paul Harris Fellowship Award, Rotary Club of Hamilton (2015). Paul has previously served as Chair of the Canadian Urban Library Council (CULC) and the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA).

Harriet MacMillan

Dr. Harriet MacMillan

October 12th, 2022 – 10AM

Family violence, which includes child maltreatment and intimate partner violence, is a major public health issue. At least 1 in 3 Canadians experience some type of family violence in their lifetime. It is associated with a broad range of physical and mental health problems that can extend across the lifespan.

This presentation will provide an overview of family violence and discuss how research at McMaster University is exploring approaches to its prevention, as well as ways of improving recognition and safe responses to family violence.

Harriet MacMillan is a psychiatrist and pediatrician conducting family violence research.  She is a member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies, a Distinguished University Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, and of Pediatrics at McMaster University with associate membership in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact.  She holds the Chedoke Health Chair in Child Psychiatry.

Harriet’s research focuses on the epidemiology of violence against children and women; she has led randomized controlled trials evaluating interventions to reduce child maltreatment and intimate partner violence and associated mental health impairment.  Funding for this work has been provided by organizations such as the WT Grant Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).  From 2009 to 2019, Harriet was co-principal investigator of the Centre for Research Development in Gender, Mental Health and Violence across the Lifespan (PreVAiL) funded by CIHR and PHAC.

From 1993 to 2004, Harriet was the founding Director of the Child Advocacy and Assessment Program (CAAP) at McMaster Children’s Hospital, a multidisciplinary team committed to reducing the burden of suffering associated with family violence.  She continues to see patients as an active staff member of CAAP and provides consultations to child protection agencies.  Harriet was awarded with the Order of Canada in 2016.

Richard Monture

Richard Monture

October 19th, 2022 – 10AM

This presentation will take up the stories of four members of the Six Nations community to tell the 100-year journey from residential school attendee to McMaster graduate ’37, and finally to McMaster professor of Indigenous Studies.

First established in 1828 as a school to educate Six Nations children in Brantford in 1828, the Mohawk Institute closed its doors on June 27, 1970. It was one of the oldest and longest running Residential Schools in Canada. In 1972, the Woodland Cultural Centre was established inside the former Mohawk Institute and remains a center for Iroquoian language revitalization.

This year the Department of Indigenous Studies will hold its first classes at McMaster, boasting a faculty of ten Indigenous professors.

Rick Monture is a member of the Mohawk nation, Turtle clan, from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. He completed elementary school at Six Nations and attended Caledonia High School.

In 1991 he received a combined honors BA in history and English and completed his MA in English in 1996. In June 2010, Rick completed his PhD dissertation, Teionkwakhashion Tsi Niionkwariho:ten (“We Share Our Matters”): A Literary History of Six Nations of the Grand River, which explores how the Grand River Haudenosaunee have consistently drawn upon cultural traditions in letters, poetry, fiction and film as a means to assert and maintain their sovereignty.

In September 2010, he was cross appointed assistant professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies and Indigenous Studies. Rick’s areas of academic interest include Haudenosaunee history, literature of First Nations, Métis and Inuit, popular culture, and the epistemology of Indigenous language and culture.

Gerry Wright

Dr. Gerry Wright

October 26th, 2022 – 10AM

The advances in infection prevention and control introduced over the past century have dramatically changed our lives for the better, enabling us to live longer and more productive lives. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that we remain susceptible to infectious disease threats.

This vulnerability impacts our personal safety, the wealth and health of our communities, and society as a whole. The growing global population, the associated encroachment on previously wild places, the evolution of pathogens that can evade our drugs and vaccines, and a lack of national and international commitment and coordination mean that we will continue to repeatedly face infectious disease threats.

McMaster’s Global Nexus initiative seeks to meet this challenge with interdisciplinary expertise and scholarship.

Gerry Wright is the Director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research. He is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, an Associate member in the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and of Pathology and Molecular Medicine.

Dr. Gerry Wright received his BSc in Biochemistry (1986) and his PhD in Chemistry (1990) from the University of Waterloo.  After two years at Harvard Medical School he joined the Department of Biochemistry at McMaster in 1993.

Gerry holds the Michael G. DeGroote Chair in Infection and Anti-Infective Research and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Antibiotic Biochemistry. From 2001-2007 Gerry served as Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster.

Hendrik Poinar

Dr. Hendrik Poinar

November 2nd, 2022 – 10AM

The Black Death (1345-1350) was the first wave of the second pandemic of plague. Dr. Poinar will illuminate the new science of Ancient DNA, how it has helped better understand the Black Death and what it left in its wake, both culturally and genetically.

Hendrik Poinar is a molecular evolutionary geneticist and biological anthropologist by training, and relies on both chemical and molecular techniques to elucidate the state of preservation within forensic, archeological and paleontological remains.

This information is subsequently used to devise novel techniques to extract the molecular information (DNA, RNA and/or protein sequences) and use it to address anthropological questions, for example, the pathogens responsible for past pandemics (e.g., the Black Death, The Plague of Justinian) as well as the evolutionary dynamics of infectious disease.