Fall Lectures 2017

October 6th to November 10th

The Atrium Building, McMaster Innovation Park
175 Longwood Ave., South. Click on Location Map

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.

October 6th

Renu Mandhane

Renu Mandhane

This talk will discuss emerging human rights issues, such as racial profiling, the protection against discrimination based on gender identity and expression, the increase in discrimination based on religion, and the OHRC’s commitment to reconciliation. I will talk about the need to learn from history to advance human rights today.

Renu Mandhane is the former Executive Director of the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. She has an LL.M in international human rights law from New York University. Renu sits on the Canada Committee of Human Rights Watch, and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada and the United Nations. She has also trained Canadian and foreign judges through the National Judicial Institute of Canada. Renu has worked at several domestic and international organizations to advance women’s human rights, and has represented survivors of domestic and sexual violence and federally sentenced prisoners. Renu was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission in October 2015.

October 13th

John Bienenstock

John Bienenstock

We share our lives with trillions of bacteria whose total genome exceeds our own by an order of magnitude. They influence our metabolism, immune and nervous systems and help us resist infections by pathogenic bacteria. It is also now apparent that common bacteria influence the behaviour of insects, fish and all vertebrates including mammals and that bacterial products form the basis of recognition of kin, expression of fear and aggression and choice of mate in rodents and fruit flies. What about us??

John Bienenstock is a physician (Internal Medicine) and mucosal immunologist. He trained at King’s College, London and Westminster Hospital, London, U.K. He held a Fellowship in Rheumatology in the Lovett Memorial Group under Kurt Bloch, Massachusetts General Hospital and trained further in mucosal immunology with Tom Tomasi in Buffalo, NY. He was recruited in 1968 to McMaster University. He holds the title of Distinguished University Professor (Medicine and Pathology) at McMaster, an Honorary MD (Goteborg, Sweden), is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Member of the Order of Canada and an inductee into The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. He is the Founding Director of the McMaster Brain-Body Institute at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, a former Chair of Pathology and subsequently Dean and Vice-President of the Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster. He has served as the President of the Canadian Society of Immunology, the Society of Mucosal Immunology and the Collegium Internationale Allergologicum. He has published more than 500 peer reviewed articles and other publications and has an H-index of 86. He has authored, edited and co-edited 10 books on mucosal immunology and allergy. He has supervised some 60 post doctoral fellows and 10 doctoral students. His current main areas of interest are mechanisms of action of commensal bacteria on the nervous system and behaviour and in various models of inflammation.

October 20th

David Crombie

David Crombie

All city regions are at root, systems of survival and venues of constant change. Over the next quarter of a century we will need to be pursuing ideas, policies, and programs that will provide economic well-being, sustainable relationships with nature, and healthy human communities. This talk will explore some current thinking and discuss some imaginative possibilities.

David Crombie was born in Toronto in April 1936. He studied at Western and the University of Toronto before being appointed lecturer in political science and urban affairs at the Ryerson Institute where from 1966 to 1971 he was director of student affairs. A central figure in the civic reform movement of the late 1960s in Toronto, Crombie was a co-founder of the short-lived Civic Action Party (CIVAC). He was unsuccessful in aldermanic elections for 1966, but sat for Ward 11from 1970-72. In 1973 he won the Toronto mayoralty, following a well-orchestrated personal campaign. His success within city hall and increasing public popularity made the “Tiny Perfect Mayor” unbeatable at the polls and he was easily re-elected in 1975 and 1977. In Aug 1978 he resigned as Mayor and won the federal by-election in the Rosedale riding for the Progressive Conservatives. He held the seat for the PCs in the general elections of 1979, 1980 and 1984 in spite of strong challenges and was Minister of Health and Welfare in the Joe Clark government and Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs in the Mulroney cabinet in 1984. He was made Secretary of State and minister responsible for multiculturalism on 30 June 1986. Crombie declined to run in the 1988 general election. He returned to Toronto in 1988 as commissioner of the Royal Commission on the Future of the Toronto Waterfront. Crombie was also asked to intervene in the Railway Lands Dispute in Toronto in 1994. He continues to serve in various advisory roles to city and provincial governments relating to urban issues. In 1987 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2004, and a Member of the Order of Ontario in 2012.

October 27th

James Reilly

James Reilly

Ever since the end of the Ottoman Empire one century ago, peoples and governments in the Middle East have been searching for symbols of political legitimacy. New national identities have been foregrounded, and older ethnic and religious identities transformed and politicized. Regional and international power struggles in the region have sharpened these dividing lines and polarizations. This talk will discuss the modern roots of today’s Middle Eastern conflicts and rivalries, whose modernity is often masked by evocations of much older histories.

I have been teaching modern Middle Eastern History at the University of Toronto since 1987. I received my MA from the American University of Beirut (1981) and my PhD from Georgetown University (1987). Happily, many of my students have gone on to do interesting things! My publications focus on Syria and Lebanon during the era of the Ottoman Empire. The following is a link to my online CV, which lists specific books and articles

http://nmc.utoronto.ca/faculty/j-a-reilly

November 3rd

Ellen Ryan

Ellen Ryan

Models of resilient aging focus on later life as a time of both losses and gains, a time of using lessons of long life to manage losses, a time to make the most of gains, a time to pass on lessons. Resilience grows by shaping a meaningful life through creative learning and arts, building social connections, and continuing contributions to family and community. These activities counter the social isolation and loneliness that threaten quality of life for so many older adults.

Ellen Ryan is Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Health, Aging and Society, and Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at McMaster. Her Ph.D was completed at the University of Michigan in 1970 and she joined McMaster in 1982. Her psychological research on aging, presented in numerous publications, addresses topics such as resilient aging, living well with dementia, writing life stories, and communication strategies for older adults and those who serve them. She currently focuses on engaging older adults in creative writing and on Aging in Community initiatives to foster mutual support. Her Writing, Aging and Spirit website and blog highlight the writing of older adults and how to create meaning in later life to sustain oneself, one’s community, and younger generations.

November 10th

Matti Siemiatycki

Matti Siemiatycki

How is technical evidence used to inform the decisions to invest in infrastructure mega-projects costing hundreds of millions or billions of dollars? In the text book version of evidence based decision-making, technical studies such as benefit cost analysis or business cases are conducted to assess the merits of policy options, and this information is then used to inform decision-making. In practice, technical evidence is sometimes weak or incomplete, and often disregarded by decision-makers. This talk draws on examples from Ontario to identify specific challenges that have been faced with evidence based decision-making, and explores strategies to make more informed choices.

Matti Siemiatycki is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Program in Planning at the University of Toronto. He has a PhD in urban planning from the University of British Columbia (2006) and an MSc from Oxford University (2003). Prior to joining the University of Toronto he was a Research Fellow in the Department of Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow (2006-08). His teaching and research focus on infrastructure planning, financing and project delivery, especially in the transportation sector, and he has published extensively on these subjects. He has carried out studies on transportation plans and projects in cities around the world, including Toronto, Vancouver, London, Los Angeles, Sydney, Bilbao and Delhi, and has been invited to give expert testimony on infrastructure delivery to legislative committees of the United States House of Representatives, the Canadian House of Commons, and the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. He has served on the board of directors of Waterfront Toronto, the crown agency responsible for revitalizing Toronto’s derelict eastern waterfront. He is a regular media commentator on city building, transportation and infrastructure provision.

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