CANCELLED: Commanding Hope: The Power we have to Safeguard a World in Peril


Speaker: Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon, University Research Chair, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo

Dr. Homer-Dixon’s interdisciplinary research focuses on threats to global security in the 21st century, including economic instability, climate change, and energy scarcity. His publications include Environment, Scarcity, and Violence (1999), The Ingenuity Gap (2000) (awarded the 2001 Governor-General’s Medal for non-fiction), The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization (2006), and Carbon Shift: How Peak Oil and the Climate Crisis Will Change Canada (and Our Lives) (2010). His work has appeared in academic journals as well as The Globe and Mail, Foreign Policy, Scientific American, The New York Times, and The Financial Times. Dr. Homer-Dixon has delivered addresses to academic and general audiences around the world, and has consulted to senior levels of government in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

CANCELLED: Baby Bugs to Aging Bugs: Exploring the Microbes Pivotal to a Healthy Long Life


Speakers: Dr. B. Brett Finlay, O.C., O.B.C. F.R.S.C., F.C.A.H.S. Peter Wall Distinguished Professor, University of British Columbia AND Dr. Jessica Finlay, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

Dr. Brett Finlay’s research is at the forefront of the field of cellular microbiology, making several fundamental discoveries in this area that have made him the recipient of numerous prestigious awards. Dr. Finlay is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and a Member of the German National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Microbiology. In 2018, he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. Dr. Jessica M. Finlay specializes in environmental gerontology and health geography. She has authored publications in leading health, geography, and gerontology journals, including The Professional Geographer, Social Science & Medicine, The Gerontologist, and Ageing & Society. Brett and Jessica Finlay have coauthored The Whole-Body Microbiome: How to Harness Microbes— Inside and Out—for Lifelong Health (2018).

CANCELLED: Why are Baby Boomers Killing Themselves? A Look at the Growing Suicide Rate


Speaker: Don Gillmor, award-wining journalist and author

Gillmor’s prolific production includes the two-volume Canada: A People’s History (2002) that appeared as a companion to the CBC series of that name, and his first novel, the critically acclaimed Kanata (2009). He has won ten National Magazine awards as well as two Governor General awards. Yuck: A Love Story, one of his nine books for children, won the 2000 Governor-General’s Award for Children’s Literature; and To the River: Losing My Brother (2018), a study of his brother’s suicide and its impact on those left behind, was awarded the 2019 Governor General’s Award for English-language non-fiction. Don Gillmor has been senior editor of The Walrus, and contributing editor for Saturday Night, Toronto Life, Rolling Stone, GQ, The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star.

In Search of Emily Carr’s Woo: Monkey, Muse, Mystery


Speaker: Mr. Grant Hayter-Menzies, biographer

Mr. Hayter-Menzies’ biographic work focuses on the lives of extraordinary women such as Lillian Carter, mother of former US President Jimmy Carter. Other works in this genre include  Shadow Woman: The Extraordinary Career of Pauline Benton; and Imperial Masquerade: The Legend of Princess Der Ling. He also writes biographies of animal companions, like From Stray Dog to World War I Hero: The Paris Terrier Who Joined the First Division; and Woo, the Monkey Who Inspired Emily Carr, the story of the Javanese monkey Woo, companion of BC artist Emily Carr. Mr. Hayter-Menzies’ latest project is his memoir, The North Door: Echoes of Slavery in a New England Family (2019), which is a discovery of his ancestral legacy of three centuries of slavery.

Adventures in the Storytelling Trade: Truthiness in an Age of Myth


Speaker: Ian Weir, award-winning screenwriter, playwright and author

Weir is the writer and executive producer of the acclaimed crime thriller Dragon Boys, a CBC miniseries. He was also creator and executive producer of the long-running CBC teen drama Edgemont. Other TV credits include more than 100 episodes for over 20 series, including Arctic Air, Flashpoint, Cold Squad and ReBoot. Weir’s stage plays have been produced across Canada and in the U.S. and England. He has won two Geminis, four Leos, a Jessie for Best New Play for his first full-length play, The Idler (1987), and the Writers Guild of Canada Canadian Screenwriting Award. His first novel, Daniel O’Thunder, was a finalist for four awards: the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book, the Ethel Wilson Award, the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction, and the First Novel Award.

What is the Universe Made of? Mapping the Cosmos with Chime


Speaker: Dr. Gary Hinshaw, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of British Columbia

Dr. Hinshaw is a cosmologist and physicist who was a recipient of the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for his work on mapping the early universe. His research focuses on the building of two new radio observatories to explore the large-scale properties of the universe: its origin, evolution and ultimate fate. Before joining UBC, Dr. Hinshaw worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and was honoured with a Goddard John C. Lindsay Memorial Award (2006) and a Goddard Space Science Achievement Award (2004) for his work on satellite missions gathering data that throw light on Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation. Dr. Hinshaw is also one of the lead scientists in the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), working with the radio telescope near Penticton, BC.

Plagues…Then and Now


Speaker: Dr. Daniel Kalla. MD., Clinical Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Dr. Kalla has published a number of novels in the thriller and historical fiction genres drawing from his experience as an emergency-room physician at St. Paul’s Hospital. His medical mysteries delve into themes and topics as diverse as superbugs, addiction, prions, DNA evidence, and patient abuse. His first medical thriller, Pandemic (2005), was inspired by his involvement with potential SARS patients in Vancouver during the 2003 outbreak, while his tenth novel, We All Fall Down (2019), develops the subject he raised in Pandemic, and what might happen if the Black Death was released today in an urban environment. Dr. Kalla’s books have been translated into eleven languages, and his Shanghai trilogy (The Far Side of the Sky, Rising Sun Falling Shadow and Nightfall Over Shanghai) has been optioned for film.

Breaking the Rule of Objectivity: A Journalist in Haiti


Speaker: Catherine Porter, Canada bureau chief for The New York Times

Porter’s international reporting includes countries such as Senegal, Guatemala, Cuba and, most notably, Haiti. Prior join The New York Times in 2017, she was a columnist and feature writer for the Toronto Star. Porter was among the journalists who arrived in Port-au-Prince shortly after the 2010 earthquake, and has returned to the country to report on its reconstruction efforts. Her latest book about that experience, A Girl Named Lovely, reflects her work as a “narrative journalist” who produces in-depth stories on issues around social justice. Porter has received the Landsberg Award for her feminist columns, and a Queen’s Jubilee Medal for grassroots community work.

Successful Aging: The Neuroscience of the New Longevity


Speaker: Daniel J. Levitin, James McGill Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience, McGill University

Dr. Levitin’s research on the cognitive neuroscience of music perception, cognition and performance has been published in leading journals, including Science and Nature, and featured on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, The New York Times, The London Times, Scientific American, and Rolling Stone. He is also a frequent guest on NPR and CBC Radio. Dr. Levitin is an award-winning author of a number of international bestsellers translated into several languages, including The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload (2014) and A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age (2016). His latest book is Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives. Dr. Levitin is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Gertrude Bell in Focus: Exploring and Photographing the Middle East, Past and Present


Speaker: Dr. Lisa Cooper, Professor, Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies, UBC

Dr. Lisa Cooper’s research interests include the history of archaeological exploration and archaeological practice in “Greater Mesopotamia” (ancient Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey), particularly in the early 20th century. She is currently part of the Central Zagros Archaeology Project in Iraqi Kurdistan. Dr. Cooper has also done extensive research into the life and work of the early 20th century English explorer and archaeologist Gertrude Bell, about whom she wrote in her book In Search of Kings and Conquerors: Gertrude Bell and the Archaeology of the Middle East (2016). This book was awarded the runner-up prize by the British-Kuwait Friendship Society in October 2017.  Dr. Cooper has also published Early Urbanism on the Syrian Euphrates (2006), covering Mesopotamia and other regions of the Near East during the Early Bronze Age. 

The Society of Crows


Speaker: Dr. Robert Butler, Adjunct Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Robert Butler’s research interests include the social behaviour of crows, ecology of herons, and migration of birds. He has delivered public lectures at scientific conferences in Canada and around the world. Dr. Butler co-produced two films: The Perfect State, and Returning about the relationship between nature and culture. He is a fellow of The Explorers Club, the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, the American Ornithologists Union, and Signature Member of Artists for Conservation. Dr. Butler has served on many boards, including The Nature Trust of British Columbia, and has been President of the Pacific Wild Life Foundation, and Chair of the Vancouver International Bird Festival. He is Honorary Director of Nature Kids that he co-founded in 2000. Dr. Butler is also an accomplished artist, capturing images from the field in watercolour and ink.

Right-Wing vs Left-Wing Populism: Lessons from Venezuela and the US


Speaker: Dr. Javier Corrales, Dwight W. Morrow 1895 Professor of Political Science, Amherst College

Dr. Corrales’ research focuses on democratization, presidential powers, foreign policy, and sexuality. He has published extensively on Venezuela, Cuba, and Argentina for academic outlets as well as The New York Times. Among his several books, Dr. Corrales is co-author of Dragon in the Tropics: Venezuela and the Legacy of Hugo Chávez, and Fixing Democracy: Why Constitutional Change Often Fails to Enhance Democracy in Latin America. He is also the co-editor of The Politics of Sexuality in Latin America: A Reader on LGBT Rights. One of the youngest scholars elected as a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., Dr. Corrales has also been a consultant for the World Bank, the United Nations, the Center for Global Development, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

The Art of the Impossible: A Life in Canadian Publishing


Speaker: Dr. Scott McIntyre, C.M., O.B.C., Founding Publisher, Douglas & McIntyre

For over 40 years Dr. Scott McIntyre has been an active promoter of the Canadian cultural industry. He was a founding partner of Douglas & McIntyre Publishers, which during his tenure published some 2000 books. His contributions to Canadian culture have brought him many honours, including an honorary degree from Simon Fraser University, the inaugural IVY Award for his substantial contributions to Canadian publishing from the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, and the 2016 Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the British Columbia book publishing industry. Dr. McIntyre has served on many cultural boards, both in Canada and Internationally including the Writer’s Trust of Canada, the BC Arts Council, the UBC School of Journalism, the Association of Canadian Publishers, and the BC Achievement Foundation. He is a former president of the Vancouver Institute.

Quirky Past, Uncertain Future: A Prescription for Treating Canada’s Aging Medicare System


Speaker: André Picard, award-winning journalist and author

André Picard has written extensively on Canadian public health issues. His most recent books include A Matter of Life and Death: Public Health Issues in Canada, and The Path to Health Care Reform: Policies and Politics. He has been the recipient of the Canadian Nurses’ Association Award of Excellence for Health Care Reporting, the Nursing in the Media Award of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, the International Media Prize of Sigma Theta Tau (Nursing Honour Society) and the Science and Society Book Prize. Other honours include the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Centennial Prize of the Pan-American Health Organization for top public health reporter in the Americas, and Canada’s top newspaper columnist at the 2009 National Newspaper Awards. Picard holds an honorary degree from UBC.

Cello and Piano Recital


Dr. Santa J. Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor, UBC
Dr. Momoro Ono, Adjunct Professor, Fine and Performing Arts, Creighton University

Special location only for this lecture: UBC’s Old Auditorium, 6344 Memorial Road V6T 1Z2

UBC’s President Ono was named the most notable university president by Higher Education America (2015), and a leader in the advancement of racial and ethnic minorities in higher education by The American Council on Education during his appointment as the first Asian-American president of the University of Cincinnati. Once at UBC, Dr. Ono received a Professional Achievement Award from the University of Chicago Alumni Association (2017), an honour he shares with Carl Sagan. Dr. Ono, an avid cello player, studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Maryland. His love for music came from his father, Professor Takashi Ono, a former professor in UBC’s Math Department, and it is shared with his brother, Dr. Momoro Ono.

Dr. Momoro Ono studied piano at the Bryn Mawr Conservatory in Pennsylvania, the Juilliard School in New York and the Peabody Conservatory. Dr. Ono has performed with the Baltimore Symphony, and appeared with the Pittsburgh Symphony in a concert broadcast live on NPR. He has given numerous recitals in the US, including one at the Kennedy Center concert hall. Dr. Ono has performed chamber music in Scotland and Japan. He is a recipient of the Silver Medal at the Three Rivers International Piano Competition, and the Gina Bachauer Memorial Competition at Juilliard.