Lecture Series

Vancouver Institute

Since 1916, the Vancouver Institute has brought the University of British Columbia and Vancouver community together through free public lectures and discussions. Driven by volunteer membership and donations, the Institute hosts influential academics and political leaders from around the world. The Global Reporting Centre is proud to partner with The Vancouver Institute. In collaboration, both organizations support interdisciplinary ideas and a strong, community-driven culture at UBC.

To contact us, please email [email protected] or leave us a message at 604-822-8061 and we will call you back.

A full Vancouver Institute lecture hall

Announcements

⚠ COVID-19 measures+
Memberships and donations+

About the Vancouver Institute

A short history+
Frequently asked questions+
Become a sponsor+
Contact us+

Upcoming lectures

📍 Lectures are held at the P.A. Woodward Instructional Resources Centre, located at UBC’s Point Grey Campus, 2194 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver. View on Google Maps.

NANOTECHNOLOGY FROM NATURE FOR SUSTAINABLE BIOPRODUCTS: A CANADIAN PERSPECTIVE

Dr. Emily Cranston is a leading innovator and scholar at UBC. With her research group, she investigates nanocellulose and hybrid bio-based materials that can be used in a broad range of applications including packaging, electrical components, and cosmetics to replace non-renewable resources. Among her multiple honours, she is an NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Fellow, and a member of the College of New Scholars of the Royal Society of Canada.

A PERFORMANCE BY SINGERS FROM THE UBC OPERA ENSEMBLE, LED BY NANCY HERMISTON

Note: To be held in the Old Auditorium at UBC. Professor Nancy Hermiston is a distinguished opera singer, stage director and educator. Her operatic career has taken her throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. She has held numerous appointments as a voice teacher, and as stage director at the Meistersinger Konservatorium, Nürnberg, and the University of Toronto Opera and Performance Divisions.

THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta is a champion of integrated maternal, newborn, and childhood health globally. His work with community health workers and outreach services has influenced outreach programs for marginalized populations around the world. Among his multiple distinguished posts, Dr. Bhutta was a member of the UN Secretary General’s Independent Expert Review Group for monitoring global progress in maternal and child health.

AN ART MUSEUM FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Mr. Anthony Kiendl is an award-winning curator, writer, arts administrator and educator. Prior to joining the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2020, Mr. Kiendl was the Executive Director and CEO of the Mackenzie Gallery in Regina; the Executive and Artistic Director of Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg; and the Director of Visual Arts at the Walter Phillips Gallery and Banff International Curatorial Institute at the Banff Centre.

Past lectures

NEW INSIGHTS INTO THE ORIGIN OF BREAST CANCER

Dr. Steven Narod leads an internationally renowned research program in cancer genetics, greatly enhancing our understanding of the factors that shape women’s risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. He and his team advocate for genetic testing for women who do not have access to current public programs, and they recently launched The Screen Project, a national initiative to make genetic screening available to all Canadians at an accessible price.

MOBILIZING CANADA FOR THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY: LESSONS FROM THE SECOND WORLD WAR

Seth Klein is a public policy researcher and writer based in Vancouver. He was the founding director of the BC office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), former co-chair of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, and founder of the Metro Vancouver Living Wage for Families. He is the author of A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency (2020).

VALLEY OF THE BIRDTAIL: AN INDIAN RESERVE, A WHITE TOWN, AND THE ROAD TO RECONCILIATION

A conversation between Andrew Stobo Sniderman and Professor Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii), moderated by Dr. Tricia Logan. Mr. Sniderman is a writer, lawyer and Rhodes Scholar. Prof. Sanderson is Beaver Clan, from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, and is deeply engaged in Aboriginal issues from a policy perspective. Mr. Sniderman and Prof. Sanderson wrote the award winning book Valley of the Birdtail: An Indian Reserve, a White Town, and the Road to Reconciliation (2022).

HOW THE ARTS ARE CENTRAL TO A HEALTHY DEMOCRACY

Mr. Max Wyman, OC is one of Canada’s foremost cultural commentators. For more than three decades he wrote arts criticism for The Vancouver Sun and CBC Radio. Mr. Wyman is the author of a number of books, among them Dance Canada: An Illustrated History (1989), The Defiant Imagination: Why Culture Matters (2009), and its sequel The Compassionate Imagination: How the Arts Are Central to a Functioning Democracy (2023).

THINKING AS POLITICS: THE MORAL DIMENSIONS OF POETRY

Dr. Jan Zwicky, C.M. is one of Canada’s most respected artists and intellectuals, known equally for her original work in philosophy and her poetry, and translated into a number of European languages. Her writing has covered issues in music, poetry, philosophy, and the environment.

UNDERSTANDING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Dr. Kevin Leyton-Brown’s research addresses issues in computational game theory; also in market design, analysis and clearing, as well as the application of machine learning to the automated design and analysis of algorithms for solving hard computational problems. He is a Fellow of  the Royal Society of Canada, the Association of Computing Machinery, and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.

THE UBC MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY: A COLLECTION FIT FOR THE NATION(S)

Dr. Anthony Shelton was Director of MOA for seventeen years. A researcher, curator, teacher and administrator, Dr. Shelton’s interests include Latin American, Iberian and African visual cultures, Surrealism, the history of collecting, and critical museology.

LOCAL JOURNALISM AND A HEALTHY DEMOCRACY

Harold Munro studied journalism at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, then took a job at a newspaper in Terrace BC, before returning to the coast in 1986 to join the Vancouver Sun as a general assignment reporter. He is now Editor-in-Chief of both the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers.

IS THE MISSING MIDDLE MISSING FOR GOOD REASON?

Dr. Thomas Davidoff’s research on public policies related to insurance, housing, mortgages, and retirement finance have been published in leading journals in finance, real estate, and economics, and presented at a variety of academic institutions and international conferences around the world.

William Murray

NAVAL CONFLICT AND THE FIRST PUNIC WAR: DISCOVERIES FROM THE DEBRIS FIELD

Dr. William (Bill) Murray’s interests include all aspects of ancient seafaring from ships and their designs to trade, ancient harbours, naval warfare and weaponry. His research has been featured on the History and National Geographic channels. Over the past 40 years, he has worked at a number of archaeological sites, both under water and on land, in Greece, Israel, Turkey, France and Italy.

EXPLORING THE HIDDEN EARTH – GROUNDWATERS AND DEEP SUBSURFACE LIFE

Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar has revolutionized the development of innovative mechanisms for groundwater remediation. In 2013 Canadian Geographic magazine listed her among the Ten Canadians “Changing the World” for her discovery of the “billion-year-old water” and its implications for life on other planets.

PROTECTING HUMANKIND’S COMMON CULTURAL HERITAGE: THE PROBLEM OF CULTURAL APPROPRIATION

Dr. Cécile Fabre is a political philosopher whose research interests include theories of distributive and reparative justice, the philosophy of democracy, and the moral and political philosophy of cultural heritage. Her works have been published in journals such as the British Journal of Political Science, International Affairs, and the Journal of Political Philosophy.

THE DEFENSE OF CULTURAL SPACE

As head of PEN Canada for over a decade, Mr. Brendan de Caires defends freedom of expression, and helps exiled writers to establish in Canada. In this capacity Mr. de Caires has edited and co-authored country studies of Mexico, Honduras, India and Guatemala. He is the author of The Winter of a Hundred Books (2010), and A Country Worth Living In (2010)

HOW UBC ENABLED THE COVID-19 MRNA VACCINES

Dr. Pieter Cullis is globally known for his contributions to the field of lipid nanoparticles. His research has contributed to the development of nanomedicines employing lipid nanoparticle delivery technology leading to five clinically approved drugs for cancer therapies, gene therapies, and vaccines, including BNT162b2, the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine marketed by Pfizer/BioNTech.