Third Age Learning, Burlington
Series 15: Winter 2019

I'm Back! And Here's What Is New
Jan.17 - Mar. 7 2019

In this series, we have invited back 8 speakers who excited our members and who have something new to present.  The topics are varied - Science and Humanities, Jazz, Global Economy, Arctic Exploration, The Universe, Cancer Drug Discovery, Nanotechnology and Women in Politics.

Another series that offers you a veritable buffet of topics.


Art Gallery of Burlington     (Map)

Third Age Learning Burlington reserves the right to substitute speakers as necessary.

Series #15: Schedule

Note: Please respect fragrance sensitivities and refrain from wearing perfume. Thank you.
Third Age Learning Burlington reserves the right to substitute speakers as necessary.
Date Details
January 17th
Gravitational Waves: how tiny ripples are changing our view of the universe
Presented by:
Dr. Laura Parker

Department of Physics & Astronomy. McMaster University

A revolution in physics and astronomy is underway. Since long before we had telescopes, people have studied objects in the night sky by looking at the light they emit. With the first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2016 a whole new window onto the Universe has opened. The detection of these waves confirms a fundamental prediction of Einstein’s theory of gravity and allows us to study events that would otherwise be invisible. In the years to come we can expect many more such detections, from the most extreme events in the Universe. In this talk I will describe the first detection of gravitational waves and the incredible collaboration, instrumentation, and analysis that enabled it. I will also highlight some of the exciting things to expect for this field in the years to come.


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January 24th
Ending Global Poverty
Presented by:
Dr. Joseph Wong

Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mark our future global development agenda. The SDGs are to be admired not only for their ambition but also their clarity. To meet the 2015 sustainable development goals, we need to eliminate poverty, in all its forms, everywhere. That means we need to “reach” those who have, until now, been left behind – the very poor, the marginalized, the distant, the invisible. But how will we get there? In this talk, Professor Wong talks about the political economy of “reaching the hard to reach,” stressing the imperative for innovative thinking, practices and politics.


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January 31st
The Many Worlds of Jazz
Presented by:
Ms. Heather Bambrick

Jazz FM91 Broadcaster, Adjudicator and Clinician

America has always been known as a melting pot:  combining various cultural and ethnic influences into a whole new “identity”.  As the one of few musical art forms created in America, Jazz continues this melting pot tradition, bringing together influences of various countries and cultures, from Acadian zydeco, to Brazilian pop, to Afro-Cuban sounds - all existing under the larger “Jazz” umbrella.  Join JUNO-nominated vocalist, broadcaster, and educator Heather Bambrick, as she explores the various worlds that help make up the Jazz universe.


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February 7th
Redefining Mental Illness Based on Neurobiology
Presented by:
Dr. Anthony Ruocco

Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Program in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto Scarborough

Rapid changes are taking place in how psychologists define mental illness. Historically, mental illness has been defined based on a classification system where different conditions—for example, depression and anxiety—have been defined as discrete diagnoses. However, research on the nature of mental illness has consistently shown that mental disorder does not fall neatly into separate diagnoses but instead runs along a continuum. At the same time, major initiatives have been put forward to redefine mental illness according to neurobiological systems, which have potential to transform understanding of the causes of mental illness and its treatment. In this presentation, Dr. Ruocco will present an overview of major frameworks that redefine mental illness according to symptom dimensions and neurobiology. He will then describe his own research on the neurobiology of personality disorder and future research directions that adopt a dimensional neurobiological approach to studying mental illness.


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February 14th
Nanostructured materials for sustainability and clean environment
Presented by:
Dr. Frank Gu

Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo

Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter generally in the 1–100 nm dimension range.  Detailed understanding of chemical interactions and recent technological advances have created the possibility of designing nano-structured materials tailored for specific applications.  Professor Gu heads an interdisciplinary research group that combines functional polymers and polymer metal oxide materials to solve problems in health and environmental protection. This seminar will showcase several major activities in Gu’s lab for healthcare and environmental remediation applications.


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February 21st
Alone Across Canada’s Arctic
Presented by:
Mr. Adam Shoalts

PHD Candidate, Department of Geography, McMaster University

In 2017, explorer Adam Shoalts embarked on a nearly 4,000 km journey alone across Canada's Arctic to mark Canada 150. The expedition saw Shoalts travel by canoe and on foot for four months across the world's greatest wilderness; crossing paths with bears, wolves, and not seeing another human being for months. He will share stories and pictures from his incredible journey, including what it's like to be alone for months hundreds of miles from any other person, and sleeping alone with hungry bears nearby


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February 28th
Galileo, Shakespeare, van Gogh: Creative Reactions to the End of the World
Presented by:
Dr. William Harris

Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University

Four hundred years ago, humanity's view of the universe went through a fundamental shift that was, in many senses, bigger than anything that has happened since.  Galileo's discoveries with the new device called the telescope affected not just scientific thinking but passed onward into art, writing, and poetry and has continued up to the present day.  In this talk I am going to take us through a brief tour of this remarkable historical bridge across
science and the humanities that has almost no parallels in history.


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March 7th
What in the World is Happening in Parliaments and Why does it Matter?
Presented by:
Ms. Paddy Torsney

Inter-Parliamentary Union at the United Nations in New York

Whether they are called Parliaments, National Assemblies, Congress, Shura or Knesset, representative, inclusive parliaments matter. Yet in most parliaments, women remain under-representated with just 23.4% of parliamentarians being women.

While some parliaments are making great progess, in global terms, the rate of increase year over year is just 0.1%.

The death of British MP Jo Cox, and #MeToo revelations in too many of the world's parliaments, shocked those working on effective parliaments.  Some parliaments, notably, Canada, France, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, Bolivia, and the European Parliament are working to change the environment and ensure safe workplaces conducive to good decision making processes, for women and for men.

On the occasion of her 23rd annual International Women’s Day breakfast in Burlington, and the eve of IWD itself, Paddy will be home in Burlington and is looking forward to this opportunity to share her perspectives and update Third Age Learners with the latest information on women in parliaments, and why it matters - to all of us.


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