Innovation in the global knowledge economy is an inherently uncertain enterprise. The pay-offs – economically and socially – are potentially huge. But with any high-risk, high-reward proposition, betting on cutting-edge innovation is also very, very costly: billions of public dollars for university research, much of which languishes in the lab or the pages of esoteric journals; hundreds of millions of dollars spent on breakthrough drugs that benefit a privileged few; institutional re-structuring as a matter of public policy for long-term innovation. How do societies rationalize such expensive bets? Are they worth it? Joseph Wong discusses these critical questions by examining
A former member of parliament (1993 -2006) Paddy had first hand experience dealing with important issues (justice, finance, environment, international development) and chaired the Liberal Women’s Caucus. She’s convinced more women need to become engaged in politics if we’re to get the kind of government Canadians deserve.
You need not be Heraclitus to observe that our world is in flux. And you needn’t be McLuhan to understand that our gadgets are necessarily altering our relation to the world. Books and their readers are clearly being swept along in this current. In publishing, basic notions of text, copyright, editing and distribution are rapidly being revised. How this affects the common reader (if such a category even applies anymore) is uncomfortably unclear. We’ve become remarkably adept at transmitting information. Crucially, can culture be conveyed along the same lines?
One of the enduring tasks of neuroscientists has been to uncover the secrets of the nerve impulse—the astonishingly efficient electrical signaling mechanism that enables the brain to carry out its functions and which is responsible for all our thoughts, feelings, sensations and actions. Beginning with the experiments of Galvani on the frog’s leg more than 200 years ago, the task has called for great ingenuity and determination, and has finally been completed. The results have not only been of great interest in themselves but have shed new light on a host of clinical disorders.
The process of choosing which plays will make up a Shaw Festival season is almost as dramatic as the plays themselves. Full of tension, plotting, joy and sorrow, not many people know all of the intricacies involved in building a theatre’s season. This presentation will focus on how and why the plays for the Shaw Festival’s 2012 Season were selected and look at how the Festival’s namesake influences which plays are produced.
They bury their children, turn around and bring up their orphaned grandchildren. Singlehandedly, these remarkable women hold together a family, a community. Collectively, they form a grassroots network of support that holds together a country, a whole continent ravaged by the AIDS pandemic. Hear their stories in the context of the Canadians who support them through the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. In 2010, Lisbie Rae travelled to Swaziland to attend the first ever African Grandmothers Gathering, returning inspired by their courage, resilience, and ingenuity. She salutes Africa’s grandmothers as true heroes for our times.
By now it should be obvious that this country harbours an irrepressible proclivity to violate civil liberties. A first step in addressing that proclivity is to identify it.
That’s what this talk hopes to do.
Nothing is More Fun than Canadian History. That’s the title of a show-and-tell presentation by Canadian author Ken McGoogan. Ken will explain how his passion for Canadian history has taken him from Canada to Cambridge, England, to Hobart, Tasmania, to Stromness, Orkney – and to voyaging repeatedly in the Northwest Passage.