May 3 – Journalism in a Digital Age
Paul Berton, Editor-in-Chief of The Hamilton Spectator and Thespec.com
Learn how modern technology is changing the nature of investigative journalism, ethical reporting, credible information, and the nature of truth.
May 10 – Jazz: Music of the People
Heather Bambrick, Award-winning Vocalist, Voice Actor, Broadcaster and Educator
“My own feelings about the direction in which Jazz should go … humanity in music and the freedom to say all that you want.” ~ Booker Little
“Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” ~ Charlie Parker
From its roots in African American tribal music and spirituals, to influences from Gospel, the Blues, and even Hip Hop, Jazz is considered by many to be the only true (North) American musical art-form. Its development has drawn parallels between the Jazz idiomatic songbook and several societal changes – from the Civil Rights Movement right up to the death of Trayvon Martin.
Whether it’s Nina Simone’s “Young, Gifted, and Black”, Charles Mingus’ “Good-bye Pork Pie Hat”, or Robert Glasper’s “Black Radio 2”, Jazz artists have used their music to reflect upon and comment on the world around them.
This discussion will look at some of the connections between Jazz and the ever-changing societal connections of the Twenty-First Century.
May 17 – Understanding the Big Bang
Dr. Michael Reid, Researcher, Lecturer and Public Outreach Coordinator, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto
The Big Bang Theory is one of the crowning achievements of modern science. The basic premise – that the universe began expanding about 14 billion years ago from a very hot, dense state – has been independently verified many times over. And yet there is widespread confusion and uncertainty about what the theory actually says – and what it doesn’t.
Did the universe begin as some kind of atom? If it’s expanding, what’s it expanding into? Does it have an outside? Are there other universes? And why did it start? In this talk, Dr. Reid will clarify what we do and don’t know about the Big Bang.
May 24 – Vineland’s Feeding Diversity Program: Bringing World Crops to Market
Dr. Viliam Zvalo, Research Scientist, Vegetable Production, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
As part of a collaborative group of partners determined to build a local ethno-cultural vegetable marketplace, Vineland is leading research on new crop varieties, production technologies, postharvest innovations, consumer insights, and market development.
This multi-disciplinary research program is growing the competitiveness of the Ontario fruit and vegetable sector through the targeted product development of new world crops such as okra and Asian and Indian eggplant.
In partnership with commercial growers across Canada, Vineland’s production team is trialing these new varieties to assess agronomic performance and disease resistance, while postharvest scientists are working to optimize storage conditions to preserve the quality of ethno-cultural vegetables through the distribution chain and at retail.
May 31 – Antibiotics and Resistance: A Looming Global Crisis
Dr. Gerry Wright, Director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University; Canada Research Chair in Antibiotic Biochemistry
Antibiotics are the cornerstones of modern medicine. These wonder drugs not only have saved countless lives, they have enabled a large number of clinical interventions.
From major surgeries, to cancer chemotherapy, to pre-term infants, the control of infection that antibiotics offer have had a profound impact on our quality and length of life.
We are now at risk though of losing these advances. Bacteria have become increasingly resistant to our available drugs and the pharmaceutical industry has failed to provide new ones.
We are at risk of entering a post-antibiotic era. Work on understanding how we got here and what we can do about it will be presented.
June 7 – What does it mean to be Canadian?
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
Following a brief lecture, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell will engage with the audience in a discussion about what it means to be Canadian.