GTLLI 2021 Spring Lectures

For a printable description of this series… 2021-Spring-Brochure

Mar 26:
Hotter, Wetter, Wilder: How Canadian Society and the Capital Markets Must Prepare for Irreversible Climate Change and Extreme Weather Risk

Extreme weather risk, driven by a changing climate, is contributing to costly floods, fires, hail and wind storms across Canada. Is Canada prepared? Recognizing that climate change is irreversible, this talk will emphasize Canada’s current state of preparedness for this, and the need to adapt quickly in anticipation of a more challenging future, along with the need – and practical means – to limit Canada’s most costly extreme weather risk:
community and residential flooding.

Lecturer: Dr. Blair Feltmate, Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Ecology (University of Toronto), is Professor and Head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, University of Waterloo, a member of the Sustainable Finance Advisory Council, Global Risk Institute, and Chair, Adaptation Committee, Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (Environment and Climate Change Canada). Blair has written textbooks on Sustainable Banking (University of Toronto Press), and Aquatic Ecology (CAB International). He is on the Advisory Board, Climate Change, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (Ontario).

Apr 9: Mozart Matters….
The precocious genius who can still define humanity for us 230 years after his death. His life story, comprehensively  documented is mired in myth. The peerless perfection of his creativity evokes both reverence in listeners and trepidation in performers. “Music that is too  easy for amateurs and too difficult for professionals” is the all too simplistic misquotation.

Lecturer: Brian Carlile, is a multifaceted  professional musician whose career as an orchestral and chamber music player has involved performance and studio recordings world- wide. His media work includes the award-winning ITV production “The Forsyte Saga”, music arranger credits for film, TV and radio and for his work as “music fixer” on the 1999 Oscar nominated film “Hilary and Jackie”.

Apr 16: Importance of Political Trust in Society
This lecture will examine the role trust plays in democracy. For a society to function it is necessary for the public to trust politics, our institutions and each other. Across Western democracies there has been a steady decline in trust. This talk will trace why this has occurred, what effect it has had and how we can fix it.
 Apr 23: Populism in 21st Century Politics While not a new phenomenon, populism has become a mainstream political movement in the 21st Century. Populist leaders in Greece, Brazil, the UK, and elsewhere have won elections and have governed. This talk will examine the concept of populism, discuss at it is, and what it is not, and finally examine the long-term viability of populism as a political force.

Lecturer: Dr. Michael Johns is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Laurentian University. He has also held the positions of Vice Dean of Arts and Chair of both the Dept. of Political Science and the Dept. of Marketing and Management. Dr. Johns writes and teaches courses on International  Relations, Comparative Politics, European and American Politics as well as Federalism and Electoral Systems.

Apr 30: Forensics in Crime Solving
This lecture will define the evolving field of police forensics with an overview of the protocols governing crime scenes, warrants, security, and the processing of physical evidence.
May 7: Trophies and Talismans: The Traffic of Human Remains.
The use and movement of human remains are the result of large, intricate networks that span the globe, crossing boundaries within and between private, public and religious institutions. This lecture looks at the deeply embedded tradition of collecting and displaying/venerating human remains in contemporary Western society.

Lecturer: Dr. Myriam Nafte, a forensic anthropologist, is an active advisor and consultant for criminal casework across North America. She received a Specialized Honors B.A. in Medical Anthropology from York University, a B.Ed. degree in Science from Brock University, and completed an M.A. and Ph.D. in Physical Anthropology [Skeletal Biology] at McMaster University. Dr. Nafte is an instructor at McMaster University teaching various courses and is the author of numerous articles and books, including Flesh and Bone: An Introduction to Forensic Anthropology, and the forthcoming anthology Trophies and Talismans: The Traffic of Human Remains.


2021 – Winter Course, Humans and Space

For a printable description of this course …GTLLI-2021-Winter-Brochure

Dr. Thomas Stiff
is a science educator and lecturer who has held research and consulting positions for national and international organizations including the Canadian Space Agency, the National Research Council, and Space Center Houston. 
He holds a MSc in Physics and a PhD in Theoretical Astrophysics.

Jan 8: The Race for Space – The Politics and Science of the ‘Final Frontier’
In the 1950’s the Soviet Union shocked the free world with the successful launch of Sputnik 1. This talk will reveal the technical and political battles that dominated the subsequent race to the Moon and their impact on modern society. The space race continues today but between mega-corporations. The new goal is to return to the Moon and then on to Mars. Why are we going back, and what’s at stake?

Jan 15: From Tang to Tricorders – Inventions and Innovations for Space Technology
For more than 50 years NASA and its R & D contractors have been producing products and services for the Space industry, including those required for life aboard the International Space Station. Many of these products and technologies find their way into our homes and everyday life every year. This talk will discuss a few of NASA’s most important “spin off” technologies, and introduce some of the products currently under development, including solar powered electric airplanes and nanobots designed to enhance human surgical procedures.

Jan 22: Canadians in Space – From Training to Touchdown         Guest Lecturer: Astronaut Dr. Dave Williams 
Dr. Williams will discuss his career, including what it takes to be an astronaut and what it’s like to live and work in space.  Dr. Williams is an astronaut, aquanaut, jet pilot, ER doctor, scientist, and CEO. He has flown to space on two space shuttles, logging over 13 million kms. in space and over 17 hours of spacewalks. He has lived and worked on the world’s only undersea research habitat, and is the recipient of six honorary  degrees, the Order of Canada, and the Order of Ontario. Dr. Williams was Director of The Space & Life Sciences Directorate at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and is currently the Director of the Centre for Medical Robotics at McMaster University.

Jan 29: A Manned Mission to Mars
No longer the stuff of science fiction, NASA’s Mars Exploration Program could see humans on Mars by the 2030’s. Who will go? How will they cope with the long journey, and what will life be like when they get there? What technology is required for long term flight, and what resources are necessary to sustain life on Mars?

Feb 5: Space Suits and Cinema – Getting the Space Science Right (and wrong!) in the Movies
From 1902’s “A Trip to the Moon” to 2018’s “First Man”, filmmakers have depicted living and working in space, with various degrees of success. Pop culture can be an excellent vehicle for sharing information about space but what happens when false claims, or unscientific “facts” are introduced to millions of viewers? Who got the science right? Why does it matter? 

Feb 12: Hello?…Is There Anybody Out There?
Is there life on other planets? Do we have the technology to determine whether other intelligence exists? The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute uses a variety of technologies to search for interstellar communications. While Area 51 inhabitants, alien invasions, and little green men are  definitely NOT on the radar, what DO we know right now, and how do we know it?

Guest Lecturer: Paul Delaney, BSc, Canberra and MSc, Victoria, has worked as a nuclear physicist for Atomic Energy Canada and a support astronomer at the McGraw Hill Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at York University, and the Director of the Campus Allan I. Carswell Astronomical Observatory in Toronto.


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