Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekly Lecture Series 2013-14 Please Come and Bring a Friend!

Vital Discussions of Human Security Lecture Series for 2013-14

Co-Sponsored by University College Health Studies Programme, Canadian Pugwash Group, Science for Peace, and Voice of Women for Peace.

Thursdays, 7-9 pm, Room 179, University College, 15 Kings College Circle, U.of Toronto. All welcome. No charge. Bring your friends! Video will normally be available on the SfP YouTube channel within 1-2 weeks after each talk.

Thursday Sept 26: Falling in Love with the Earth Stephen Scharper, Associate Professor, School of the Environment, University of Toronto

Thursday Oct 3: Politics of Peace vs. Politics of Empire in the Middle East: Democratic Struggles, Neo-Ottoman AspirationSedef Arat-Koç, Associate Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University

Thursday Oct 10: Neither Conflict nor “Use it or Lose it”: Canada’s Arctic Extended Continental Shelf  Elizabeth Riddell-Dixon, Professor Emerita of Political Science at University of Western Ontario

Thursday Oct 17: Building A Dream: Advocacy and Affordable Housing Dennis Magill, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Toronto

Thursday Oct 24: What Can Time-Use Data Tell Us?  Bill Michelson, S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, Emeritus

Thursday Oct 31: The Initiative for UN Emergency Peace Service Peter Langille, Senior Research Associate, Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria

Thursday Nov 7: Generating Rights for Communities Harmed by Mining Liisa North, Professor Emeritus, York University and Visiting Professor, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), Quito, Ecuador

Thursday Nov 14: The Industrial Diet in Three Meals Tony Winson, Professor and Associate Chair, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph

Thursday Nov 21: Whither Well Being: How Secure Can You Be? David Harries, Generalist, Committed to Strategic Foresight

Thursday Nov 28: Compensation, the Value of Life and the War on Terror Emily Gilbert, Associate Professor and Director, Canadian Studies program and Department of Geography, University of Toronto

Dec 5-Jan 2: Holidays: series resumes in New Year

Thursday Jan 9: Education for Democracy in Peirce, James, Dewey, and Mead Irving Zeitlin, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Toronto

Thursday Jan 16: Nonviolence as Political Action Jill Carr-Harris, Development worker in India on women’s empowerment.

Thursday Jan 23: Armed Conflict and Food Insecurity: A Global Challenge Mustafa Koç, Professor of Sociology, Ryerson University

Thursday Jan 30: Patents & Progress: What to do about Corrupt Medical Research Practices James R. Brown, Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto

Thursday Feb 6: Building Peace in the 21st Century: Reflections over 30 years Peggy Mason, Formerly Canada’s Ambassador for Disarmament

Thursday Feb 13: Constitution and Strategy: Understanding Canadian Power in the World  Irvin Studin, Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto

Feb 20: Reading week: series resumes following week

Thursday Feb 27: Economics of the Global Commons Frank de Jong, President of Earthsharing Canada

Thursday Mar 6: Child Soldier Recruitment in Intra-state Armed Conflicts Vera Achvarina, Assistant Professor, Political Science, University of Toronto

Thursday Mar 13: Taxing for Fairness and Prosperity David Langille, Health Studies, University of Toronto and Work & Labour Studies, York University, Treasurer at Canadians for Tax Fairness

Thursday Mar 20: “Prosecutor:” A film and discussion about Luis Moreno-Ocampo and first trial of the International Criminal Court  Barry Stevens, Film maker

Thursday Mar 27: Seasick: When Oil and Water Don’t Mix  Alanna Mitchell, Journalist and author
Thursday Apr 3: Refugees: Silent Witnesses to War  Mary Jo Leddy, Founder of Romero House for refugees, Adjunct Professor of Theology at Regis College

Video is available for most of the September 2012-April 2013 series and the Spring 2012 series, as well as for some of the Fall 2011 series.

I am one of the most powerful people in the world.

I am one of the most powerful people in the world. Yes, I am! I am a journalist (sort of) and journalists and dramatists are, in my opinion, the most powerful people alive. They influence the way people understand ongoing social life, and all of political life depends on public opinion. 

Admittedly, I am one of the LEAST powerful members of the most powerful group (only about 3000 people read Peace Magazine, compared to a million readers of a big newspaper or even more viewers of a TV newscast) but I know that what I write matters. It is essential for me to get it right, which requires me to listen carefully when someone is telling me something unfamiliar or contrary to my assumptions. 

But the worst, most poisonous, habit of a journalist is to believe that what he or she writes makes no difference. Everything that we do makes a difference--that's true of all human beings, but especially it's true of us, the most powerful people in the world. So I promise to listen to you if you make any sense whatever, and probably to argue with you if you seem not to understand something that I think I do understand. That's my job. What's YOUR job?