Public Lecture or Public Lecture Series

Celebrate the 2016 Nobel Prizes with this talk focusing on the importance of the discoveries made in physics, chemistry and physiology or medicine.

Dr. Igor Herbut, professor in the department of Physics will discuss the Physics prize awarded for the theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.

Dr. Neil Branda, Executive Director – 4D LABS and Professor & Canada Research Chair in Materials Science will discuss the Chemistry prize awarded for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.

Internationally, India is seen as an emerging power. It’s the world’s largest democracy, the fifth largest economy and a global information and communication technology leader. India represents tremendous economic potential, however it also holds the dubious position as having the most number of poor people – just over half the population (or 650 million people) are deemed poor by the Multidimensional Poverty Index 2013. In 2016 Prime Minister Modi declared: “India is ready for a war on poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, infant mortality and maternal deaths.”

Lisa Freeman will discuss the changing role of public libraries in the context of urban governance. Public libraries in Canada are increasingly being compared to public spaces for multiple and diverse publics. In her work, Lisa asks how the publicness of the library is performed in the context of austerity measures and municipal governance. This research raises important questions about the role of citizen boards in governing changing public spaces in our cities. Frank Cunningham will respond to Lisa and instigate a discussion with her and the audience.

Displacement and dispossessions are convulsing cities across the globe, becoming the dominant urban narratives of our time. In What a City Is For, Hern uses the case of Albina— the one major Black neighbourhood in Portland - as well as similar instances in New Orleans and Vancouver, to investigate gentrification in the twenty-first century. Hern questions the notions of development, private property, and ownership, arguing that home ownership drives inequality. How can we reimagine the city as a post-ownership, post-sovereign space?

Why is that so many people are much more likely to accept a radical other in a form of a pet, while
rejecting or marginalizing a fellow human being only because she/he may look or act/perform slightly different? What is the parallel between the discourses on stray dogs, matters out of place, and social categories that are deemed marginal or undesirable? Why to many among us, are stray dogs not acceptable while homelessness is?

Speaker: Alexandru Balescu (and respondents)

An utopian/anti-utopian opposition persists today in virtually all domains of urban theory and practice with nuances and a variety of attempts to supersede it. On the occasion of this anniversary the Simon Fraser Urban Studies Program and the Institute for the Humanities are organizing a panel to initiate discussion on aspects of utopianism today with specific, but not exclusive, reference to its urban incarnations, including in the Lower mainland.

Reforming scholarly communication is a tough job, made tougher by factors that include the lack of unanimity among stakeholders as to what reform should look like (or whether it’s needed at all); the wide variety of needs and interests among the system’s stakeholders; the structural complexity of the system itself; the lack of unanimity as to what “open access” means; the heavy weight of tradition in academic practice; and the high level of emotion that inevitably accompanies discussion of these issues.

Silicon transistors, the essential building block of most modern electronic devices, cannot shrink much further without being rendered inoperable by quantum mechanics. This classical-quantum threshold in fact presents a tremendous opportunity: if we harness quantum mechanics, rather than attempt to avoid it, we could build a quantum computer. Quantum computers will open up a world of opportunities — they could accomplish certain computational tasks exponentially faster which would otherwise be forever impractical. During this lecture, Dr.

Highly acclaimed CBC radio personality and honorary TRC witness Shelagh Rogers will discuss the impact of hearing hundreds of residential school survivors speak at national and regional events of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The real history of Canada was not taught to generations of Canadian school children. But Indigenous Peoples lived it. What does reconciliation mean now that Canada knows the truth of their experience?


A panel of SFU historians - professors Tina Adcock, Elise Chenier, Mary-Ellen Kelm, Nicolas Kenny, Willeen Keough, and Jack Little - will engage in a lively debate presenting regional takes on Canadian Confederation.  

This is a free event and is open to the general public. 

RSVP to the regional panel featuring SFU historians February 23, 2017