Organizing a Beatty Memorial Lecture

Responsibilities of a host unit

Every Beatty Memorial Lecturer must be hosted by a department, Faculty, or other administrative unit at McGill. Groups often choose to suggest and organize the visit of a Beatty Lecturer to coincide with a major anniversary, when graduates and their families are already visiting campus for Homecoming. According to the terms of the endowment, the only criteria are that the Beatty Memorial Lecture must be held while classes are in session, open to the public, and well advertised.

Beatty Memorial Lecture Series

Seven decades of stimulating lectures

In 1952, McGill received a $100,000 gift from Dr. Henry A. Beatty in memory of his brother, Sir Edward Beatty, who was president of the Canadian Pacific Railway for many years, as well as Chancellor and Chair of McGill’s Board of Governors from 1920 to 1943. The gift endowed the Beatty Memorial Lecture series, which aims to bring the world’s most respected and influential scholars, scientists, or leaders to McGill.

Past Beatty Memorial Lectures

On this page, you will find the most comprehensive list available of past Beatty Memorial Lectures. Click on the title, where available, to watch the lecture or read coverage of the event. 



Karl Deisseroth
"Illuminating the Brain"
October 16, 2014

Beatty Talks

Please note that as of the 2015-2016 academic year, the Beatty talks program has been suspended indefinitely. This decision has been made to focus on attracting internationally renowed speakers to the Beatty Memorial Lectures. 

Questions may be directed to Lorraine Torpy, Research and International Relations: lorraine [dot] torpy [at] mcgill [dot] ca (514) 398-3992

Beatty Committee Membership

Beatty Memorial Fund Committee Members 2012-2013

  • Dr.

Past Beatty Talks

McGill departments and other academic units have organized Beatty Talks since 1989. Below please find a list of the illustrious lecturers who have participated as well as their affiliated organization, titles of their presentations, date of the event, and sponsoring group or groups.


Margaret Rossiter
"Women in Science and Medicine: Reflections on a Century"
October 13, 2012
Science Outreach, Redpath Museum, McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, History and Classical Studies, Medicine

Beatty Memorial Lectures Series

Welcome to the Beatty website!

On the following pages, you can learn more about the Beatty Memorial Lecture Series, one of McGill University’s signature annual events. 

A great McGill tradition

Established in 1952, the Beatty Memorial Lecture Series has brought some of the world’s leading thinkers to campus for a high-profile public talk. The presenters also spend time meeting and exchanging ideas in smaller settings with faculty and students.