Beatty Lecture

Jane Goodall to deliver the 2019 Beatty Lecture

Dr. Jane Goodall, one of the world’s most influential and beloved advocates for nature conservation, will deliver the 2019 Beatty Lecture at McGill on Thursday, September 26, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Tickets for alumni, students and the public will go on sale on August 15. For full details visit our Upcoming Lecture page here.

65 years, 89 speakers: A History of the Beatty Lectures

The Beatty Lecture is named in honour of Sir Edward Beatty, McGill Chancellor from 1920 to 1943 and President of the Canadian Pacific Railway from 1919 to 1942. Established in 1952,The Beatty Lecture aims to foster the exchange of ideas by bringing the world’s most respected and influential scholars, scientists, and leaders to McGill, from Nobel Laureates to groundbreaking neuroscientists to renowned musicians. Lecturers also spend time meeting faculty and students in smaller settings. Past Beatty lecturers include Margaret Atwood, Mikhail Gorbachev, Arthur Ashe, Francis Crick and Jane Goodall.

The first Beatty Lecture was held on October 4, 1954 featuring Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, India's first Vice-President. Sixty-five years later, the Beatty Lecture has brought eighty-nine speakers to the McGill stage. Now, as part of preparations for McGill’s bicentennial, and to celebrate the Beatty Lecture's 65th anniversary in 2019, McGill's Research and Innovation (R+I) unit is finding and digitizing recordings, transcripts and photographs of Beatty lectures held in the McGill University Archives and looks forward to sharing this material and much more with the public in the near future.

Public contributions welcome: R+I is searching for audio cassettes and VHS tape recordings of Beatty Lectures held from 1983 to 2003. Audio cassettes were available for sale to students, faculty and the public during this time. R+I is also interested in receiving photographs or personal anecdotes related to the Beatty Lecture. If you have material to share, please contact R+I robin.koning [at] (here).

Once called "the man with world's biggest job", Sir Edward Beatty steered both McGill and the Canadian Pacific Railway through the turbulent economic boom and bust years of the 1920s and 1930s. Photograph courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, photographer: Howard Coster.

Douglas Copland, Australian academic and economist, presented the 1961 Beatty Lecture on "The Changing Structure of the Western Economy". Photograph courtesy McGill University Archives.

Dr. Elizabeth Han Suyin, historian, physician and novelist (Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing, And The Rain My Drink) presented the 1968 Beatty Lecture. Photograph courtesy McGill University Archives.

McGill's Currie Gymnaisum was filled to capacity for Dr. Elizabeth Han Suyin's 1968 Lecture titled "Asia Today: Two Outlooks". Photograph courtesy McGill University Archives.

What's the change you want to see in the world? If you have an idea for a future lecturer, we want to hear from you.