Beatty Memorial Lecture Series

Change Through Exchange. 

Since 1954, the Beatty Memorial Lecture Series has fostered the exchange of ideas by bringing the world’s leading thinkers to McGill. Past Beatty Memorial Lecturers have been Nobel Laureates, leading neuroscientists, renowned musicians, and trailblazing activists. And the topics they have covered have been equally eclectic and provocative, including Plato, evolution, comedy, urbanization, environmental challenges, and much more.

Regardless of their background, Beatty Lecturers present talks that will appeal to both the McGill community and the general public. 

The Beatty Memorial Lecture traditionally takes place annually in the fall, on the University’s downtown campus. Research and Innovation organizes the major public lecture while a McGill department or Faculty serves as host, organizing additional events where the Beatty Lecturer can interact with students, faculty, and staff. Learn more about hosting a Beatty Lecturer.

A Lasting Gift

In 1952, McGill received a $100,000 gift from Dr. Henry A. Beatty in memory of his brother, Sir Edward Beatty. A world reknowned nation-builder, Sir Beatty was the first Canadian born president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, a position he held for twenty-four years while also serving 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. The first Beatty Memorial Lecture was held in 1954.

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.