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

Catherine Driscoll
University of Sydney, Australia
"Media, Social Change and Lives of Girls"
October 11, 2012
Arts, Institute of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies

Jeremy Waldron
All Souls College, University of Oxford
"The Rule of Law and the Measure of Property"
October 4, 2012

Francis Fukuyama
Stanford University
"The Origins of Political Order"
September 23, 2012
Political Science

Andrew Chanen
University of Melbourne
"Borderline Personality Disorder in Adolescents"
May 10, 2012
Royal Victoria Hospital, Psychiatry

Michael Kearney
Palliative Care Service Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital
"Lessons in Living from the Dying: Whole Person Self-Care"
May 8, 2012
Council on Palliative Care

Jacques Neefjes
Netherlands Cancer Institute
"A Genome-Wide Multidimentional RNAi Screen Reveals Pathways Controlling MHC Class II Antigen Presentation"
February 27, 2012
Microbiology and Immunology

Harvey V. Fineberg
Institute of Medicine
"The Health Populations: Roles and Responsibilities for the 21st Century"
February 16-17, 2012
Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health

Michael Holquist
Yale University
"Why the Humanities Must Lose"
October 28, 2011
Law, Arts

Carla Hesse
University of California, Berkeley
"Speech into Print: Charting the Rise of Female Authorship in the Nineteenth Century"
September 16, 2011

Ira Byock
Palliative Care Service, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Centre, New Hampshire
"Lessons in Living from the Dying: The Ethics and Practice of Loving Care"
May 4, 2011
Council on Palliative Care

Fazie Hasan Abed
Building Bridges across Communities (BRAC)
"Education is that which Liberates" and "Organizing People for Power Through the Path of Education"
May 2-3, 2011

Chris Impey
University of Arizona
"How it Ends"
March 24, 2011
Anatomy and Cell Biology, Physics, Earth and Planetary Sciences

Nosheen Ali
University of California, Berkeley
"Of Books and Bombs: Representing the War on Terror"
March 11, 2011
Integrated Studies in Education

Rodney Evans
Temple University
"Excavations: Creating Black Gay History on Film"
March 4, 2011

Naomi Oreskes
University of California
"Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth"
February 10, 2011
School of Environment

Jocelyn Downie
Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University
"Assisted Death"
January 13, 2011
Law, McGill Research Group on Health and Law

Michael Watts
University of Cambridge
"The Gulf War Never Happened: Baudrillard's Interrogation of 'Reality' and Social Theory"
October 14, 2010
Integrated Studies in Education

Garrett Stewart
Iowa University
"Bookwork: Medium to Concept to Object to Art"
September 23, 2010
German Studies

Kathleen M. Foley
Cornell University
"Palliative Care: Shedding Light on Euthanasia"
May 4, 2010
Council on Palliative Care

John A. McCumber
University of California, Los Angeles
"Substance and Freedom in Spinoza and Hagel"
April 9, 2010

Mona Domosh
Dartmouth College
"The World was Never Flat: Early Global Encounters and the Messiness of Empire"
March 31, 2010

Lawrence Gostin
Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University
"Meeting the Basic Survival Needs of the World's Least Healthy People: Towards a Framework Convention on Global Health"
March 25, 2010
McGill Research Group on Health and Law

Nathan Glazer
Harvard University
"The Role of the Public Intellectual in America: Then and Now"
March 22, 2010

Richard L. Sherwin
New York Law School
"Legimatric: From the Digital Neo-Baroque to the Ethical Sublime in the Visualization of Law"
February 17, 2010
Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI)

Priya Parmar
Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY)
"Hip Hop Culture and Youth Empowerment"
February 11, 2010
Integrated Studies in Education

Colm Toibin
"Oscar Wilde in Prison"
February 11, 2010
Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, English


Nathan Cherny
National Institute of Health, Washington, D.C.
"Caring for the Dying in Situations of War and Conflict: Finding Hope and Building Bridges"
April 28, 2009
Council on Palliative Care

Lewis Hyde
Poet, Cultural Critic, and Public Intellectual
"For Forgetting"
April 20, 2009
English, Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI)

Sheila Jasanoff Pforzheimer
Harvard University
"Life and the Law: Configuring the Human"
March 19, 2009
Law, Bioethics, Social Studies in Medicine

Geoffrey A. Landis
NASA John Glen Research Centre
"Colonizing Venus with Floating Cities"
March 5, 2009
Anatomy and Cell Biology, Earth and Planetary Sciences

Joan Wallach
"Public Education and Religious Symbols in France"
November 24, 2008

Dror Wahrman
"God and the Enlightenment: Shifting Ideas About Providence and Causation in Eighteenth-Century Western Europe"
October 19, 2008

Santra J. T. M. Evers
"Lex Loci Meets Lex Fori: Merging Customary Law and National Land Legislation in Madagascar"
October 11, 2008

Linda Emanuel
"Lessons in Living from the Dying: Understanding and Implementing Preference for Care"
May 6, 2008
Council on Palliative Care

Patrick Chamoiseau
May 1, 2008

John Gunderson
"Psychoeducation of Borderline Patients and their Families: Overdue and Underutilized"
April 24, 2008

Carl B. Pilcher
"The Quest for Habitable Worlds and Life Beyond Earth"
March 15, 2008
Anatomy and Cell Biology, Earth and Planetary Sciences

M. Nylan
"Beliefs about Seeing: The Moral Technology of Optics in Early China"
February 20, 2008
Centre for East Asian Research

Carlos Monsivais
"Imagining the Americas"
February 13, 2008
Institute for the Study of Canada

John M. Coffin
"Persistence & Diversity: New Insights into HIV-Host Relationship"
January 23, 2008
Microbiology and Immunology

John Witte
"Ethics in the Secular State: New Horizons for Religious Consensus"
September 13, 2007

Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish
"The Climate for Scientific Breakthrough: Then Versus Now"
August 2007

G. Scott Hubbard
"Space Exploration: The Moon and Mars - A Vision of the Future"
March 15, 2007
Electron Microscopy Centre

Peter McLaren
"Critical Pedagogy: An Elegy, Reprise of Revival?"
March 9, 2007

Allen Scott
"Capitalism and Urbanization in a New Key? The Cognitive-Cultural Dimension"
March 9, 2007

Douglas Kellner
University of California, Los Angeles
"Hegemony and Resistance in Cyberculture"
October 19, 2006
Art History and Communications Studies, Political Science

Gerri Frager
Dalhousie University
"Lessons in Living from the Dying: Critical Communication in the Care of Children"
May 1, 2006
The Council on Palliative Care

Karen Armstrong
Religious Scholar and Author
"The Great Transformation"
April 27, 2006
Religious Studies and the McGill Bookstore

Sandra Harding
University of California
"Women, Science and Modernity"
April 4, 2006
McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women, History, Philosophy of Science, Social Studies of Medicine

Robert Kirshner
Harvard and American Astronomical Society
"Exploding Stars, Dark Energy and the Accelerating Cosmos"
March 30, 2006

William Ruddiman
University of Virginia
"How Did Humans First Alter Global Climate?"
March 8, 2006
Global Environmental and Climate Change Centre

Roger Blandford
Stanford University
"Black Holes: The End of Time or a New Beginning?"
January 5, 2006

Geoffrey Samuel
University of Kent
"Annual Lecture in Jurisprudence and Public Policy: Is Law Truly a Social Science?"
October 26, 2005

Hung Wu
University of Chicago
"Ruins in Traditional Chinese Art and Visual Culture"
October 20, 2005
East Asian Studies, Art History and Communications Studies

Diane Meier
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
"Lessons in Living from the Dying: Palliative Care in Hospitals"
May 3, 2005
Council on Palliative Care

Seth Shostak
Centre for SETI Research
"When Will We Detect Extraterrestrials?"
March 30, 2005
Earth and Planetary Science, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Geography

Lev Manovich
University of California, San Diego
"Info-Aesthetics: The New Information Aesthetics"
February 14, 2005
Art History and Communication Studies, Centre de recherche sur l'intermédialité de l'Université de Montréal, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal

Peter Fitzpatrick
Birkbeck College
"Annual Lecture in Jurisprudence and Public Policy: The American Empire and the Rule of Law"
January 26, 2005

Mohammed Al-Hadid
President, Jordan Red Crescent
"Human Relationships as a Crucial Component of Peace Building in the Middle East"
November 24, 2004
McGill Middle East Program in Civil Society and Peace Building

John Willinsky
Public Knowledge Project, University of British Columbia
"Keep the World at Your Fingertips"
November 5, 2004
Graduate Students’ Society, Education

Sir James Black
"The Greatest Benefit to Mankind"
September 23, 2004
Pharmacology and Therapeutics

David Kissane
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York
"Lessons in Living from the Dying: Discovering Meaning in Illness and Suffering"
May 4, 2004
Council on Palliative Care (Sandra Goldberg Lecture)

Judit Bokser
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
"Latin American Jewish Communities: A Challenging Present"
March 31, 2004
Jewish Studies, Political Science

James Kasting, Christopher McKay, and Hojatollah Vali
Penn State University, NASA-Ames Research Centre, McGill University
"Who on Earth Wants to Go to Mars?"
March 16, 2004
Anatomy and Cell Biology, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Geography

John Campbell
University of Canterbury
"Rutherford, Scientist Supreme: His Years at McGill and the Nobel Prize"
December 15, 2003
Chemistry, McGill Sigma-Xi Interdisciplinary Research Society

John T. Cacioppo
University of Chicago
"Living an Isolated Existence in a Changing Social World"
November 21, 2003

Henry Giroux
Pennsylvania State University
"Higher Education, Youth and the Crisis of Intellectuals"
November 7, 2003

Eric J. Cassell
Cornell University
"Lessons in Living from the Dying: Suffering and Healing"
May 6, 2003
Council on Palliative Care

Mary Zanarini
Harvard University
"Borderline Personality Disorder: What Patients and Families Need to Know"
April 10, 2003
Psychiatry, School of Social Work

Nicholas R. Cozzarelli
University of Berkley, California
"Exploring DNA Structure and Enzymology Using Single Molecule Methods"
April 3, 2003

Michel Delon
"Un Débat Moral au Siècle des Lumières: Peut-On Inventer un Plaisir Nouveau?"
March 28, 2003
Langue et littérature françaises, English

Christopher McKay
NASA Ames Research Centre
"The Quest for Extraterrestrial Life"
March 19, 2003
Anatomy and Cell Biology, Earth and Planetary Sciences

Miroslav Radman
Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire Evolutive et Médicale (France)
"Conservation Versus Change: Lesson from Evolution"
March 12, 2003
Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Physiology, Sociology, Social Studies in Medicine

Sari Nusseibeh
Al Quds University
"Peace, Partnerships and Politics in the Middle East: Directions for the Brave"
February 5, 2003
McGill Middle East Program in Civil Society and Peace Building, School of Social Work

Douglas Erwin
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
"A Cambrian Conundrum: Ecology and Development in the Birth of Animals"
January 30, 2003
Redpath Museum

Rodolfo Sacco
University of Turin, Italy
"Une Baguette et Deux Chimpanzés"
November 11, 2002
Centre for Private and Comparative Law

Sir John Daniel
"Technology is the Answer: What was the Question?"
September 23, 2002
Centre for University Teaching and Learning

Greil Marcus
University of California, Berkley
"The Sound of One City: In Los Angeles, Early 50s, Easy Rawlins Meets the Medallions, Agrees to Disagree"
May 20, 2002
Art History and Communication Studies, Canadian Branch of the International Association of Popular Music

Ned Cassem
Harvard University
"Lessons in Living from the Dying: Celebrating Life Together"
May 7, 2002
Council on Palliative Care

Peter Birks
University of Oxford
"Conscientious Enemies of the Rule of Law"
March 14, 2002

John Rummel
"Colonizing Mars: Dream of Reality?"
February 20, 2002
Earth and Planetary Science, Anatomy and Cell Biology

John D. Caputo
Villanova University
"There are no Truths, Only Texts"
January 31, 2002
Religious Studies, Philosophy

Bunker Roy
Barefoot College of India
"Demystifying Technology"
January 25, 2002
McGill Chapter of Engineers without Borders

Luc Ferry
"Qu'est Qu'une Vie Bonne?"
October 29, 2001
Law, Philosophy (with support from the Consulat général de France à Québec)

Alain Touraine
École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris)
"In or Out: Social Movements and Globalization"
October 18, 2001
Sociology (with support from the Consulat général de France à Québec)

Barbara Epstein
Genesis Israel
"A Conceptual Model for Understanding Empowerment Practice"
March 21, 2001
McGill Middle East Program

Mike Davis
"Wild in the Streets: Hot Rod Riots and the Origins of the New Left"
March 16, 2001
Art History and Communication Studies

Peter Singer
Princeton University
"Changing Attitudes to Life and Death"
March 8, 2001

Esther Jungreis
"Discovering the Value of Spirituality in Post-Holocaust North America"
January 25, 2001
Chabad House and McGill Chaplaincy

Nancee Blum
University of Iowa
"The Impact of Borderline Personality Disorder on Patients and Families"
January 25, 2001
Psychiatry (MUHC), McGill Couple and Family Clinic (School of Social Work)

Robert George
Princeton University
"Kelsen and Acquinas on the 'Natural Law Doctrine'"
November 30, 2000

Brendan O'Leary
London School of Economics
"Irish Peace Accord: Prospects and Problems"
November 2, 2000
Research Group in International Security, Political Science

Marjorie Garber
Harvard University
"Representing the Unrepresentable"
September 28, 2000
Art History and Communication Studies

Claude Hagège
Collège de France
"Multilingualism within the North American Context"
September 28, 2000
Quebec Studies Program, Second Language Education, English and French Language Centre, Linguistics, Languages and Translation

David Levy
Jarnac Observatory and Parade
"More Things in Heaven and Earth: Speculations on Life and the Universe"
February 17, 2000 (followed by an astrobiology forum on March 9, 2000 with various speakers)
Earth and Planetary Science, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Geography

Catherine E. Snow
Harvard University
"Ensuring Success in Literacy Acquisition: Why is it so Hard?"
February 11, 2000

Michael Benedikt
University of Texas at Austin
February 1, 2000
Graduate Program in Communications


Mochtar Buchori
"The Rebuilding of the Indonesian Nation"
December 6, 1999
Indonesia Project, Philosophy, Education

Roger Chartier
École des hautes études en sciences sociales (Paris)
"Readings of Revolutions, the Construction of Authorship between Science and Literature, Molière entre la scène et la plage"
September 29-30, 1999
French Language and Literature

Steve Fuller
University of Warwick
"What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger: Why the Science Wars May Turn Out to be a Good Thing, After All"
September 21, 1999
Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Catherine Pickstock
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
"Plato's Liturgical Philosophy: The Good - The City - The Soul"
September 20, 21 and 22, 1999
English, Philosophy, Religious Studies, the Montreal Diocesan Theological College

Kathleen M. Foley
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, New York
"Transforming the Culture of Death"
May 11, 1999
Council on Palliative Care

William Maixner
University of North Carolina
"Chronic Pain is Mainly in the Brain"
April 8, 1999

Joseph Raz
University of Oxford
"Disagreements in Politics"
March 25, 1999

Art Spiegelman
"The Making of MAUS"
March 24, 1999
Hillel Jewish Student Centre and McGill Chaplaincy

Hon. Justice Richard Goldstone
Constitutional Court of South Africa
"Closing Plenary, International Conference on Hate, Genocide and Human Rights: 50 Years Later"
January 28, 1999
Law, InterAmicus

Jay Budziszewski
University of Texas
"Handling Issues of Conscience in the Academy"
January 22, 1999
Chaplaincy, Culture and Values in Education

Benjamin Gidron
Ben Guiron University, Israel
"Peace/Conflict Resolution Organizations in South African, Northern Ireland and Israeli/Palestinian Societies"
November 4, 1998
Consortium for Human Rights Advocacy Training

Claude Lorius
CNRS, France
"Climatic Change: A View from Polar Ice Cores"
November 2, 1998
Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Jörg Sennheiser
Sennheiser Eletronic, Technical University of Hannover
"Microphones for the Age of Multimedia"
September 22, 1998

Claude Steele
Stanford University
"A Threat in the Air: How Stereotypes Shape Intellectual Identity and Performance"
April 3, 1998

Philippe Schmitter
Stanford University
"The Meaning of Citizenship in a Transnational World"
March 19, 1998
Political Science

Bruce M. Wright
New York
"Bangs and Whimpers: Enigmas of the Racial Vex"
March 17, 1998
Consortium for Human Rights Advocacy Training, Consortium for Ethnicity and Strategic Social Planning

David Blakenhorn
Author of Fatherless America
Principal Speaker at Conference "Show us the Father: Paternity in Faith and History"
February 6-8, 1998
Newman Centre, Religious Studies, Culture and Values in Education, Chaplaincy, Continuing Formation Services

William Leroy Hylander
Duke University
"Evolution and Mechanical Loading of the Temporomandibular Joine"
November 5-6, 1997 

Michael Sandel
Harvard University
"Democracy's Discontent: Political Identity in a Global Age"
October 23, 1997

Patricia Smith Churchland
University of California, San Diego
"Towards a Neurobiology of Consciousness"
September 29, 1997

J.-C. Yoccoz
Université de Paris-Sud
"Celestial Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics and Dynamic Systems"
May 23, 1997
Mathematics and Statistics

Alan Kay
The Walt Disney Company
"Is the Best Way to Predict the Future to Invent It? Or Prevent It?
April 4, 1997
Computer Science

Judith Jarvis Thomson
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"Assisted Suicide"
April 1997

V. S. Ramachandran
University of California, San Diego
"Illusions of Body Image in Neurology"
March 21, 1997

Jewelle Taylor Gibbs
University of California, Berkeley
"The Challenge of Multicultural Society: Caribbean Youth in Canada"
February 7, 1997
School of Social Work

John Gordon McVie
European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer
"Genes and Jeans"
September 20, 1996
Pharmacology and Oncology

John Shearer Kelley
University of Edinburgh
"Four Founders of the McGill Medical Foundation: The Edinburgh Connection"
September 20, 1996
Pharmacology and Oncology

Keith Hammond
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
"Lecture in Conjunction with FAO's 50th Anniversary"
April 4, 1996
Animal Science

Durand Jacobs
University of California
"Gambling Behaviours in Children and Adolescents"
April 1, 1996
Educational and Counselling Psychology

Anthony Smith
Magdalen College, University of Oxford
“Oxbridge: The Real Reasons Why it Works: Information as a Paradigm of Culture”
March 26-27, 1996
Culture and Values in Education

Shelley E. Taylor
University of California, Los Angeles
"Positive Illusions, Mental Health and Survival"
March 1996

Jean Bethke Elshtain
University of Chicago
"The King is Dead, Sovereignty and Century's End"
February 8, 1996
Law and Political Science

Neil Gilbert
University of California, Berkeley
"Changing the Philosophy of Welfare"
December 7-8, 1995
Social Work

Noam Chomsky
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"The New World Order: Old or New?"
October 3, 1995

Urie Bronfenbrenner
Cornell University
"Developmental Psychology in the 21st Century: Comments by a Participant Observer"
March 17, 1995

Maria Luisa Puga
Mexican Novelist
"The Culture of an Indocumentado"
February 21, 1995

Horacio Boneo
United Nations
"Free Elections in Emerging Democracies"
January 26, 1995
United Nations Students Association

Laura Nader
University of California, Berkeley
"Colonizing the Mind: The Anthropology of Everyday Life"
November 1993

Paul Ekman
University of California
"Faces and Emotion"
October 1993

Anders Ericsson
Florida State University
"Expert Performance: Its Structure and Acquisition"
April 29, 1993
Cognitive Science Centre
Funded in memory of Guy Groen

Walter Kintsch
University of Toronto
"Learning from Texts"
April 8, 1993
Cognitive Science Centre
Funded in memory of Guy Groen

Ronald Dworkin
University of Oxford
"Justice in the Distribution of Health Care"
March 17, 1993

Gayatri Spivak
Columbia University
"Derrida and Marx"
March 4, 1993

Clemente Ruiz Duran
Universidade Nacional Automade, Mexico
"Globalization and the Emergence of Regional Markets"
October 6, 1992
Developing Area Studies

Edward Zigler
Yale University
"Efficacy of Early Childhood Education"
May 1, 1992
Educational Psychology

Carlos Fuentes
Novelist, Mexico
"Baroque New World"
March 27, 1992
Hispanic Studies, Cummings Series

Norman Daniels
Tufts University
"Distributive Justice, Access to Health Care and Equal Opportunity"
March 13, 1992

Frances Fox Piven
City University of New York (CUNY)
"Justice and Human Rights"
March 2, 1992
McHRAT School of Social Work

Alan Lesgold, James Greeno, Edward Smith and Janet Kolodner
University of Pittsburg, Stanford University, University of Michigan, George Institute of Technology
"Cognitive Science Colloquium"
December 1991-April 1992
Cognitive Science Centre

Gerd Hirzinger
German Aerospace Research Establishment
"Advances in Sensor-Controlled Robot Systems"
November 19, 1991
McGill Research Centre for Intelligent Machines

Kenneth Heilman
University of Florida
"The Substrates of Long-Term Memory"
April 29, 1991
Surgery, Neurology and Neurosurgery

Roy Porter
Wellcome Institute
"The Development of Psychiatry since the 17th Century"
March 11-13, 1991

David Sugarman
Lancaster University
"New Directions in Modern Legal History"
March 6, 1991

Jay Weiss
Duke University
"Immune System Responses to Stress"
September 20-21, 1990
Psychology, Hebb Series

R. J. Birgeneau
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"High Temperature Superconductivity"
March 30, 1990

S. Muntemba
Environmental Liaison Centre International, Nairobi
"Third World Perspectives on Sustainable Development"
March 25-28, 1990

S. C. Jacobson
University of Utah
"High Performance Robotics"
Spring 1990

Ward Swingle
"Swiggle Stype Contemporary Vocal Techniques"
March 16-17, 1990

Gerald Postema
University of North Carolina
"Foundations of Political Community"
March 12-16, 1990

Sandra Scarr
University of Virginia
"Genes and Environment Combine in Development"
March 8-9, 1990
Psychology, Hebb Series


Robert Weinberg
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"Oncogenes and Antioncogenes: A Clue to Cancer"
December 1989

Robert Shepard
Stanford University
"How the Mind Reflects the World"
September 29, 1989
Psychology, Hebb Series

Sir Michael Atiyah
University of Oxford
"New Ideas in Geometry and Physics"
September 26, 1989
Math and Statistics

Katherine Harris
City University of New York (CUNY)
"Movement Towards Integration: Communications Research for the Next 25 Years"
September 23, 1989
Human Communications Disorders

Allen Newell
Carnegie-Mellon University
"SOAR: An Integrated Architecture for Intelligence"
April 19, 1989
Electrical Engineering 

George Fletcher
"Inside Gorbachev's Courts"
March 2, 1989

Mort Mishkin
National Institute of Mental Health
"The Anatomy of Memory"
February 24, 1989

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.