Aliens, armed conflict topics of Vancouver Institute free lectures

Alice Mansell, vice-president, Academic at the Technical University of B.C., medical historian Michael Bliss and culture and communications expert Todd Gitlin are among the speakers in the Vancouver Institute's free public lecture series at UBC which runs every Saturday, except public holidays, to Dec. 9.

All lectures take place at 8:15 p.m. in Woodward Instructional Resources Centre lecture hall 2, with the exception of the Nov. 18 lecture which takes place in the UBC School of Music Recital Hall.

Lectures in the series are:

Sept. 23: Prof. Doreen Kimura, "Are Men's and Women's Brains Really Different?"

A psychology researcher from Simon Fraser University, Kimura looks at the neurobiology of human abilities with emphasis on the brain and hormonal mechanisms of problem solving.

Sept. 30: Prof. Michael Bliss, "William Osler and the Canadian Tradition of Medical Excellence"

Considered Canada's leading writer of medical history, Bliss is visiting UBC as part of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine.

Oct. 14: Alice Mansell, "Bio/Graphics: The Role of Technology in the Art of Story-telling"

Vice-president, Academic of the Technical University of B.C., Mansell previously served as president of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and is an artist and lecturer in contemporary art theory and art education.

Oct. 21: Prof. Jane G. Schaller, "The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children"

One of the founders of Physicians for Human Rights, Schaller has helped focus the attention of medical professionals and the world on the effects of war on children and youth.

Oct. 28: Prof. Thomas Homer-Dixon, "The Ingenuity Gap: How We Can Solve the Problems of the Future?"

A director of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Toronto, Homer-Dixon looks at social adaptation to complex stress and causes of ethnic conflicts.

Nov. 4: Prof. Todd Gitlin, "The Overloaded Self in a Jump-cut Culture"

Gitlin holds degrees in mathematics, political science and sociology. He is a central figure in the study of mass media, communications and journalism.

Nov. 18: Prof. Martin Bresnick, "Bresnick After Blake: The Gates of Paradise." (performance and lecture)

A celebrated composer from the School of Music at Yale University, Bresnick's work includes chamber music, symphonic compositions and computer music.

Nov. 25: Prof. Patricia Marchak, "God's Assassins: A Dramatization"

Former UBC dean of Arts, Marchak wrote God's Assassins: State Terrorism in Argentina in the 1970s based on interviews with trade unionists, guerillas, military officers and others. This performance is a dramatic presentation of some of those interviews.

Dec. 2: Prof. Jaymie Matthews, "The Search for Alien Worlds"

Mission scientist for a project that will launch a suitcase-sized satellite as Canada's first space observatory, Matthews will discuss some of the mysteries of alien planetary systems recently discovered.

Dec. 9: Prof. Roger Howe, "Chinese Excellence in Mathematics Teaching: Can We Match It in North America?"

A graduate of Harvard University and University of California at Berkeley, Howe is a former Guggenheim Foundation Fellow. His lecture is co-sponsored by UBC's Dept. of Mathematics which is hosting an international conference on Mathematics in December.

The fall series started Sept. 16 with Jeffrey Simpson's lecture, "Star-spangled Canadians: Canadians Living the American Dream."

Recent books published by series speakers will be available at the door and the UBC Bookstore.

For more information, check the website at or call UBC-INFO, 604-822-4636.