Speaker series stuff… (working on it, working on it)

We’re often asked who else are you bringing out for your speaker series, and to be frank, this year it’s been really difficult to nail down the who, the when, and the where. Right now all we can say is that we are trying our best and we have a few leads for the second semester.

Maybe for now, you can take a look at this.


This is our white board wish-list scribbled back in April, as determined by primarily the suggestions from our student team as well as feedback generated through email, discussions, etc (note the amusing reference to Justin Timberlake at the bottom). Seriously though, if you happen to be the niece, nephew, godchild, drinking buddy, etc of any one of these people (or people like this), then that is exactly the sort of information we would love to have to help bring interesting folks out in subsequent years.

Anyway, why don’t we open this post up to further suggestions. And if you have some info on the dude or dudette you’d think would make a great speaker, or even a link, then that would also be great.

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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and boingboing.net. He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at popperfont.net.

20 Responses to “Speaker series stuff… (working on it, working on it)”

  1. Churmy Fan

    For Bill Gates, my dad knows the head guy (not sure his name, I can ask) at the new Microsoft division that’s being built in Vancouver. Maybe he can help out? If not Bill Gates, maybe another good speaker from Microsoft will do?
    Question: are the ones circled, confirmed?

  2. Churmy Fan

    I think it would be awsome if somebody could bring in George Soros. OR if you could bring in Steve Jobs and Bill Gates TOGETHER. That would be very entertaining.

  3. Nick Wiebe

    I’d love to see Richard Stallman give a talk. He’s sort of crazy – well, quite crazy, in fact – but definitely an interesting fellow. And he does have interesting things to say about freedom of information, etc.

  4. chris oatman

    Bill Rees is a fantastic speaker and he works at UBC (when he’s not out traveling). Julian Darley from the Post Carbon Institute (www.postcarbon.org) is a very animated and polarizing speaker – he generates a lot of discussion!

  5. Mike S

    From your list I’d recommend George Soros and Joseph Stiglitz.

    Several more who are not on the list:
    Joshua Farley – ecological economist
    Fritjof Capra – professor, systems thinking and design
    Yochai Benkler – professor, dynamics of human cooperation

  6. Leigh-Anne

    I second Julian Darley! I saw him speak at the library once and he’s an excellent speaker.

    I don’t know him personally, unfortunately, nor anyone similar and I’ve been racking my brain for a solid five minutes.

  7. Stephen McNeil

    Well, James Watson is a racist prick, so don’t get him.

    Frankly, Richard Dawkins has become a bit of an embarrassment since he quite talking about evolution and started ranting incoherently about the evils of religion. If you actually want that kind of thing, at least get Christopher Hitchens.

    Stephen Jay Gould is dead, as is Carl Sagan, so that’s no good.

    OK, here, two names not on the list:

    Karen Armstrong is an excellent speaker — bright, eloquent, funny, passionate. Better in person than her books, and the books are pretty good, actually.

    There’s a chemistry Nobel Laureate at Cornell names Roald Hoffmann. In addition to theoretical chemistry, he dabbles in philosophy, and writes poetry and plays. He always has neat ideas linking the humanities and the sciences (articles like “The Semiotics of Chemistry” aren’t things you see every day), and the role of science and technology in society.

    I don’t know either of them, though, so no drinking buddy angle.

  8. Hana Kucera

    For those not familiar with some of the speakers, and want samples, many of them have spoken at TED over the years. The videos of their talks are all archived at http://www.ted.com (I see one link above). I highly recommend checking out the TED talks in general – so much amazing and inspirational stuff can be found there. Perhaps some future thoughts for speakers as well. Enjoy!

  9. William Flanigan

    How about Jon Stuart? I hear he’s not up to much these days…

  10. Eli K

    Charles Cannon has probably done the most innovative work in merging technology with the traditional Eastern meditation practices. As someone who has practiced traditional meditation techniques, his sound tracks provided the depth of those experiences plus much more. He is an extremely dynamic speaker on merging techology with meditation as well as the need for a modern mysticism. His book The Bliss of Freedonm is quite interesting along with his website synchronicity.org.

    Without question, he would be a great speaker and provide a unique meditation experience for those interested in participating with him.

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