Virtual Speaker Series

Welcome to the 29th year of the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies’ speaker series! Though the COVID-19 pandemic keeps us from meeting in-person for at least a little while longer, we will continue to make available the cutting-edge scholarship currently being done on Canada’s past and present to the general public.

Until Canadian public health officials and the leadership team at Wilfrid Laurier University allow for the safe resumption of in-person gatherings, all speaker series events will take place virtually on Zoom.

Registration is required. Should you have any questions about the speaker series, please send Eric an e-mail at [email protected]

Give War a Chance: Are Peace-Building and Stabilization a Bust after Afghanistan?

Alistair Edgar

December 1st at 7:30pm ET | Register HERE

Even before the Taliban’s rapid return to power in Afghanistan, most western governments—including Canada—appeared to have abandoned their willingness to engage in peacekeeping, peace-building and/or ‘stabilization’ interventions that involved placing western ‘boots on the ground’ in support of populations who were facing large scale threats of violence. This presentation will consider why that dis-engagement has taken place, and what it means for Canada and especially the Canadian Forces.

ALISTAIR EDGAR is Associate Professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University, with cross-appointment to the Balsillie School of International Affairs. He has been closely associated with the Laurier Centre over the past two decades. He is an editor of Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations (Brill/Nijhoff), and served as Executive Director of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) in 2003-2008 and 2010-2018. Outside of his scholarly activities, he is President of the Canadian Landmine Foundation.

The Devil’s Trick: How Canada Fought the Vietnam War

John Boyko

January 12th at 7:00pm ET | Register HERE

Through the lens of six remarkable people, some well-known, and others obscure, John Boyko will recount Canada’s often-overlooked involvement in the Vietnam War that began before the Americanization of that slow-motion tragedy and lasted long after the Americans left. Canada was a perhaps naive peacemaker, combatant, a cynical provider of weaponry, and a sanctuary. In uncovering Canada’s complex involvement in the Vietnam War, the many secrets and often forgotten ways that Canada not only fought the war but was shaped by its lessons and lies will be revealed.

JOHN BOYKO has written eight books including Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation, that was shortlisted for a Governor General’s award, and Cold Fire: Kennedy’s Northern Front that was shortlisted for the Dafoe Prize. Boyko is an op-ed contributor and writes for the Canadian Encyclopedia. He has degrees from Trent, Queen’s, and McMaster Universities, served on and chaired many boards, and has been elected to municipal office.

Is There a War on Science?

Maya Goldenberg

February 16th at 7:00pm ET | Register HERE

Using vaccine hesitancy as a case study, I argue against the common view that public controversy over scientific claims is part of a culture war on science. These controversies instead highlight a social fracturing that divides scientific institutions from the public. I present the alternative view that vaccine hesitancy signals a crisis of trust that invites different thinking about the nature of science, its relationships to the public, and what effective public health outreach should entail.

MAYA GOLDENBERG is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Guelph. Her research is in philosophy of science and medicine. She is author of Vaccine Hesitancy: Public Trust, Expertise, and the War on Science (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021).

For a list of past speakers, click here.