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Campus Bulletin

February 23, 2006

President's Dialogue Huge Success

The inaugural President’s Dialogue on the role of the media in a changing global community was a tremendous success, attracting close to 400 University and community members and some 400 viewers online.

In fact, the event, which was held Wednesday afternoon in Room 103 of Rozanski Hall, was so popular people filled an overflow room and watched the proceedings via the Internet. The dialogue will be available online later this week.

The dialogue featured some of Canada’s leading journalists, authors and media executives. Participants were Gwynne Dyer, one of Canada’s most respected and prolific freelance journalists, broadcasters and lecturers; Scott Griffin, founder of the Griffin Prize for poetry and director of Anansi Press; Arthur Carty, a national science advisor and the former president of the National Research Council of Canada; Michael MacMillan, executive chairman of Alliance Atlantis; John McMurtry, a philosopher and U of G professor emeritus; Marci McDonald, a freelance journalist and contributing editor to The Walrus magazine; and Stephen Strauss, former Globe and Mail reporter and science journalist. It was moderated by president Alastair Summerlee.

The participants exchanged views with each other and took questions from both the live and web audiences. The discussion ranged from the publication of controversial cartoons to the power and responsibilities of the media to the role of technology.

It was the first in what will become an annual President’s Dialogue. The next dialogue will be in June 2007 and the theme will be Canada’s role as a global citizen.

The dialogues are part of a series of ongoing events and symposia U of G is sponsoring to engage the public in stimulating discussions on emerging global issues. In November, the University hosted a special forum on the state of public affairs in Canada and in January, it sponsored a public forum on BSE and bird flu with the Royal Society of Canada. In April, Summerlee will host a national symposium on “Making Poverty History.”

“We live in a complex and integrated world,” Summerlee says. “Our objective is to mobilize some of the best minds in the country to discuss issues of great social importance with the public.”

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