Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

February 27, 2004

Pioneer of environmental science movement to speak at Hammond Lectures

A pioneer of the concept of environmentally sustainable development will be the keynote speaker during this year’s Kenneth Hammond Lectures on Environment, Energy and Resources March 5 and 6 at the University of Guelph.

Lester Brown, a respected environmentalist, author and agricultural economist, will speak on “Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble” March 5 at 7 p.m. in War Memorial Hall. During an all-day symposium on March 6, five U of G faculty members will deliver a series of lectures on environmental issues starting at 9 a.m. at the Cutten Club, Commonwealth Room. A panel discussion will follow at 3:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Faculty of Environmental Sciences and U of G, the lecture and symposium are free and open to the public.

“The Hammond Lectures have been a showcase for communicating environmental science and policy and providing feedback from the community to the University,” said Josef Ackerman, associate dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, an interdisciplinary teaching and research unit that spans five colleges on campus. “We hope this will be an event that brings students, staff, faculty and the community together.”

Brown is the Earth Policy Institute’s president and senior researcher and has been described by the Washington Post as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers.” The recipient of more than 20 honorary degrees, he is the author of several books, and has been recognized for his exceptional contributions to solving global environmental problems with a MacAuthur Fellowship, the United Nations Environment Prize, the World Wide Fund for Nature Gold Medal and the Blue Planet Prize.

His “Plan B” describes his ideas for relieving pressures on resources, including stabilizing population, using water more efficiently and cutting atmospheric carbon emissions. Those are examples of issues studied by numerous U of G faculty, said Ackerman.

Speakers for the symposium on March 6 are the following:
Craig Pearson, dean, Ontario Agricultural College: “The State and Future of Agriculture: Malthus, Sustainability and Connectivity,” 9 a.m.

David Castle, philosophy: “What the Ecological Footprint Steps On,” 10 a.m.

Glenn Fox, agricultural economics and business: “The State of the Environment: An Economic Perspective,” 11 a.m.

Gerald Mackie, zoology: “The State of the Environment: An Ecosystem Approach to Recovery of the Sydenham River,” 1 p.m.

Stuart McCook, history: “The State of the Environment: A Historical Perspective,” 2 p.m.

The lecture series was inaugurated in 2000 to acknowledge Kenneth Hammond’s advocacy of environmental and resource issues and his concern for environmental education. A former member of the University’s Board of Governors and a founder of Hammond Manufacturing, he was instrumental in establishing the Arboretum and developing one of Guelph’s pioneer distance education courses. Past lectures have been broadcast on the CBC Radio program Ideas and are published in books with critical commentary from U of G faculty.

Seating for the March 6 symposium is limited; register at

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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