The York Circle Lecture and Lunch Series

2017 Lecture and Lunch Series

Please join us for a special York Circle Lecture and Lunch hosted by York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton. Alongside our new Academic Chair Dr. Pillai Riddell , hear four of York's leading faculty members on a wide range of interesting and topical subjects. Complimentary coffee, light snacks and lunch will be provided.

The York Circle Lecture and Lunch Series showcases York's leading professors speaking about their latest and most exciting research. The lecture series are available to York Alumni, parents of current York students, friends and neighbours of the University, through a series of free lectures offered four times annually.

Saturday, October 21| 10am-1pm

Registration, coffee & light snacks: 9–9:45am
Opening remarks: 9:45am

Location: Life Sciences Building, Keele campus, York University


Event Schedule

First Session (10am-11am)



Session 1A, Room 103 – Measuring What’s Treasured? Budgets as if Women Mattered

Today many disparities and inequalities between the sexes have become embedded, to a greater or lesser extent, in the allocation of public resources. Gender budgeting is one tool now widely used in over 90 countries to supplement tax and spending decisions to yield greater income and tax fairness.  Canada has also inaugurated such a process in its 2017 Federal Budget. This talk will explore the potential benefits of gender budgeting and give some examples from other countries of how policies can achieve greater fairness and efficiency.

Speaker: Isabella Bakker – Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Politics at York University and a York Research Chair on Global Economic Governance, Gender and Human Rights

Isabella Bakker is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Politics at York University and a York Research Chair on Global Economic Governance, Gender and Human Rights.  She is also the founding Director of the Gender Budget Lab @York. Bakker is the author and editor of The Strategic Silence: Gender and Economic Policy (Zed), Power, Production and Social Reproduction: Human In/security in the Global Political Economy (with Stephen Gill, Palgrave/Macmillan), co-editor with Rachel Silvey of Beyond States and Markets: The Challenges of Social Reproduction (Routledge) and most recently, (with Brigitte Young and Diane Elson) Questioning Financial Governance from a Feminist Perspective (Routledge). She has held visiting professorships at a number of institutions including the European University Institute, New York University and the University of California, Santa Barbara.  She has also held consultancies with the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the ILO/International Training Centre, the Canadian government as well as with numerous advocacy groups dedicated to advancing economic and social justice.


Session 1B, Room 106 The OSIRIS-REx Mission and its Canadian Laser Altimeter 

The NASA OSIRIS-REx mission that launched in September 2016 will sample asteroid 101955 Bennu, the first B-type asteroid to be visited by a spacecraft. Bennu is thought to be primitive, carbonaceous, and spectrally most closely related to CI and/or CM meteorites. Canada, through the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), has contributed the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA).  It will measure the range between the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and the surface of Bennu to produce digital terrain maps of unprecedented spatial scales for a planetary mission. The mission and Canadian instrument will be described by the PI for the altimeter.

Speaker: Michael Daly – Associate Professor and York Research Chair in Planetary Science, Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering

Michael Daly is the York University Research Chair in Planetary Science.  His research interests center on answering a variety of planetary science questions using custom instrumentation in the laboratory or in-situ with a particular focus on small-body research. He recently received the honor from the International Astronomical Union of having the asteroid 1999 UW25 renamed as (129973) Michaeldaly.  He was also the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute’s 2016 W. Rupert Turnbull lecturer who is selected for his/her association with some significant achievement in the scientific or engineering fields of aeronautics, space-associated technologies or their application. This honor recognized Dr. Daly’s contribution to Canadian planetary science mission contributions.

Break: 11-11:20am

Second Session (11:20am-12:20pm)


Session 2A, Room 103 – Amin Mawani
Taxes and Decision-Making

Session 2A, Room 103 – Taxes and Decision-Making

This session will examine how taxes impact our day-to-day decisions, and how we can incorporate taxes to improve our decisions such as when we pay our bills; how we make charitable contributions; whether we pay down mortgage or contribute to RRSP; whether we should save inside RRSPs or TFSAs; where we should withdraw first at retirement (from RRSP, TFSA or non-registered savings); how we can effectively split invesment income and pension income between spouses; and how we can incorporate taxes in planning for divorce settlements. This non-technical session will offer a primer on tax planning for people in all demographic groups.

Speaker: Amin Mawani, Associate Professor, Schulich School of Business

Amin Mawani is an associate professor of taxation at the Schulich School of Business and Osgoode Hall Law School. He earned his Ph.D in Taxation from the University of Waterloo and his Masters in Law in Taxation from Osgoode Hall Law School. Amin is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Professor Mawani's research has been cited and op-ed articles published in The Globe and Mail, The Wall Street Journal and The Toronto Star.

Session 2B, Room 105 - Dr. Ronald E. Pearlman
Genome Engineering and its Applications Including Legal and Ethical Issues

Session 2B, Room 106 Genome Engineering and its Applications Including Legal and Ethical Issues

Precise manipulation and editing genomes has been a spectacular advance in the life sciences and is a revolution in biomedical science with profound applications and implications in all areas of the life sciences. The technology for genome editing, referred to as 'CRISPR', has developed very recently from basic studies on adaptive immunity in bacteria; how bacteria protect themselves from viral infection. Many of the applications of genome editing, in medicine (e.g. ‘precision medicine’) and in other areas, have important ethical consequences. We will discuss the scientific foundation of the technology and introduce some of its applications, as well as discussing legal and ethical implications for the use of the technology.

Speaker: Dr. Ronald E. Pearlman, Associate Scientific Director, Department of Biology

Dr. Pearlman received a Ph.D. from Harvard University, working with Nobel Prize winner Konrad Bloch. He has served on the Gairdner Foundation Medical Review Panel and Medical Advisory Board, and is presently the Foundation's Associate Scientific Director. He also serves as an Advisor on the Council of the Royal Canadian Institute for Science. An active and productive York faculty member since 1968 including administrative roles such as Interim Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, he formally retired from York University in 2008 as University Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar. He maintains an active research program using genomic and proteomic techniques in addressing questions of gene organization and expression.

Complimentary lunch: 12:20-1pm
Event ends: 1pm




Event Location

The York Circle Lecture and Lunch Series take place on York University’s Keele campus in the Life Sciences Building.  For directions to Keele campus by car or public transit, visit and click on the relevant link under the “Transit and Driving Directions” heading.  If you plan to drive, you will be required to pay for parking.  Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The closest public parking lots are:

  • Arboretum parking garage #80 on the map ($7.00 Flat Rate). Pull a ticket from the machine upon entry and pay at the pay station when leaving. Machine accepts cash, coins and credit cards.
  • Thompson Road ‘Pay and Display’ parking lot #79 on the map ($7.00 Flat Rate). You are required to purchase a ticket from the ‘Pay and Display’ machine in the lot and place it on the driver’s side of the dash. Machine accepts coins and credit cards only.