Professor Chandler Davis on the consequences of asking the unaskable questions

April 21/2015

Professor Chandler Davis will speak at the third Dr. Zofia Pakula Public Lecture Series on April 27, 2015 in the Music Room at Hart House.

Davis is a Professor Emeritus in U of T’s Department of Mathematics. He is also an author and self-identified socialist who was imprisoned in 1960 for refusing to cooperate with the House Unamerican Activities Committee.

“We are honored that Davis will be joining us to give a talk about his experience in standing up for his belief in his First Amendment right to free speech,” said Rani Kotha, senior strategist in the Institute for Global Health Equity and Innovation (IGHEI) and chair of this spring’s Pakula Lecture Series selection committee.

The Pakula lecture series is hosted by IGHEI, a University-wide entity housed at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

“One mandate of the Institute is to provide a safe space to ask ‘unaskable’ questions and encourage discussion on taboo subjects, differences in opinion and robust dialogue,” said Professor Alex Jadad, IGHEI director, underscoring his belief that U of T is a place for respectful free speech.

The Pakula Lecture Series is dedicated to the belief that war is anathema to well-being. It celebrates lively discussion on global public health, human rights and the complex, multidimensional interrelationships of health and war and health and peace in an effort to “Wage Peace.”

It is sponsored by a generous endowment by Dr. Pakula’s son, Andrew, in memory of his mother, a courageous Holocaust survivor and a compassionate physician.  Former Pakula lecturers include Ursula Franklin, Professor Emerita and Massey College Senior Fellow, and James Orbinski, a professor in global health at the University of Waterloo.

Chandler Davis has worked on campaigns against racism, nuclear arms, and the destruction of the ecosystem through organizations like Science for Peace.

“As a former political prisoner, I have a special motivation to defend dissidents behind bars,” said Davis whose lecture,Choosing our Future, promises to be provocative and captivating.

Davis will be joined in conversation with Howard Hu, Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Hu is a physician-academic, who has been involved in numerous human rights missions on the effects of toxic exposures to civilian populations in conflict situations. He is a founding board member of Physicians for Human Rights and served as the Director of the Research Commission for the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) on the health effects of atomic weapon production.  Both Physicians for Human Rights and IPPNW have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.

The event is open to the entire U of T community and registration is complimentary. Food and refreshments will be provided following the lecture.

Please RSVP here: