Week of April 14

Monday April 14
William Shakespeare was born 450 years ago this month, into a period when new ideas about the human body, the earth and the universe were threatening the old medieval worldview. Journalist and author Dan Falk examines the science of the Bard of Avon.

Tuesday, April 15
Stan Douglas is both a cutting-edge contemporary art star, and a neighbourhood historian of his home city.  From his downtown Vancouver studio, he makes new works of photography and video that look like something out of the city archive. Eleanor Wachtel talks to Stan Douglas about his work, and his latest project Helen Lawrence, a theatre piece, created in collaboration with television writer Chris Haddock.

Wednesday, April 16
We are constantly at war with microbes -- SARS, MERS, E.coli, C.difficile -- filthy little organisms that threaten our health and safety. These pathogens can be deadly, but have we gone too far? Is eliminating our exposure to microbes actually bad for us? Microbiologist Dr. Brett Finlay argues that we're entering a golden era in our understanding of microbes, and that new technologies are giving us unprecedented insights into health and disease. This lecture was presented by the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies.

Thursday April 17
Physicist Vandana Shiva has become one of the world's leading environmental thinkers. In a lecture presented at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, she explores how "earth rights" are human rights. From the lecture series Fragile Freedoms: the Global Struggle for Human Rights.

Friday, April 18

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem Evangeline begins with the words "This is the forest primeval". Longfellow was talking about the rich Acadian forest, and was taking a little poetic license. In fact, settlers and boat-builders had already pillaged those forests. They were later altered again and again as the pulp and paper industry flourished. Some wonder whether those forests of 500 years ago can be regrown. Are our forests fiber mines or recreational playgrounds? Are they an economic engine or necessary for our environmental health? And are they essential, as some neuroscientific research is suggesting, to our mental well being? IDEAS contributor Dick Miller re-imagines the forest of the future.

Ideas in the Afternoon - Monday, April 14
Ever since our ancestors rose to their feet, our species has been defined by walking upright. But the act involves our minds as well as our bodies. We interpret the act of walking, and give it our stamp - from ramblers to Rousseau, from models and tramps to Buddhist monks. In this two-part series, Marilyn Powell explores the world of walking and what it means to us.

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