IRIS launches lecture series with talk on the culture of flushing

The Culture of Flushing: A Social and Legal History of Sewage is the title of Jamie Benidickson’s book and the lecture he is giving Wednesday at York.

At a time when water issues are rapidly gaining world-wide importance, even in an area so apparently well-endowed with water as the Greater Toronto Area, this lecture promises to be timely, informative and even entertaining.

It is the first of four anticipated lectures this year sponsored by York’s Institute for Research & Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS). The other three – Hydrogen Fuel, Dirty Gold and Living Without Garbage will also look at current issues in sustainability.

Left: Jamie Benidickson

Benidickson teaches Canadian and international environmental law, water law and legal history at the University of Ottawa. His publications in these areas include the forthcoming Environmental Law 3d and The Culture of Flushing, published this year by UBC Press.  

He has helped draft public policy for a number of royal commissions and inquiries, most recently the Walkerton inquiry. He has also held administrative positions with professional and academic organizations and is currently co-director of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, based at the University of Ottawa. (IUCN, commonly known as the World Conservation Union, stands for International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.)

After graduating from Trent University, he earned a law degree from the University of Toronto and a master of law degree from Harvard. His research projects centre on governance regimes for watersheds, biodiversity and sustainable development in Canada, a social history of the Lake of the Woods, and the regulation of beer and breweries.

Benidickson speaks on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 4:30pm in Room 0016, TEL Building. Refreshments and a book signing session will follow the presentation.