Got a minute, or two? Academic Minute looks at ‘Is Eating People Wrong?’

Osgoode Hall Law School and the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) have teamed up to make York the first Canadian university to participate in the National Public Radio program Academic Minute.

The Academic Minute is the brainchild of Alan Chartock of WAMC, a radio station based at Mount Holyoke College in the US. The daily program, hosted by Mount Holyoke President Lynn Pasquerella, features a 100-second monologue by a professor about his or her research or an academic debate. These “minutes” are broadcast through 28 radio stations across the US, through Inside Higher Ed (a website and blog with 90,000 readers) and other social media platforms.

Allan HutchinsonThe first Academic Minute produced at York features Allan Hutchinson (right), incoming dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Distinguished Research Professor at Osgoode, talking about his recent book, Is Eating People Wrong?: Great Legal Cases and How they Shaped the World.


To listen to Hutchinson on today’s Academic Minute, click here.


The book (see YFileJan. 14) has attracted wide international attention. It takes its name from the 1884 English case of The Queen v. Dudley and Stephens, who were prosecuted for killing and eating the cabin boy who shared their lifeboat after a shipwreck. While controversial, the case exemplifies fundamental questions about the nature of criminal responsibility and illustrates how the common law develops historically in response to the vagaries of the human condition.

“The Academic Minute is a great way to highlight the important role that faculty play as public intellectuals, and to ensure the average citizen listening to their radio or surfing the web can share in the research being done at the University,” said Lisa Philipps, associate dean research, graduate studies & institutional relations at Osgoode. She added that the law school hopes to develop many more of these “minutes” to showcase faculty members’ research for a wide audience.

The initiative was launched by Osgoode research coordinator Inbal Marcovitch and Chad Craig, manager of communications & public relations for FGS. Marcovitch said it supports York’s knowledge mobilization initiatives “by disseminating research findings, debates and ideas beyond the traditional scholarly community and by engaging listeners in a fun, knowledge-sharing experience.”