McLaughlin College serves up full menu for November Lunch Talk Series

McLaughlin College invites the York University community to come and listen to interesting speakers as they share their knowledge on a variety of topics during the popular Lunch Talk Series. The long-running series continues this year in a virtual format via Zoom.

Students who attend six or more Lunch Talks throughout the year will receive a Certificate of Participation, while those who attend 10 or more will receive a Certificate of Honour.

Upcoming events scheduled for November include:

Elies van Sliedregt

Nov. 3: Universal Jurisdiction: “Each to Their Own Jurisdiction”? – 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Presented by Elies van Sliedregt, a professor of law at Leeds University and director of its Centre of Criminal Justice Studies, this talk will focus on how, increasingly, international crimes are investigated and prosecuted by national prosecutors before domestic courts. The prosecution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide is, however, complex. This is especially the case when done on the basis of universal jurisdiction (UJ), where offences have (allegedly) been committed by non-nationals abroad. Van Sliedregt will discuss some poignant domestic cases of international crimes prosecution and highlight controversies around the exercise of UJ.

Register here.

Nov. 9: Advanced AI and Health Care: Is Consent in Jeopardy? – 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Jordan Joseph Wadden

Co-sponsored by the York Collegium for Practical Ethics, this talk is presented by Jordan Joseph Wadden, a PhD candidate specializing in biomedical ethics, artificial intelligence (AI) ethics and the philosophy of (bio)technology.

Some have suggested that the introduction of more and more advanced artificial intelligence to health care will run the risk of jeopardizing patient-informed consent. However, these claims are stated as generalized reasons against artificial intelligence without significant exploration or analysis. Wadden synthesizes the existing statements and concerns regarding consent into two main arguments against artificial intelligence and calls these the “Understandability Argument” and the “Personhood Argument.” He argues that, while these challenges are theoretically reasonable, they do not practically map onto our desired applications. Instead, allowing these worries to dictate artificial intelligence policy and development in health care may hinder beneficial patient care. 

Register here.

Nov. 10: Engaging the Margins: Critical Disability Studies, Mad Studies and Bioethics – 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Kathleen Lowenstein

Co-sponsored by the York Collegium for Practical Ethics, this talk is presented by Kathleen Lowenstein, a doctoral student at Michigan State University whose research focuses on the ethics of mental health and illness, with a specific focus on lived experience of voice hearing and experiences commonly understood as psychosis

In recent years, critical disability studies has highlighted the need for the inclusion of the voices of individuals with disabilities within bioethics. While much has been written about disability in bioethics, relatively little has been written by those who identify as disabled: a disjunction in a literature that frequently engages with questions of disability in considerations of issues such as capacity and medical aid in dying, but which frequently neglects to actively engage with the perspectives of disabled individuals. In a similar vein, the emerging discipline of mad studies seeks to centre the historically under-represented voices of those identifying as “mad” and/or those who have lived experience of mental illness.

While bioethics has begun to engage with critical disability studies, relatively little attention has been paid to the implications that interventions from within radical mental health, particularly interventions based on pushback against standard conceptual frameworks, have for conceptualizations of ethical responses to experiences of madness and distress more broadly. This presentation seeks to bridge the gap by placing mad studies into conversation with bioethics. In particular, it situates itself at the intersection between mad studies and bioethics, asking how commonly-encountered ethical dilemmas (such as treatment non-adherence) change when understood from a perspective that integrates current work in psychiatry with an explicit awareness of power relations in the provider-service user dynamic. In so doing, it makes the argument that ethics begins in centring the voices of those who have historically existed at the margins.

Register here.

Nov. 11: McLaughlin College Union Debate on Regulation of the Social Media – 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Congress, a number of social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, blocked the then-U.S. president Donald Trump from their platforms. This was not accepted universally, as others saw this as a limitation on the freedom speech.

It is noteworthy that even the Canadian Civil Liberties Association does not oppose the regulation of online communications.

Governments have already proposed and introduced legislation that would require social media companies to remove harmful content from their platforms within 24 hours of it being reported. New regulatory bodies have also been proposed to monitor social media platforms that would cover harmful content, that are drawn from five areas in the Criminal Code: hate speech; child sexual exploitation; non-consensual sharing of intimate images; incitement to violence; and terrorism.

During this event, a group of experts will debate the following proposition: This House accepts that social media platforms should apply the same content moderation rules to global leaders as they do to other users.

The event will be moderated by James C. Simeon, head of McLaughlin College and associate professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University.

Panellists include:

Étienne Brown, an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at San José State University, where he teaches the ethics of technology to the aspiring computer scientists of Silicon Valley. Brown will argue against the proposition.

Natasha Tusikov is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Science at York University. Her research examines the intersection among law, crime, technology and regulation. Tusikov will argue in favour of the proposition.

Anne F. MacLennan is an associate professor, Department of Communication Studies, York University, and the editor of Journal of Radio and Audio Media, 2017-21. MacLennan will argue in favour of the proposition.

Regina Rini holds the Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Moral and Social Cognition and is an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at York University. She studies how social norms should be negotiated in democratic societies, particularly in response to technological change. Rini will argue against the proposition.

Register here.