UBC Dialogues


Learn, discover, contribute…

UBC alumni regularly gather to engage in dialogue about complex social issues. Join us in your community and hear how UBC’s interdisciplinary research and teaching are addressing these issues.

Upcoming Events in the UBC Dialogues Series

Why are people afraid of chemicals?

November 17, 2016

Nature would not exist without chemicals. In recent years, however, consumers have become suspicious of all things artificial or chemical, leading to an explosion in claims about the benefits of “organic,” “natural,” and “pure” foods and products. Where did these fears originate? How should we address them? Does marketing drive chemophobia or does science back… Read more

Past Events in the UBC Dialogues Series

Can developing nations lead the movement towards climate solutions?

At the December 2015 Paris climate conference (COP21), 195 countries agreed to reduce their carbon emissions and limit global climate change. While the agreement was ambitious, it also recognized that less developed countries would require more time to begin reducing their emissions. While some question whether it is fair to hold them to the same… Read more

UBC Dialogues Okanagan: Can money buy happiness?

There’s been much debate among psychologists, economists and social scientists over the relationship between money and happiness – specifically, whether money can buy happiness. While some researchers would argue that it cannot, the recent Powerball lottery frenzy in the US strongly suggests that many of us believe that it can. Is money the key to… Read more

Baiting, Selling, and Telling: Is there still a place for objective journalism?

News travels fast online. However, so do rumours, shocking photos, veiled advertisements and outright lies. With the rise of social media and citizen journalism, we’ve never had so many messages, from so many sources, available at our fingertips. However, it has become clear in recent years that news shared online comes with serious risks due… Read more

Okanagan Wines: How Much Does Terroir Matter?

UBC Dialogues: Okanagan Every wine is unique. Distinctive qualities are often attributed to terroir – how the wine’s flavours and characteristics are expressed through the soil, location and climate. How do vineyard managers and winemakers make the most of their specific terroir? In what ways do the unique and diverse micro-climates and regions of the… Read more

Water worries: What is the state of our most valuable resource?

UBC Dialogues: Vancouver

We often hear about the possibility of future water wars as populations can’t survive without adequate and safe supplies of fresh water. In recent years, the effects of climate change have led to a global redistribution of water reserves, and agricultural and industrial uses are further straining our supplies of clean fresh water. California is… Read more

In Search of Happiness: Is there a secret to feeling content?

UBC Dialogues: Vancouver

What is the key to happiness? Is it family relationships? Wealth? Job satisfaction? Helping others? Perhaps we need to spend more time in nature, and less time in cities. And is happiness a universal feeling, or are there significant differences in the experience of it based on culture, age or other factors? There are so… Read more

Eradicating child poverty in BC: Where do we begin?

UBC Dialogues: Vancouver

BC’s child poverty rate is the highest in Canada with close to 1 in 5 children living below the poverty line. For single-parent households, it’s nearly 1 in 2. Research suggests that children who have all of their basic needs met from an early age live longer, healthier, and more productive lives, while children brought… Read more

Why do people lie?

UBC Dialogues: Okanagan

There are many types of lies and many reasons for telling them. Deception has long been a tactic in business and in many aspects of life. We lie to our children, our parents, our significant others…But are all lies created equal? Does intent matter or are “white lies” a myth? Are some people born liars… Read more

Should we have the right to die?

UBC Dialogues: North Shore

Some of us will never have to ask the question, “How do I want to die?” But for individuals with terminal illnesses or conditions that cause them chronic pain, it is a regular consideration. Assisted suicide remains illegal in Canada but public support is growing for individuals to have greater control over how and when… Read more

Is China becoming the new digital superpower?

UBC Dialogues: Hong Kong

As a result of government control over communications technology in China, a tech industry has emerged within China’s regulatory framework. WeChat, Weibo, Alibaba and Baidu are becoming global giants in the social media and e-commerce worlds, rivalling the dominant leaders in the West. As these Chinese tech communications companies start to look outwards from China’s… Read more


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