John Kenneth Galbraith Lecture in Public Policy

The John Kenneth Galbraith Lectureship in Public Policy is intended to bring outstanding figures to Memorial University whose work reflects their commitment to excellence in scholarship and public affairs. The Lectureship is an initiative of Memorial Uni­versity and is one of the major events open to the general public during the academic year.

The 2017 Galbraith Lecture will feature Dr. Gwynne Dyer on Monday, September 11, 2017. Learn more and get your tickets here.

It is named in honour of John Kenneth Galbraith, the internationally-renowned economist who was awarded an honourary doctorate of letters at Memorial’s 1999 fall convocation. Dr. Galbraith is known for his development of Keynesian and post-Keynesian economics, the economics of the modern large firm, as well as for his writing and his active involvement in American politics.

Normally, the John Kenneth Galbraith Lecturer will spend three to five working days at Memo­rial. The purpose of the lectureship is to expose faculty, students, public servants and the general public to timely and significant public issues. The lectureship is a window to the larger world of public policy, and is meant to put important and complex issues in context. The lectureship con­sists of three separate components:

  • A public lecture aimed at the educated citizen. This is the main event of the Lectureship and is typically held on a weekday evening. To encourage public participation, admission is free, and a reception is held afterwards where the audience can meet the lecturer.
  • Formal and informal discussions with faculty and students of Memorial. These are coordinated by the Faculty of Arts and are open to the public by invitation only.
  • Formal and informal discussions with public servants and community representatives on public policy issues. These events will normally be open to faculty and students, however, some costs may need to be incurred by faculty members and the students.

The lectureship is held under the auspices the President, and is coordinated jointly by the Dean of Arts and by the Director of the Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, or their representatives.

Selecting the Galbraith Lecturer

The task of selecting the topic and the speaker are undertaken by a panel. The panel consists of persons who can authoritatively discuss (1) topics of current inter­est in public policy, (2) appropriate candidates for Lecturer and (3) target audiences. It consists of three ex officio members, six members of the University community, and one member appointed by the committee of the whole:

  • The President of Memorial University, who chairs the committee (ex officio).
  • The Dean of Arts or delegate (ex officio).
  • The Associate Director for Public Policy at the Harris Centre (ex officio).
  • Up to six academic staff members, broadly representative of different parts of the univer­sity involved in public policy, appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Dean of Arts and the Associate Director for Public Policy. The term is for two years. Faculty members who are interested in serving on the Galbraith panel should contact the Associate Director for Public Policy at the Harris Centre by e-mail or by calling 737-7963. 
  • A member of the media with an interest in public policy issues. This person will be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the committee of the whole. The term of appointment is for one year.

The panel meets at least once per academic year, and its mandate is to generate a short list of six possible lecturers, ranked in order of decreasing priority. This short list is generated from a call for proposals to members of the University community (faculty, staff and students). The call for proposals is developed by the panel and may include suggestions as to the type of eligible topic and lecturer, the nomination procedure and the deadline for submitting nominations.


The Harris Centre

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000