Can we pull the plug on climate change? What can big data tell us about the human brain? Is capitalism the cause or the cure? Can we start a global health revolution?
If your head is spinning, it’s not surprising. These are some of the most complex and pressing issues facing our world today. Fortunately, McGill’s leading researchers, faculty members, students and alumni are on the case, pursuing discoveries and generating breakthroughs that are changing how we understand our world, and finding new answers to the biggest questions in science, culture and human endeavour.
Celebrating and supporting these breakthroughs is the idea behind The Road to 200: a new initiative launched by University Advancement this fall. The Road to 200 explores how, as the University approaches its 200th birthday in 2021, McGill is pioneering new knowledge across five cross-disciplinary themes: Towards a Sustainable Future, The Promise of Better Health, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Humanity Beyond Boundaries, and Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives.
As Vice-Principal (University Advancement) Marc Weinstein explains, these themes emerged from a series of in-depth consultations with academic leaders across the University.
“We’ve spent the last several months meeting with Deans from every Faculty and School, as well as researchers and many other members of the academic community, to come together around some of the ‘grand challenges’ that will define our global future, and where McGill is positioned to play a leading role in advancing knowledge and discovery on the international stage,” he said. “As we look ahead to our bicentennial and McGill’s next fundraising campaign, I want our campus community, alumni and friends to feel proud of what we’re accomplishing here, and motivated to help us change the world for another 200 years.”
A cornerstone of the Road to 200 is a series of events in Montreal and cities around the world with sizeable alumni communities. On September 22, more than 260 alumni and friends attended a fascinating discussion in Pointe Claire on memory loss as part of the Healthy Brains for Health Lives theme, featuring several leading brain researchers from the MNI and a special presentation from neuroscience pioneer Brenda Milner. Last month, more than 150 Toronto alumni gathered to hear Desautels professor Henry Mintzberg argue for a rebalancing of the private, public and plural sectors in society. Visit the Road to 200 website to learn about upcoming events, and read more about the researchers, students and alumni setting the foundation for McGill’s next 200 years.