Lifelong Learning: The Educated Citizen and Democracy
The Educated Citizen and Democracy
This talk contains dangerous ideas. Some may be useful in understanding past elections and bracing for coming ones.
But at its heart, it is about misconceptions about education, and about what constitutes the core suite of knowledge and analytical skills needed to be able to fully exercise our rights and meet our obligations as free citizens of a democracy. It also touches on why public discourse and it reportage has become less brainy and more chaotic, despite the proliferation of higher education.
Presenter: Dr. John Scott Cowan, PhD, DMilSc
Principal Emeritus, The Royal Military College of Canada
John Scott Cowan studied physics and then physiology at Toronto. A post-doc at Laval University preceded 24 years at the University of Ottawa as professor, chair of the department of physiology, and then VP. Leaving Ottawa in 1995, he became VP at Queens University before becoming principal of the Royal Military College of Canada (1999-2008). RMC is the university of the armed forces in Canada.
He has been President of the Canadian Federation of Biological Societies, the Canadian Physiological Society, and the Canadian Association of University Business Officers. He has also worked extensively in labour relations. A pilot, he has flown about 6000 hours in 64 aircraft types. Research in physiology co-existed with defence issues, starting with a 1963 monograph on defence policy. Since 2001 he has focussed on asymmetric threats, piracy, the characteristics of the profession of arms, and defence education. He was president of the CDA Institute 2008-2012, and chair of the Defence Advisory Board of Canada 2010-2013. In 2017 he retired as the Honorary Colonel of the Princess of Wales Own Regiment.
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