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The 2023-2024 York Circle Lecture Series

Presented in partnership with our York Circle Chair, Jennifer Steeves (BA ’94, MA ’96, PhD ’01), Associate Vice-President Research (AVPR), we are excited to welcome you back to Keele campus for the York Circle Lecture series. Join us on October 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Life Sciences Building. Hear from York's leading faculty members on a wide range of interesting topics that speak to some of the key themes that define York University.

Markus Giesler, Associate Professor, Marketing Specialization, Schulich School of Business

How do we experience generative AI and vice versa?

Professor Giesler will offer a summary of exciting research projects that are currently being conducted by his team on how generative artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT and other solutions aggressively push the boundaries where technology ends and our humanity begins. He'll share cutting-edge behavioral insights pertaining to consumer AI and discuss their implications for our understanding of consumer data, privacy, social systems such as family, surveillance capitalism, and experience design.

Regina Rinin, Assistant Professor, Canada Research Chair, Department of Philsophy, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Morals from Machines

Should you turn to a computer program for advice when you face a difficult moral decision? That sounds absurd. But artificial intelligence has done a lot of surprising things lately. Perhaps most surprising of all: it seems to be able to implement the ethical theory of John Rawls, one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century. This talk will cover the basics of how machine learning works, a bit of background on moral philosophy, and also some of what it’s like for computer scientists and philosophers to work together.

Arash Habibi Lashkari, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity, School of Information Technology, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Navigating Cybersecurity: Empowering Public Safety and Awareness through the Understanding Cybersecurity Series (UCS) Research Program

To ensure we're better protected against online threats, we need to work with companies and use new ways of researching cybersecurity. We want to teach people about cybersecurity in a way that's easy to understand, so we've created a research program called Understanding Cybersecurity Series (UCS). This research will help researchers, professionals, and developers improve their skills and help young and senior people learn about cybersecurity.

Sapna Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science

On thin ice: are lakes feeling the heat?

Our planet is experiencing accelerated climate warming, with dramatic consequences not only on lake ecology, but also on the ecosystem services we rely on from our freshwater resources. Lakes are losing ice cover at unprecedented rates. In the past 25 years, lake ice loss is six times faster, with some lakes not freezing every winter. By the end of the century, over 200,000 lakes may no longer regularly freeze and almost 6,000 lakes may permanently lose ice cover with climate warming. With reduced ice cover, lakes may stratify earlier which can lead to elevated water temperatures, primary production, and likelihood of algal blooms, some of which may be toxic. Mitigation of greenhouse gases is essential to preserving this ecological, cultural, and economically important resource.

Ideas for Life, Living and the World Around Us

Since 2009, York Circle has showcased the ideas and research being generated by York University’s community. Topics come from every faculty and have included discussions around gender issues, brain function, mental health, international aid, sports injuries, financial policy and many more evolving subjects. Learn more about our past lectures and the distinguished speakers who presented them, and then sign up to hear about our upcoming presentations.

Join The York Circle! Membership is free! Once you’ve joined, we’ll invite you to each event where you can learn about current research on key topics from York’s professors.

Please note: Current students and faculty of York are not eligible to join The York Circle but can attend as a guest of a registered member.

For more information on The York Circle, call us at (416) 650-8159 or email us at