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Alumni Lecture: “The Future of Work and Education”

April 15 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

With the world of work changing at a rapid pace, parents and guardians may be concerned about the issue of higher education and their child’s professional future. What path maximizes a student’s chance of professional success, humanities or technology? Furthermore, how should we educate the next generation so that they may not only answer society’s most urgent needs, but also develop into intelligent, healthy, and well-rounded leaders? Looking closely at each respective field in turn tells us there is much each discipline can bring to the other, and students are ill-prepared for the future of work when trained within a disciplinary silo. Join us for a lecture by Dr. Jean-Oliver Richard as we learn more about the importance, value, and challenge in the interdisciplinary approach regarding humanities and technology.

Professor Jean-Olivier Richard is an Assistant Professor of Christianity and Science at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto.

Professor Richard received his B.A. from Concordia University in 2009, and completed his Ph.D. in the history of science and technology department at the Johns Hopkins University in 2016. In 2016-17, he conducted research as a Cain Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Chemical Heritage Foundation (now Science History Institute) in Philadelphia. Professor Richard’s academic interests include the relationship of science with Christianity in the early modern era, Jesuit history, environmental history, and the history of alchemy, astrology, and magic. What ties these subjects together is his fascination with the polymathic endeavors and “universal systems” of ecclesiastical thinkers, as well as the ways in which the past — real or imagined — inspired early modern discoveries. His current research focuses on the life and world of the French Jesuit Louis-Bertrand Castel (1688-1757), with a particular emphasis on his theory of the “action of man on nature.” He is revising his dissertation, “The Art of Making Rain and Fair Weather,” into an intellectual biography that will foreground Castel’s intellectual contribution — including his famous color harpsichord — to the Enlightenment.

Professor Richard’s other interests include New France’s intellectual and military history, as well as cognitive sciences. In his spare time, he draws, practices, and teaches martial arts, and volunteers for Action Haiti, a Quebec-based organization working with Haitian schools.

Prof. Richard previously wrote about education and the intersection of science and the humanities for the St. Michael’s blog InsightOut.


To register, please visit the U of T Alumni event page.


April 15
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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Alumni Affairs and Development
(416) 926-7260