'Cause you can't live on Puff Daddy alone

Need a much-needed break from MuchMusic? Want to see some of the country's best classical musicians at an affordable price?

The CBC/McGill Concert Series, currently gearing up for its 21st season, offers you the opportunity to take in some exceptional performances for just $15 a pop ($10 for students and seniors). Once you buy one ticket, you're entitled to a $2.50 discount on the price of other concerts in the series.

Isolde Lagacé, the Faculty of Music's director of concerts and publicity, says the CBC/McGill partnership works well for both sides; the CBC brings in musicians the University wouldn't be able to afford otherwise, while McGill's Pollack Hall and Redpath Hall supply the CBC with a pair of standout concert venues.

The series also offers an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of the Faculty of Music's own labours as roughly half of the performers are McGill music teachers or former students.

"You won't see stars like Yo Yo Ma," says Lagacé, "but there are always fantastic musicians in this series."

Some of the musicians who'll be performing this year include acclaimed harpsichordist and one-time McGill instructor Kenneth Gilbert, former McGill opera students Suzie Le Blanc and Daniel Taylor -- who are both poised for international stardom -- and recent McGill graduate Jonathon Crow, a rising star on violin with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

The first concert, featuring pianist Paul Stewart (pictured) is a tribute to composer Richard Strauss. The concert takes place on September 15 in Pollack Hall at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased at the Pollack Hall Ticket Office or from Admission outlets.

Visiting the Science Wars

McGill scientists are still shaking their heads over The End of Science author John Horgan's Beatty lecture here a few years back. Horgan's hypothesis that all the great discoveries that are going to be made have already been made ruffled more than a few feathers.

Well, now comes along Steve Fuller who might just stir the pot some more. A sociologist at the University of Warwick in Britain, Fuller is a well-regarded author who probes the world of science with an often critical eye.

On his web site, Fuller describes himself as being "interested not only in how the various academic disciplines and other knowledge practices work, but also in how they don't work and how they may be improved." Nature called his work Science "a swashbuckling book. Fuller's formidable scholarship takes no prisoners." Fuller's next book, The Governance of Science: Ideology and the Future of the Open Society, will be published later this year.

On September 21, Fuller will present a public lecture, "What Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger: Why the Science Wars May Turn Out to be a Good Thing," at the Palmer Theatre of the McIntyre Medical Sciences Building (3655 Drummond) at 5:45 pm.

The following day, Fuller will present a lecture to staff and students in the Council Room of the Arts Building at 5 pm on "The Hidden History and Unexpected Legacy of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions."

Sexual Ethics

"One thing I tell my students is that this is definitely a course that applies to their lives," says religious studies instructor Mark Shields. "It's not going to help their careers unless they go into sexology."

A four-year-old course, "Sexual Ethics" is a popular offering; about 600 students register for it in either the fall or winter semester.

Shields says the students "come from all over the place. We have students from arts, science, engineering. It's not a course where we expect students to have any particular background in the subject, apart from being a human being." The diversity makes for an interesting classroom dynamic, says Shields. "You see the sociologists looking at it one way and the scientists looking at it from their perspective."

The course is offered through the Faculty of Religious Studies.

"Especially when it comes to sex, so much of what North Americans believe about sex comes from the mainstream religious traditions," explains Shields. "Even if much of that is a reaction against those traditions. Even if you reject the Catholic Church's stand on abortion, for instance, I think it's important to understand the logic the Church uses to justify that position."

Students deal with the writings of everyone from St. Thomas Aquinas to the Marquis de Sade to Andrea Dworkin to Sally Tisdale's Talk Dirty to Me.

Classroom discussions tackle just about everything associated with sex. "We've been talking about the president of the United States for the last two years." The only topic Shields steers the class away from is abortion. "That might become a little too heated."


Professor David Saunders has left McGill to become the new dean of management at the University of Calgary. As the former associate dean of master's programs for the Faculty of Management, Saunders played a key role in establishing the McGill MBA program in Japan.

Professor Victoria Kaspi has joined the Department of Physics, becoming the department's only female faculty member. Kaspi is an astrophysicist who recently served as an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Centre for Space Research. She has published several recent articles about pulsars and was part of an international team that discovered the 1000th pulsar known to science.

Dr. Lucien Abenhaim, from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, has left McGill to become the director-general of health for France, a position roughly equivalent to that of the surgeon-general in the United States. Abenhaim is also leaving his position as the director of clinical epidemiology at the Jewish General Hospital.

Professor John Stix has joined the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. His research interests include forecasting eruptions at active subduction-zone volcanoes, the geochemistry of volcanic gases, and the development of new infrared remote sensing techniques to measure gases at active volcanoes. He was a geology professor at the Université de Montréal.

Pediatrics professor Roy Gravel has left McGill to join the University of Calgary. A geneticist and an expert on Tay-Sachs disease, Gravel was appointed to a Killam Memorial Chair -- the U of C's most prestigious award for research -- in the U of C's Faculty of Medicine and has a cross-appointment in kinesiology.

Ms. Lucie Rémillard will be the new director of the Montreal Neurological Institute's Departments of Development and Public Relations. Rémillard begins her new job on September 13. She is currently the campaign director for Centrade where she oversees an annual effort to raise more than $30 million.

Mr. Ray Satterthwaite, director of the McGill Annual Fund, is leaving the University to become the director of major gifts and faculty development at Queen's University. Satterthwaite's responsibilities will include the Queen's capital campaign, as well as overseeing the work of the university's central major gifts, staff and faculty officers.

Professor Maggie Kilgour, the author of books about the gothic novel and the theme of cannibalism in literature, is the new chair of the Department of English. Kilgour previously served as the department's director of graduate studies.

Professor Melanie Nash, a film historian, has joined the Department of English. Nash's recent publishing credits include a piece in The Canadian Journal of Film Studies about actress Norma Shearer, one of the first Canadians to become a major Hollywood star.

Professor Miranda Hickman has joined the Department of English. Hickman previously served on the faculty of the University of Tulsa. Her research interests include Anglo-American literary modernism, gender studies and textual scholarship. She is preparing a book on the correspondence between writers Ezra Pound and Stanley Nott.

Mr. Terry Tobin is the new development and alumni relations associate for the Faculty of Engineering. Tobin, a member of the Management Forum steering committee, previously held a similar position for the Faculties of Education and Religious Studies.

Management professor Terry Thomason, an expert on unions and labour relations, has left McGill to become the new director of the Charles T. Schmidt Jr. Labour Research Center at the University of Rhode Island.

Dr. Phil Beck, from the Department of Psychiatry, has been appointed as the Faculty of Medicine's new associate dean of admissions. He succeeds Dr. Nelson Mitchell, who held this post for six years.

Ms. Jo-Ann Sciampacone is McGill's new parking coordinator, responsible for the day-to-day operation of the University's parking system. Previously, she was the operations manager for the McGill Bookstore.