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Great Conversations

Get Ready for The Mind Series

In the spirit of discussion, debate and discovery, Great Conversations brings leading experts to a local audience to share the latest research.

The Mind Series will take you from mental health therapies to mindfulness meditation to the mind’s ability to adapt and change.

Don’t miss out on these intellectually engaging, thought-provoking events that are sure to get you talking, leaving you to pursue great conversations of your own.

The Mind Series is presented in collaboration with Knowledge Partner, the Ontario Brain Institute. 


Dan Riskin

Dan Riskin, Moderator

This three-part series is moderated by evolutionary biologist, former TV co-host of Daily Planet and Science Centre Member Dan Riskin.

Time: 4 p.m.
Duration: 90 minutes
Location: Imperial Oil Auditorium, Level 1
Cost: Free with general admission. No ticket required. Seating is first-come, first-served
Audience: Recommended for ages 18+


March 7 — Science Meets Psychedelics*

Are there new avenues to treat disorders like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder? Is there therapeutic potential in psychedelics, and can these chemical formulas shake their recreational reputation to create a promising new future to treat mental health disorders?

Discover the cutting-edge research findings by psychologists Norman Farb and Anne Wagner in a lively discussion about why psychedelics have the power to heal the mind.

Featured presenters:

  • Norman Farb, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, and Director of the Psychedelic Studies Research Program exploring the neuroscience of human identity and emotions through the use of psychedelics
  • Anne Wagner, PhD, CPsych – Clinical psychologist, Founder of Remedy and Adjunct Professor at Ryerson University, focusing on the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA)

*Please note: This event does not promote recreational microdosing. In the spirit of Great Conversations, the experts will discuss the clinical findings intended for use by trained medical practitioners in controlled trials.


April 4 — Mindfulness for Better Brain Health

Mindfulness is everywhere, but can it really make an impact? Do scientists understand its effect on psychological wellbeing?

Find out about two innovative projects that tap into the power of mindfulness—one to reduce stress for autistic adults and their caregivers, the other to reduce violence in communities.

Join the conversation with a variety of experts, mindfulness program participants and more. Discover the power of stopping to be present. 

Featured presenters:

  • Yona Lunsky, PhD, Director of the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
  • Sue Hutton, social worker and mindfulness instructor for CAMH
  • Julien Lutz, a.k.a. Director X, founder of Operation Prefrontal Cortex
  • Brianne Redquest, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre at CAMH

May 2 — Neuroplasticity: The Adaptive Brain

Did you know that the brain can learn to adapt, develop and create throughout a person’s life? That’s neuroplasticity.

Does everyone’s brain engage in neuroplasticity? What do researchers know? And are there any limits?

Join research and education experts for a fascinating discussion about adaptable brains.

Featured presenters:

  • Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, Director of the Arrowsmith Schools, educator, and author of The Woman Who Changed her Brain
  • Jennifer Crosbie, PhD, SickKids researcher
  • Allison Sekuler, PhD, Vice President of research at Baycrest Health Sciences

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