News at the University of New Brunswick

30th annual Pacey Memorial lecture Philosopher to take on differences between Americans and Canadians

Author: Communications

Posted on Feb 14, 2011

Category: myUNB , UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John

Michael RuseWhen it comes to the age-old conflict between science and religion, Darwinism and creationism, at least one expert in the field would like to see Americans handle their differences more like Canadians do. Michael Ruse, a philosopher of biology who has not been shy about stating his views in the ongoing debate about evolution, will deliver the 30th annual W.C. Desmond Pacey Memorial lecture at the University of New Brunswick.  His title, “Science and Religion: Why Can’t the Americans Be More Like Canadians?”, is sure to intrigue audiences in New Brunswick. The Pacey Memorial Lecture will take place in Saint John on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 104 of Oland Hall on the UNB campus.  It will take place in Fredericton on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 5:30 in the Alfred G, Bailey Auditorium, Tilley Hall, on the UNB campus.  There is no admission charge and everyone is welcome to attend. A native of England and two-time graduate of the University of Bristol, Dr. Ruse immigrated to Canada in the early 1960s to study at McMaster University.  In 1965, he joined the faculty of the University of Guelph where he spent the next 35 years distinguishing himself as a philosopher of science.  He has written or co-authored more than 40 books and 60 articles not only on the controversy between evolution and creationism, but also on the implications of genetically modified foods, stem cell research and cloning.  Many of his writings have been translated into other languages.  In addition, Dr. Ruse has been particularly adept in bridging the gap between scholarly specialist and public intellectual, and is much in demand as a speaker around the world.  He has also been called upon to testify in cases that concern the teaching of creationism in public schools. Today Dr. Ruse serves as the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and the director of the program in history and philosophy of science at Florida State University.  He was the founding editor of the journal Philosophy and Biology and currently blogs for the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Huffington Post.  His columns and book reviews can be found in a number of newspapers including the Globe and Mail.  Over the course of his career he has earned many honours, including a Doctor of Letters degree from UNB in 2007.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. While Dr. Ruse is in New Brunswick, he will also meet on several occasions with faculty, staff and students from UNB and St. Thomas University.  His visit is sponsored by the Andrews Initiative, a new program at UNB designed to engage mature learners in academic pursuits. The W.C. Desmond Pacey Memorial Lecture, hosted by the faculty of arts on each UNB campus, features leading speakers in the humanities and social sciences.  Now in its 30th year, the event honours scholar, teacher, writer and administrator Desmond Pacey, who served UNB with ability, wit, good humour and seemingly endless energy from his arrival in 1944 as professor and chair of the Department of English until his death in 1975.  His outstanding accomplishments included appointments as Dean of Graduate Studies, Vice-President (Academic) and Acting President.  To all of these he brought a deep sense of what is finest and of most permanent value in the academic tradition.


Note to media:  Michael Ruse is available for interviews.  Please contact Susan Montague, Coordinator of the Andrews Initiative, 506-440-2991 or