The Massey Dialogues – The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson on Being Old in the Time of Coronavirus

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The Massey Dialogues – The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson on Being Old in the Time of Coronavirus

May 19 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

This new plague has revealed cracks in our society. One of those cracks is the gap between young and old. The pandemic has revealed that we have been systematically (conscious or not) ignoring a phenomenal societal fact of longevity. Governments are going to have to react to the open sore that has been revealed: how will this be done? We certainly cannot shut the pandora’s box now that ageism has popped out of it. Principal Des Rosiers will host Senior Fellow Adrienne Clarkson for this discussion. They will be joined in conversation by Senior Fellow Professor Gillian Einstein and Junior Fellow Gurveer Bains, a 2020 Clarkson Laureate.

Click here to watch the livestream. The Dialogues are open to the public – we invite everyone to join and take part in what will be a very informative online discussion. Participants are invited to submit questions to the speakers in real time via the youtube channel’s chat function as well as through Twitter with the hashtag #MasseyDialogues. For information about the Massey Dialogues salon series, click here.



The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson arrived in Canada from Hong Kong as a refugee in 1942 and made the astonishing journey from penniless child refugee to accomplished broadcaster, journalist, and distinguished public servant in a multi-faceted lifetime. Madame Clarkson is the bestselling author of the 2014 CBC Massey Lectures Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship, Room for All of Us: Surprising Stories of Loss and Transformation, Heart Matters: A Memoir, and a biography of Dr. Norman Bethune, the Canadian hero of the Chinese people.

From 1999 to 2005, Madame Clarkson was Canada’s 26th Governor General. When she left Rideau Hall, she co-founded the Institute for Canadian Citizenship which helps new citizens to feel involved and included in Canadian life.

In 2004, Massey College established the Clarkson Laureateship for Public Service to be awarded annually to three post-graduate fellows. The intent of this Laureateship is to recognize the incredible achievements of the Laureates in honour of Madame Clarkson’s long public service as a volunteer, and in her ultimate service as Governor General. Madame Clarkson is also a Senior Fellow at Massey College.


Gillian Einstein is The Wilfred and Joyce Posluns Chair in Women’s Brain Health and Aging, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto and Guest Professor of Gender and Health at Linköping University in Linköping, Sweden. She is an Adjunct Scientist at Women’s College Research Institute and at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto. She is a board member of the International Gender Medicine Society, Chair of the Canadian Institutes of Health’s Institute of Gender and Health Advisory Board, and Founder of the Canadian Organization of Gender and Sex (COGS) Research. She is Lead of the Women, Sex, Gender, and Dementia cross-cutting program of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration and Aging. 

She has served as a temporary advisor for the World Health Organization on Female Genital Circumcision/mutilation/cutting (FGC) and has numerous honours such as: Named one of 20 Canadian Brain Research Stars, Brain Canada; The May Cohen Lecture in Women’s Health; Invited Member, CIHR College of Reviewers; Lawrence & Nancy Golden Memorial Lectureship in Mind-Body Medicine. She has also been recognized and profiled as a Leader in Women’s Health in Ontario by the Ontario Women’s Health Network and as a feminist voice in Psychology; Profiled in Psychology’s Feminist Voices. Her research is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Alzheimer’s Society Canada, and the Ontario Brain Institute. Her broader interests encompass memory, the long term effects of hormone treatment, and the bridge between our scientific understanding of the nervous system and larger concerns having to do with self, identity, feminism, and the nature of science. She has published on Alzheimer disease, vision, sex differences, Female Genital Cutting, and estrogens’ effects on pain, sleep, memory and mood. Her current research is on the effects of ovarian removal on women’s memory and brains. She is also interested in cognition in trans-individuals and how different cultures shape the nervous system. The overarching question of this research is: How do both sex and gender mediate women’s brain health? 


Gurveer Bains is a current PhD Student in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. Her research interests primarily focus on the intersections of migration, geography, and health. She is also a part of the Collaborative Doctoral Program in Global Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and a Research Fellow at The Wilson Centre, Toronto General Hospital. Gurveer previously completed her Honours Bachelor of Science, Graduated with Distinction and Valedictorian for the Class of 2013, at the University of Toronto-Mississauga. She also obtained her Master of Arts degree from Queen’s University at Kingston, her thesis was entitled “Mixing health and geography: A study of risks associated with cardiovascular disease for the Punjabi Sikh population in the Regional Municipality of Peel”.





May 19
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


4 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2E1 Canada