Public lecture on access to knowledge

February 26th, 2013 · No Comments · History, News Release, Peace and Justice, Science

The first Trudeau Lecture to take place at the University of Manitoba will be presented on Thursday, February 28, 2013, by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. The Foundation was established more than a decade ago as a living memorial to the former prime minister, supporting individuals who tackle critical issues in the humanities and social sciences by funding scholarships, fellowships, mentorships and programs aimed at engaging the public. 

Speaking this week at the University of Manitoba is renowned public historian Ronald Rudin, professor of history at Concordia University and 2011 Trudeau Fellow. Rudin calls for university-based researchers to use the tools at their disposal to make their research freely available to the public.

“Taxpayers typically provide the funds that allow researchers to create knowledge,” says Rudin. “Yet the resulting journal articles end up being distributed by for-profit corporations that do not compensate researchers, either as authors or as peer reviewers. These corporations then sell these electronic journals to university libraries, requiring them to restrict access to students and faculty and leaving taxpayers out in the cold.”

Rudin will talk about how his involvement with open access issues and the production of digital media changed him from someone who was not particularly concerned about public knowledge, into an advocate of researchers using simple actions to make publicly accessible the knowledge they create.

2011 Trudeau Fellow Ronald Rudin is the producer of two documentary films and the author of six books. One of his works, Remembering and Forgetting in Acadie: A Historian’s Journey through Public Memory, won the 2010 book award of the National (U.S.) Council on Public History and the inaugural public history prize of the Canadian Historical Association (2011). A public historian who has long had an interest in how the larger population comes to understand the past, Rudin engages in research that touches upon the economic, social, intellectual, and cultural history of French Canada.

Rudin will speak Thursday, February 28, 2013, at the Robert B. Schultz Lecture Theatre, St. John’s College at the Fort Garry Campus. The event begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the lecture at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome.

For information about the Trudeau Foundation, go to:

For more information about the speaker series and this week’s presentation, please contact:

Jennifer Petrela, program director, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, at:
514-938-0001 #227, or email:


Janine Harasymchuk, marketing communications office, University of Manitoba, at: 204-474-7300, or email:

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