Requested Topics

It’s hard to know what people want to learn about. Everyone has a different set of experiences, so what’s common knowledge for one person may be novel for another. Consequently, if you’re thinking of talking at Learning Night, but not sure what to talk about, here are some roughly organised topics requested by our community. To suggest more topics, email Sean.

General informational

  • Personal commercial genome sequencing and it’s uses
  • Creating a Living Will
  • Cooking once a month a.k.a. bulk cooking
  • The rising cost of tuition
  • How is e-waste handled and could it be handled better?
  • How does the block-chain change how authentication is done?
  • How to make EDM or dubstep using software?

Understanding systems

  • Industry-funded research. What does a good research division in a company differ from a bad one? Has industry research funding been declining over the years?
  • How does a drug go from an idea to an actual product? How much does it differ across countries? What are the proposed ways that this system could be more efficient?
  • Corruption in governments and how it’s overcome.
  • How can cities grow without sprawling and collapsing?
  • How much is the effectiveness of medication mediated by your genetics?
  • How does the Internet work and how well is it dealing with the constantly growing need for bandwidth?
  • Is academia sustainable? Are we generating too many PhDs or is it just that we aren’t properly funding places where they could go?
  • What does good government regulation look like? When does government regulation fail?
  • How can countries deal with an aging population? Are long-term care homes a good idea economically or is it better to encourage co-living arrangements?


  • How do the brains of birds differ from the brains of humans?
  • How does human cognition differ from that of animals?
  • How does the human brain develop over time?

Social issues

  • Gentrification.
  • Transgendered people and their rights
  • Immigration. Could open-borders work? How much of a drain are illegal immigrants actually?
  • What evidence is there that diversity improves the effectiveness of teams?
  • How much has the job market shifted over the past years and why? Is it reasonable, as a result of the shift, for governments to encourage some degrees over others?

Canada specific

  • Canada’s investigation into missing aboriginal women
  • The importance of local journalism and how to support it in sustainable manner
  • How does long-term care work in Canada?
  • Is Canada’s health-care system sustainable?
  • How common is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder  in the Canadian Forces and what services are available to those who suffer from it?