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Layla Lavan In Times of Pandemic - Ethics and Morality Digital Salon Series

Please join us for the digital iteration of our salon series, Layla Lavan.

As the pandemic has been sweeping across the world and changes life in ways that mirror dystopian novels, people are obliged to adapt to a new way of living that is unraveling how we understand and engage in human interaction. Recommendations turn into rules. We are left disoriented and confused. It has become urgent to acknowledge and discuss the moral implications that are arising. Covid-19 unleashed a Pandora’s box of ethical dilemmas that force us to make tough and consequential decisions.What is the value of protecting older people's lives versus the enormous toll on the economy? What are the moral ramifications of people dying alone without the contact of family or friends? What are the ethical obligations of medical staff to provide care while safeguarding themselves so that they can carry on with work and also reduce risk to their families? Who makes the decisions about prioritizing lives? How do we make decisions for an unknowable future? How can we protect our humanity from eroding in times of fear and uncertainty? Even more than inspiration and comfort, we need a moral guideline, a compass to help us navigate these extraordinary times. In a series of talks, award-winning journalist Christina Frangou will talk with bioethicists, neuro ethicists and moral philosophers in an attempt to find moral guidelines to navigate these extraordinary times.

Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, in collaboration with The Calgary Institute for the Humanities at the University of Calgary, has curated a weekly forty-five minute long conversation with philosophers, scholars and scientists addressing applied ethics questions arising from the pandemic.

The Salon will broadcast live every Wednesday at 7:00 PM (MT), starting May 6th. The event is free. You will be able to log on 15 minutes earlier at 6:45 PM. We will send you detailed instructions about how to access the live-stream on Zoom after you've RSVP'd. Each salon will require its own registration. Visit to register for upcoming events. Video recordings of previous events will be posted on the Calgary Institute for the Humanities YouTube channel.

Dr. Azim Sharif - Associate Professor and Canada 150 Research Chair of Moral Psychology at the University of British Columbia / May 6th

Dr. Judy Illes - Professor of Neurology and Canada Research Chair in Neuroethics at UBC / May 13th

Dr. Jonathan Wolff - Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy and Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College, University of Oxford / May 20th

Dr. Margaret Battin - Professor of Philosophy, Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Utah / May 27

Dr. Yuval Neria - Professor of Medical Psychology, Director, PTSD Research Program, Columbia University, Medical Center / June 3rd

Christina Frangou - Moderator

Christina Frangou is a writer and journalist in Calgary, Alberta, who specializes in writing about health, medicine and social issues. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, Maclean’s, Alberta Views, Reader's Digest and Chatelaine. She writes about topics like refugees, grief, loneliness and public health. You’ll find more of her work at

Series Curators

Michal Lavi

Michal Lavi and Aviv Fried opened Sidewalk Citizen Bakery in 2010. In 2016 Michal started Tzavta dinner Salon and in 2020 started Layla Lavan, Ethics and Morality salon series. Michal is an award winning filmmaker. To date, she has written and directed six short films and is currently working on a feature length script.

Dr. Justin Weinhardt

Dr. Justin Weinhardt, PhD: Justin is a Psychologist and Associate Professor in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary. His research examines motivation, decision making, and mental health at work. He has published numerous academic journal articles on these topics and has also published articles in the Globe and Mail and Harvard Business Review.

Dr. Jim Ellis

Dr. Jim Ellis is Professor of English and Director of the Calgary Institute for the Humanities at the University of Calgary. He has written widely on literature, art and film.

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