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About

Image of Chancellor Emeritus Wilson and President Deane

About The Socrates Project

The Socrates Project is a two-year pilot grounded in the conviction of its donor, McMaster alumnus and Chancellor Emeritus Lynton (Red) Wilson, that we must constantly work to better understand who we are – our histories, our communities, our cultures, ourselves – if we are to realize our goals and make sound decisions about our nation and our place in the world.

That conviction led Wilson to foster an initiative that sees a university as more than an engine for delivering skilled workers, where the humanities are considered a vital aspect of every field of knowledge, both within and beyond the university.

“We must constantly work to better understand who we are – our history, our communities, our cultures, ourselves – if we are to realize our goals and make sound decisions about our nation and our place in the world.” – L.R. Wilson

Socrates sculpture

Why Socrates?

The Socrates Project takes its name and inspiration from the Greek philosopher whose method of teaching posed questions to generate dialogue leading to deeper questions in the service of creating the best society possible. That’s the mission of The Socrates Project: to be a dynamic point of convergence for engaging with the most pressing issues of our time and generating powerful visions for the future.

man wearing a cap playing piano

What we do

In its inaugural year, The Socrates Project welcomed hundreds to more than 30 events ranging from public lectures to cutting-edge performances, and from conferences on better ways to communicate important scientific findings to town halls on the challenges of gentrification.

Explore our four series: Living Democracy, Human >< Nature, Future of Work, and Critical Culture.

We hope this year’s programming will continue to illuminate ideas, spark debate, challenge assumptions, and inspire hope.

Find out more

Our programming

Asking Questions. Pushing Boundaries. Finding Common Ground. Find out how we apply this philosophy in our work.