Presenting the Presenters – “China in Space” by Helen Prislinger and “Oppenheimer” by Jim Lutz on Wed., January 17, 2024 @ 1:15 pm (Winter 2024 Forum #1)

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Helen Prislinger and Jim Lutz.

Helen Prislinger – “China in Space”

Historically, the space race was a competition between the superpowers Russia and USA, but participants and objectives changed. China is now a major player, using its space capabilities to strengthen defense systems, create national pride, make connections with potential allies, and monetize services. Space is increasingly commercialized yet unregulated, requiring global protocols and agreements that take into account the hazards and challenges humans face in outer space. We do not yet have teleportation and Captain Kirk is not at the helm: international co-operation is essential.

Helen Prislinger is a semi-retired engineer (Queen’s University 1983) with a career in manufacturing that included plant management, operational process analysis and corporate IT implementations. She now has the leisure time to delve into subjects such as geopolitics, history, and the impacts of new technologies.

Jim Lutz – “Oppenheimer: On the Day the Sun Rose Twice”

Robert Oppenheimer, one of the 20th Century’s most brilliant scientists, led the century’s greatest scientific effort – the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bomb. However, he came to have severe reservations about the weapon.  His legacy and reputation now benefit from a Pulitzer-winning biography, “American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer” and the film “Oppenheimer”.

Jim Lutz is a retired banker and advertising executive.  He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in history.  After serving in the Vietnam War as an infantryman, he came to the University of Toronto to earn an MA in British imperial history, and to study military history under C.P. Stacey.  His favourite histories are those of India and Russia.  He has a special interest in the Manhattan Project, and has visited its major sites.  He is Secretary of the Royal Canadian Military Institute.  Jim has belonged to the Academy for about 10 years.