As a distinguished scientist, pacifist, and feminist, Ursula Franklin has been regularly invited by diverse groups to share her insights into the social and political impacts of science and technology. This collection contains twenty-two of Franklin's speeches and five interviews from 1986 to 2012 that have been retrieved and restored from audio and visual recordings with the help of her collaborator, Jane Freeman. These speeches and interviews, available here in print for the first time, stress the increased need for discernment and principled dialogue among Canadians. Although civic life for many Canadians has changed drastically in the past five decades, the basic principles of building and maintaining peaceful communities remain unchanged. Addressing practices of education, research, and civic life, Franklin looks to the past as well as the future to suggest collective ways of cultivating discernment and of advancing human betterment. As a whole, the collection reveals the evolution of Franklin's perspective: a perspective that is further elaborated in her afterthoughts that form the book's introduction and conclusion.
Although her speeches and interviews are often critical of the status quo, Ursula Franklin Speaks is a fundamentally optimistic book, grounded in the conviction of the human capacity for compassion and understanding.