Wednesday April 10, 2013

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Hi everyone,

Big news this week:  our own Paul Thagard is the winner of one of this year’s extremely prestigious Killam Prizes!  Congratulations, Paul!

The Killam Prizes, awarded by The Canada Council for the Arts, are Canada’s leading prizes for career achievement in the fields of health sciences, social sciences, engineering, natural sciences and humanities, and are awarded for lifetime achievement in research.  Paul was awarded the humanities prize; it comes with $100,000 in prize money, which Paul says he plans to spend on further research.

Check out the press release.  The University has a nice article too, describing some of Paul’s research using computer models to develop new models of human emotion and consciousness.  Paul also talks about how he sees the relationship between science and the humanities, and the importance of bridging any divides between them.

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Paul Thagard with one of his most recent books.

Paul says, “Aside from the money, I get to go to Ottawa April 23 to get the prize from the Governor General (David Johnston!) at his residence, Rideau Hall, and my sons will attend.  And I’ll give a Killam Lecture at one of the 5 Killam universities (Dalhousie, McGill, UBC, Calgary, Alberta).”  Very nice!

In other news, Heather Douglas passes along some research updates:  “I went to the University of Alberta this week to talk with Ingo Brigandt’s Values and Science students and to give a talk, Mapping the Moral Terrain of Science, to the Philosophy Department.  The trip was sponsored by the Situating Science SSHRC cluster grant.   I also had an essay published in the Scientist on the sorry state of affairs in Canadian Science Policy.”

And Shannon Dea says there was a bit of excitement in the department Friday as a crew from Q Media Solutions spent a few hours here filming footage for an upcoming Council of Ontario Universities video on accessible instruction for students with mental illness.  Shannon says that in addition to filming a one-on-one interview with her, “they also recorded lots of additional footage of faculty and students interacting with each other, and of the nooks and crannies of Hagey Hall. The resulting video will not only help to support accessible instruction across the province; it will also enhance the Department’s already strong reputation for collegiality, inclusiveness and teaching quality.”

Don’t forget, as always, you can see more news and check out upcoming events at our Department website.

— Patricia Marino

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