Monthly Archives: January 2015

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hi everyone and happy new year! The holidays were a busy time and there is lot to catch up on.

First, we are thrilled to announce the arrival of a new bundle of joy. Nicholas Ray writes, “Amy and I welcomed our new daughter, Poppy, into the world on December 23. Baby and Mom are healthy and happy. Dad and Big Sister are elated.”


Congratulations you two!

The PGSA reports a very busy December. Some members of the PGSA formed a team for Waterloo’s annual Santa Pur-Suit 5 km run. Over 700 Santas showed up to support the local YMCAs. It was a great event. The PGSA’s team (called “We’d Rather Be Running Conceptually”) even took home some gold medals!


The PGSA would also like to everyone who donated to the Children’s Christmas Project this year! Sara and Ashley report, “Because of your generosity, we were able to provide Kaylee, Nicholas, Riley, and Cameron with many wonderful gifts. We are proud to support this great initiative and we look forward to helping another great family next year.”


In other graduate student news, Ty Branch went to the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy in December to present her research about the potential applications computer modeling might have for weak emergence. She used near-living architecture as an example.

This research is the result of Ty’s Mitacs Accelerate internship during Summer 2014 where she was a philosopher in residence at architecture firm Philip Beesley Architect Inc. It marked the first collaboration between a humanities student and Mitacs at the University of Waterloo.

Ty writes:
“The conference was extremely helpful for me in receiving feedback on my approach of using computer modeling to discuss potential instances of weak emergence. The other speakers I believe understood the interesting opportunities near-living architecture presents and offered very useful suggestions on how to refine my terminology to make sure I appropriately capture the phenomena I wished to discuss. In addition, it was a great experience to talk with some of the most creative minds in this area about the ways in which philosophy can engage other fields.”

More information about the project can be found here:

The conference:



December also marked a month of travelling, presenting papers, and giving interviews.

Carla Fehr had a great time talking about the American Philosophical Association Committee on the Status of Women Site Visit Program. The session was well attended and the discussion was productive. For more information, visit:

Heather Douglas traveled to Manhattan, Kansas to give a talk (on responsible science in democratic societies), to discuss a paper (on the problems with using a corporate model to inform science policy in Canada), and to hike the winter prairie.

Caption: Heather Douglas at the Konza Prairie Reserve, pointing ata herd of bison. She collected some 250 million year old fossils, with her guide Bruce Glymour.

Tim Kenyon gave an interview on fat shaming on Dec. 5. You can listen to it here: Tim also gave an interview on the CIA torture report on Dec. 10. You can listen to that interview here:

Shannon Dea also gave an interview on the petition to put Canadian women on paper money. That can be listened to here:

And finally some upcoming news. Be sure to mark your calendars for the Rethinking Economics Waterloo Conference.

The Rethinking Economics Waterloo Conference is all about asking if, how, and why economics can and should be rethought. This conference presents a variety of distinguished speakers from a range of disciplines, professions, and school of thought. It will also provide interactive workshops to help us rethink economics. This conference is happening on February 7, 2015 at St. Paul’s University College, part of the main campus of University of Waterloo. The Waterloo chapter of Rethinking Economics is new and entirely student based. The co-founders are both current University of Waterloo students: Alexandra Kraushaar, Masters of Arts Philosophy Candidate and Geoff Evamy Hill, Bachelor of Knowledge Integration Candidate.

Twitter: @RethinkEconKW

(Please note that Greg Andres is in charge of social media while Patricia Marino is on sabbatical. Contact Greg if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.