Women in Science Speaker Series

Generating High-Intensity, Ultrashort Optical Pulses

The Johnson Shoyama Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy was pleased to hold the third Women in Science Speaker Series, featuring Dr. Donna Strickland, Nobel Laureate (2018) and Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Waterloo, on March 1, 2022.

With the invention of lasers, the intensity of a light wave was increased by orders of magnitude over what had been achieved with a light bulb or sunlight. This much higher intensity led to new phenomena being observed, such as violet light coming out when red light went into the material. After Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland developed chirped pulse amplification, also known as CPA, the intensity again increased by more than a factor of 1,000 and it once again made new types of interactions possible between light and matter. They developed a laser that could deliver short pulses of light that knocked the electrons off their atoms. This new understanding of laser-matter interactions, led to the development of new machining techniques that are used in laser eye surgery or micromachining of glass used in cell phones.

About Dr. Donna Strickland

Donna Strickland is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo and is one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 for developing chirped pulse amplification with Gérard Mourou, her PhD supervisor at the time. They published this Nobel-winning research in 1985 when Strickland was a PhD student at the University of Rochester.

Strickland earned a B.Eng. from McMaster University and a PhD in optics from the University of Rochester. Strickland was a research associate at the National Research Council Canada, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a member of technical staff at Princeton University. In 1997, she joined the University of Waterloo, where her ultrafast laser group develops high-intensity laser systems for nonlinear optics investigations.

Strickland served as the president of the Optical Society (OSA) in 2013 and is a fellow of OSA, SPIE, the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Society. She is an honorary fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Physics and an international member of the US National Academy of Science. Strickland was named a Companion of the Order of Canada. 

Sustaining the Future of our Planet and Ourselves

Dr. Roberta Bondar, Women in Science Speaker Series

The Johnson Shoyama Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy was pleased to hold the second Women in Science Speaker Series, featuring Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first female astronaut and the world’s first neurologist in space, on March 26, 2019.

The earth is our home—and the only one that most of us will ever know. Historians have remarked that sometimes we need to leave our familiar surroundings to gain context. To date, the only way to do that is to travel to space. Dr. Bondar orbited our planet 129 times over 8 days, 1 hour, 14 minutes, 44 seconds as a payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Discovery in January 1992. She has spent the last 27 years translating her unique experiences as an astronaut, neuroscientist, medical researcher, and photographer to deepen our understanding of life and our natural environment.

In this talk, Dr. Bondar presented her personal take on where we find ourselves as inhabitants of planet earth and some of the challenges we face in sustaining our future.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research

Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

The Johnson Shoyama Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy was pleased to host the inaugural Women in Science Speaker Series, featuring the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, on Monday, January 14, 2019.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related disciplines and professions are core to innovation-driven economies and growth. Nevertheless, persistent gender inequalities and biases in training, hiring and promotion processes have limited the benefits of STEM sectors for social prosperity and personal well-being. These factors combined with other social barriers have intensified effects for certain groups of women including Indigenous women, women with disabilities, and those of visible minority communities. 

This speaker series showcases leading female scientists in the STEM sectors and recognizes their contributions to policy development, national dialogue, economic growth and prosperity.

Monday, January 14, 2019
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Convocation Hall, 107 Peter MacKinnon Building
University of Saskatchewan 

Net Zero Carbon Series

March 18, 2021 @ 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Delivered over Zoom.

Canada has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 which will require deep decarbonization in all sectors, including agriculture. Agriculture is responsible for approximately 10% of Canada’s emissions. This panel explored agriculture and its emissions in Canada and specifically western Canada and what this policy and practice space might look like. Drs. Ymène Fouli, Margot Hurlbert, and Roland Kröebel search for GHG emissions estimates for Canada’s major agriculture products, and review the global context for these figures. 

About our Speakers:

Ymène Fouli, Environmental Soil Scientist, Independent Consultant

Dr. Ymène Fouli (PhD) grew up in Tunisia where she studied geology and environmental engineering, and later attended graduate school in Scotland and in the USA where she taught and conducted research in soil science. She continued with research in nutrient management and animal farming in Maryland and Saskatchewan, and later joined a consulting firm in Alberta as an environmental scientist and project manager. She currently consults independently on water and soil quality, watershed management, and climate change.

Roland Kröebel, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Lethbridge)

Dr. Roland Kröebel (PhD) hails from Germany. He has a BSc in Organic Farming, switched direction to Environmental Systems Analysis for his MSc, only to return to agriculture with his PhD which focused on simulating greenhouse gas emissions. Since then he is leading the Holos model science program, a software application that is developed for Canadian farmers to test the influence of their  management choices on their farm’s greenhouse gas budget.

Margot Hurlbert, Canada Research Chair in Climate Change, Energy and Sustainability Policy, and Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy

Dr. Margot Hurlbert‘s (PhD) research focuses on governance and climate change, energy and water; interrogating laws, policies and practices that will address both the problem of climate change and adaptation, and mitigation to the changing climate.  She has participated in and led research projects focusing on aspects of governance including energy, water, agricultural producer livelihoods, drought, and flood. Hurlbert also serves as a Coordinating Lead Author, Contributing Author and Review Editor for the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change.

Moderated by Kevin Fenwick, Executive-in-Residence, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

March 12, 2020 @ 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Delivered over Zoom.

Saskatchewan is well-positioned to identify the pathway(s) to a low carbon future. It is a province that is fossil fuel dependent, the site of the first commercial-scale post-combustion carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) power plant, and home to some of the world’s largest uranium deposits. Although historically fossil fuel and coal based, Saskatchewan power production is increasingly based on renewables. Leveraging Saskatchewan’s advantage, this panel explored what a net zero Greenhouse Gas Emission future might look like. 

About our Speakers:

Janis Dale, Associate Professor (Geology), University of Regina

Dr. Janis Dale’s expertise is mainly in the field of geoscience encompassing geomorphology, soils and paleosols, Quaternary and glacial sediments. Her current research focuses on paleosols, paleoecology and sedimentary history of the Upper Cretaceous outcrops and Quaternary deposits in southern Saskatchewan, and geological siting requirements of small modular reactors and geothermal applications in southern Saskatchewan. In 2016, Dr. Dale was awarded a Fellowship in Canadian Geoscience in recognition of service to the Provincial and National Geoscience Board and Council, and was the recipient the University of Regina Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015.

John McKenzie

John worked as a professional engineer for 40 years in the Electric energy field. He also has an MBA in finance and government relations, a project management master’s certificate, and is a graduate of the Richard Ivey Executive Program. During his electric energy career, John worked extensively in transmission and distribution operations, senior leaderships roles in power production, and power system planning (strategic project development).

Oskar Sigvaldason, Ph.D., Professional Engineer

Oskar Sigvaldason worked with Acres International, a global consulting engineering and management services company with 1,500 employees, for 38 years, including nine years as President. His career included engineering and project management for major power projects in Canada and around the world. He was also Corporate Manager for preparation of national investment and strategic development plans for energy and electricity supply, with funding from international agencies. More recently, he served as Project Manager for the Trottier Energy Futures Project (TEFP). The primary goal of the TEFP was to derive minimum cost solutions, to 2050 and beyond, for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 80% by 2050, relative to 1990, for all of Canada. He is a Director (former Chair) of the Energy Council of Canada, and a former Member of the World Energy Council (WEC) Studies Committee. He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Civil Engineering at University of Manitoba and at Imperial College, University of London (Athlone Fellow), respectively, followed by post-doctoral studies, in economics, environmental science and systems methodology at Harvard University.

Moderated by Dale Eisler, Senior Policy Fellow, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.

March 10, 2020 @ 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. 
U of R Location: CB 308, College Avenue Campus
USask Location: Prairie Room, 101 Diefenbaker Place

Saskatchewan is well-positioned to identify the pathway(s) to a low carbon future. It is a province that is fossil fuel dependent, the site of the first commercial-scale post-combustion carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) power plant, and home to some of the world’s largest uranium deposits. Although the oil and gas industry of Saskatchewan will be impacted by future climate change policy and regulation, projections of global demand for oil and gas continue into the future. Envisioning and responding to this future through a provincial business strategy is timely.

Panelist included:

Dan MacLean, CEO and President, Petroleum Technology Research Centre

Dan MacLean became president and CEO of the PTRC in May, 2017. He is former CEO and President of Tundra Oil and Gas from 2008 to 2014, and previously acquired over 26 years of leadership and technical expertise with Chevron Canada. His background as a reservoir engineering expert has taken him to West Africa, the Middle East, Australia, the United States and Canada. Dan brings with him a keen understanding of the challenges faced by heavy and tight oil operations in Western Canada. He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and received his MBA from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California in 2000.

James Baker, President, JP Baker Management Inc. 

Mr. Baker is President of JP Baker Management Inc. He has over 30 years experience in the oil and gas industry, as a senior officer of three different oil and natural gas companies and more recently as a director of several public companies. During that time he also ran a private consulting business specializing in oil and gas related issues particularly in the business development area. Jim Baker has served on numerous industry boards and also sits on the Board of SaskEnergy. In addition, he has been active in CAPP (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) and SEPAC (Small Explorers and Producers Association of Canada) and was past Chairman of the IPAC (CAPP predecessor) Saskatchewan Committee.

Corwyn Bruce, Vice-President of Technical Services, International CCS Knowledge Centre

Corwyn Bruce holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Saskatchewan, and is registered as a Professional Engineer, and a Project Management Professional. He has been working on the Boundary Dam 3 CCS project since early 2009 and has served as both an engineer and a project manager, as well as the engineering manager leading the effort to address the reliability issues with the plant post-start-up. In 2017, he was seconded to the International CCS Knowledge Centre where he serves as the Vice President of Technical Services, and was the lead author of the Shand CCS Feasibility Study which details a proposed second-generation CCS facility on the Shand Power Station.

Innovation Forums

10:00 - 11:15 a.m.
Delivered over Zoom.

Innovation is the main event of the modern age, the reason we experience both dramatic improvements in our living standards and unsettling changes in our society. Forget short-term symptoms like Donald Trump and Brexit, it is innovation itself that explains them and that will itself shape the 21st century for good and ill. Yet innovation remains a mysterious process, poorly understood by policy makers and businessmen, hard to summon into existence to order, yet inevitable and inexorable when it does happen. In this presentation, Matt Ridley argues that we need to change the way we think about innovation, to see it as an incremental, bottom-up, fortuitous process that happens to society as a direct result of the human habit of exchange, rather than an orderly, top-down process developing according to a plan.

Matt Ridley is the author of the recently-released How Innovation Works, as well as The Rational Optimist and several other books related to science and human progress, which have sold over a million copies. He is also a biologist, newspaper columnist, and member of the House of Lords in the UK. 

About SAIFood
SAIFood, making information digestible. Because research isn’t written for the kitchen table, SAIFood breaks down what’s happening within agricultural policy and research, agri-food innovation, regulation and sustainability through weekly blogs. Our goal at SAIFood is to keep you up to date and curious to know more about sustainable agriculture, innovations and food.

Moderated by Stuart Smyth, SAIFood.

CSIP Lecture Series

October 11, 2017 @ 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Prairie Room, Diefenbaker Building, University of Saskatchewan campus Video conferenced to Room 210, 2 Research Drive, University of Regina campus

The use of genetically modified organisms in agricultural and food production is a highly debated topic. For developing countries, like Tanzania, using science and genetic engineering to manage diseases in crops is an important factor in ensuring the social and economic development of communities. That being said, public policy within developing countries is not working in favour of science.

In his presentation, Malima will draw attention to the special importance of agriculture and its impact on the livelihoods, politics, poverty and environment in Tanzania, and why the current generations of students need more knowledge on the global situation surrounding them.

Presented by:

Adam Malima,
Chairperson of the Biotechnology Society of Tanzania, and Chair of the Policy Reform Advocates for Agro Biotechnology, former Member of Parliament & Deputy Minister

In his ten years as a top of policy maker, Malima was privileged to develop a better understanding of the dynamics of poverty and social transformation of the impact our decisions make on the livelihoods of others. The role of science and technology, or their lack of, in developing societies agriculture and farming practices has become an important part of his effort to bring changes in whatever way he can. Today, as a private citizen, this continues to be an important part of what he hopes to achieve through a united effort of various stakeholders in the global context.

November 14, 2017 @ 11:00 - 12:00 p.m. Prairie Room, Diefenbaker Building, University of Saskatchewan campus Video conferenced to Room 210, 2 Research Drive, University of Regina campus    Watch the Video.

Conservation Agriculture (CA) promotion has been intensified across East and Southern Africa by international development organizations, the private and public sectors and others with the aim of strengthening the food security situation in these regions. CA links three land management principles - minimum soil disturbance, permanent soil cover, and crop rotation, all of which carry implications at local and even national levels. In March 2015, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, through funding support from Global Affairs Canada, began a five-year Scaling Up Conservation Agriculture in East Africa program. This presentation shares preliminary results through farmer stories and experiences and will reflect on promising practices, innovations and challenges toward the achievement of impacting 50,000 smallholder farming households.

About the speaker: John Mbae, Conservation Agriculture Technical Specialist for Kenya, Canadian Foodgrains Bank

John Kimathi Mbae, a Kenyan national, works as the Technical Specialist with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank Conservation Agriculture (CA) program. John has over 11 years’ experience in socio-economic and agricultural research, advocacy and policy and project management. He holds a BSc in Animal Production from Egerton University in Kenya and a MA in Planning from the University of Nairobi. He previously worked as a researcher scientist and departmental head of policy and outreach with the Centre for Training and Integrated Research (www.CETRAD.org). He has extensive experience in community capacity building and participatory techniques. He has presented papers on conservation agriculture and dry-land farming in various international conferences.

There is mass confusion surrounding the improper everyday uses of the words hemp, marijuana and cannabis, as they are often used interchangeably. Understanding the differences dictates the way we use them, which has been the source of much debate for hundreds of years. Watch the video.

HEMP INDUSTRY FORUM: ARE HEMP AND MARIJUANA THE SAME? 

Saskatchewan is home to a growing industrial hemp industry. As the date for legalization of marijuana approaches, the hemp industry is raising concerns about what this will mean for them. This forum will provide an overview of the policy decisions made by government regarding the legalization of marijuana and its impacts on the hemp industry and their products. Discrepancies between hemp, marijuana and cannabis will be clarified with discussion on the background of relevant regulations and the differences between hemp, and recreational and medical marijuana markets and products. Join us as we deconstruct the myths and the realities.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE:

  • Larry Holbrook, Chief Research Officer, Cannimed Therapeutics Inc./Aurora Cannabis Inc.
  • Garry Meier, President, Hemp Production Services Inc.
  • Dale Risula, Provincial Specialist, Special Crops, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

MODERATED BY:

  • Kathleen McNutt, Executive Director and Professor,Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy

May 23, 2018 @ 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
University of Regina campus: Room 210, 2 - Research Drive 
University of Saskatchewan campus: Prairie Room, Diefenbaker Building

The Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy was founded to bridge the current divide between science and innovation, and related policy and governance considerations.

This event is being supported by the Cannabis Research Initiative of Saskatchewan (C.R.I.S.), an interdisciplinary research team that aims to obtain scientific evidence about the application of cannabinoids and cannabis derivatives to humans and animals for health, disease and disorders.

Illuminating Science Lecture Series

October 16, 2017 @ 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. Prairie Room, Diefenbaker Building, University of Saskatchewan campus Video conferenced to Room 210, 2 Research Drive, University of Regina campus    Watch the video

Nuclear projects are controversial, making them difficult to manage because of complex stakeholder concerns. It is not enough for nuclear new build projects to have a robust design and solid business plan - nuclear proponents also need to develop social intelligence to be successful at stakeholder engagement. The nuclear sector’s public outreach method has traditionally relied on a “deficit model” of communication, which, as evidence has shown, is largely ineffective and can even backfire. This presentation synthesized some of the best available social science research, whilst offering practical advice about how nuclear proponents can make the shift toward an “engagement model” for communications and outreach.

Presented by: Kirsty Gogan
Co-Founder, Global Director, Energy for Humanity

Kirsty Gogan is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Energy for Humanity (EFH), an NGO working to meet the goal of universal access to clean and cheap energy. Ms. Gogan is an internationally sought-after advisor to Governments, industry, academic networks and non-profit organizations, including at 10 Downing St, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and the Department of Energy and Climate Change. She led the national public consultation into the UK’s nuclear new build programme, created the Low Carbon Alliance between the nuclear, carbon capture and renewables industries and helped found the UK chapter of Women in Nuclear.

June 13, 2017 @ 10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Prairie Room, Diefenbaker Building, University of Saskatchewan campus

This presentation mapped the social forces that twist science and explore how they influence the representation of science in laboratory, the research institutions and, finally, in the popular press. While this is not a new phenomenon, it is arguably becoming both more common and more problematic. Indeed, in this era of fake news, predatory journals and alternative facts, it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate good science from bad. This has heightened the need for trusted sources of information, including universities, to play a larger role.

Presented by:

Timothy Caulfield, FRSC, FCAHS
Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, Professor and Trudeau Fellow, Faculty of Law and School of Public Health, Research Director, Health Law Institute, University of Alberta

Timothy Caulfield conducts interdisciplinary research on topics including stem cells, genetics, research ethics, and the public representations of science and health policy issues. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Trudeau Foundation and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, has published over 300 academic articles and is the recipient of numerous academic awards.

Caulfield writes frequently for the popular press and is the author of two recent national bestsellers: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness (Penguin 2012) and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (Penguin 2015).

Symposia and Conference

The official launches of the Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy will be happening in Saskatoon and Regina, March 8 and 13, respectively.

Saskatoon Regina

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
4:15 to 6:00 p.m.
Diefenbaker Building, University of Saskatchewan

Monday, March 13, 2017
5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Room 208, Legislative Building

Please RSVP to js_outreach@uregina.ca by March 1 (Saskatoon launch) and March 6 (Regina launch).

Generating, assessing and applying science and innovation in ways beneficial to humanity has never been more challenging for decision-makers in public, private and civil society sectors. Specific disciplines and current governance structures are limited in their capacity to fully address and resolve large-scale or so-called “wicked” problems on their own. This panel, presented by the new Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy (CSIP), will showcase research projects that illuminate the importance of effective collaborative models across disciplines and beyond the academy. Through examination of the policy and governance dimensions of science and innovation, this forum will explore comprehensive evidence-based approaches and opportunities for researchers and their partners to better understand and address complex problems facing society.

The symposium will feature presentations from:

  • Murray Fulton, Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy; Director, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives
  • John Pomeroy, Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change; Director, Centre for Hydrology; Associate Director, Global Water Futures Programme
  • Peggy Schmeiser, Associate Director, Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy; Assistant Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
  • Peter Phillips, Director, Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy; Distinguished Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
  • Janet Halliwell, Chair of the Board, Canadian Science Policy Council; Vice Chair of the Board, Canadian Science Publishing

Date: Wednesday, March 8 2017, 1-4 p.m. Location: Prairie Room, Diefenbaker Building, University of Saskatchewan NOTE: This event will be videoconferenced to an audience in Regina (Room 110.5, 2 Research Drive, University of Regina).

Following the symposium, guests are invited to join us in the Diefenbaker Lobby for the CSIP launch and reception.

This event was hosted by the Johnson Shoyama Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy, in partnership with the Cannabinoids Research Initiative of Saskatchewan (CRIS)

For patients who use medical marijuana, the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purpose Regulations makes standardized cannabis oil products — of defined quality and ratio of the key cannabinoids (THC and CBD) — available from licensed producers. This creates opportunity for optimizing the use of medical marijuana, but the current lack of robust scientific evidence constitutes a critical barrier to its dose optimization for specific indications and/or patient populations. The growing interest to use cannabis oil products for different indications and populations heightens the need for rigorous clinical and scientific investigation.

SPEAKERS INCLUDED:

  • Jane Alcorn, Professor, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan
  • Robert Lepairie, Assistant Professor and GlaxoSmithKline Chair in Drug Discovery and Development, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan
  • Tim Sharbel, Professor, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan
  • Karen Tanino, Professor, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan
  • Jerome Konecsni, Executive-in-Residence, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
  • Peter Phillips, Distinguished Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy; Director, Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy

March 8, 2018 @ 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.

Prairie Room, Diefenbaker Building, University of Saskatchewan campus
Video conferenced to Room 210, 2 Research Drive, University of Regina campus 

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The Cannabinoids Research Initiative of Saskatchewan (CRIS) is an interdisciplinary research team that aims to obtain scientific evidence about the application of cannabinoids and cannabis derivatives to humans and animals for health, disease and disorders.